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How to Be A More Productive Blogger [And Add 37 Minutes to Every Hour!]

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of December 2009 Writing Content 118

This week, on a busier than normal day, I Tweeted that I wish there were more hours in a day (or that there was a pause button so that time could stand still for a bit so I could catch up). The tweet was of course an attempt at humor but the deluge of replies that I received from that Tweet revealed that I’m not the only blogger out there that wishes they had more time.

As I giggled at the responses it struck me that if I’d not posted that message on Twitter about how I wish I’d had more time that I’d probably have had an extra 6 minutes that hour to get the things I needed to get done finished.

While I’m glad I did get on Twitter for those 6 minutes (it gave me a laugh, made me relax and lightened my day a little) I began to think about all the other small little distractions and time suckers we as bloggers face and on a whim (and for a bit of fun) came up with this list of how to be a more productive blogger.

How to be a more productive blogger:

  1. Turn off Twitter – 6 minutes an hour
  2. Turn off Facebook – 3 minutes an hour
  3. Stop checking your Traffic Stats – 2 minutes an hour
  4. Stop checking your AdSense Earnings – 2 minutes an hour
  5. Stop Tweaking your blog design – 3 minutes an hour
  6. Stop checking your Google Page Rank – 1 minute an hour
  7. Turn off Email – 5 minutes an hour
  8. Log out of your RSS Feed Reader – 2 minutes an hour
  9. Stop checking to see if someone Dugg your latest post – 1 minute an hour
  10. Stop checking affiliate earnings/e-book sales earnings – 2 minutes an hour
  11. Turn off any other Social Media Sites (LinkedIn/StumbleUpon/Plurk/Reddit etc) – 3 minutes an hour
  12. Turn of Skype, Gtalk and all other IM services – 4 minutes
  13. Stop Reading Blog Tips and Start Blogging – 3 minutes an hour

By my calculations this gives you an extra 37 minutes an hour to do what you need to do. Over an 8 hour work day I’ve just found you a smidgen under 5 hours!

What would you add?

Update: No I’m not really serious. While we could be more productive as bloggers by minimizing a lot of this stuff there can also be a lot of good things come from these activities. I guess it’s about knowing your goals, setting good boundaries and engaging in these kinds of activities to the extent that they help us achieve our goals.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Ha ha ha I do all those things :P
    The worst distraction for me is chatting with friends while writing a post, at the end I should reread and recheck over and over again :P

  2. Isn’t it amazing that small things we do everyday that really just eat up our time?

    Good idea!

  3. I am stuck on the visual image of you giggling! I might gain 37 minutes of my hour but it would be an extremely boring day!

  4. Good reminders of how we leak productive time, I’m with Young – just turn off everything…. and write

  5. Really good pointers. Although some of these things take up much more of my time.
    The best one was definitely the last. That’s what it’s all about!

  6. LOL! I could stop reading blog posts about how to save time. And especially not comment on them!

    But for real, sometimes when I need to get some work done, I make myself completely focus on only one thing for say a half an hour. It’s amazing how well that works!

  7. Haha…. Its like you know me! Its all true. I do almost all of those things and I’m sure I’d have more time on my hands if I exercised a little self control. Great post!

  8. Wow, I do not do a lot of that stuff and still find myself up until 5 in the morning working on my blog. But I love it so I can not complain!

  9. Email and IM….The killers for me…I just turn off.

  10. I could lose 20 pounds, then I would gain at least fifteen minutes per hour by not thinking about how I need to lose weight and should be exercising :)

  11. Stop mindlessly reading so far down the comments – 12 minutes


  12. lol great list but IDK if I could give up all these

  13. This is the biggest area of my blogging business that I need to improve upon.

    When I finally get down to it and start actually writing I finish an in-depth article in 30 minutes, but it takes me 3 hours to even start!

    My major time wasters not included in this post:
    – watching videos on youtube (6 minutes an hour)
    – checking digg/reddit (10 minutes an hour)
    – checking cnn/bbc (3 minutes an hour)

    Some of the things included in your list I believe are essential to maintence and building up your brand on other sites, but these are “secondary” priorities.. getting a post done and scheduled or working on another page of your product/ebook is much more important than those other tasks.

    – Complete your priority 1 activities first:
    Article brainstorming/creation, Video creation, Product creation.
    – Then spend a LIMITED, set amount of time towards replying to tweets, blog comments, networking with other bloggers, commenting on their blogs etc…

    Maybe an 80%/20% ratio is satisfactory? Why spend 30 minutes finishing a blog post, but the next 3 hours commenting and messing with twitter etc… You could be spending that time launching another blog or putting more value into a future article!

  14. Don’t whatever you do visit the Warriors Special Offers forum – or half a day will disappear as will the contents of your wallet!

  15. Stop reading blogs – save 45 minutes.

  16. I can say we had a power failure just recently – whole afternoon, and I got so much stuff done!!! And when I came back to blog I could be so much more productive – no distracting chores waiting for me! Everything was done and then some!!! I didn’t blog a bit and do a chore and blog a bit and do some other job… I can highly recommend a power failure!!!

  17. Guilty of each and every one of them! Some days it’s sad, and on others it helps me get through the day. But I could use some extra minutes, and perhaps a bit more willpower at turning off the distractions.

  18. Stop watching youtube videos – 15mins an hour!

  19. holy crap – guilty as charged on so many of them. I am a repeat offender and now know how to save for me 25 minutes that is huge – like right now when I need that 25 minutes before I have to go and get my son from school.

    thanks for sharing these, although very funny, the are good things to think about.

    I doubt we will change but it is nice to think and try.

  20. Each of these in and of itself can have value, but agreed, treating stats and social media like a video game can be an awful time-suck.

    I’m cutting down the feeds in my RSS reader as we speak. I’m sorry, though, I just can’t quit Problogger!

  21. Oh my god, yea, I lose mass amounts of time every day on those 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12 and 13.

    The funny thing, and the sad at the same time, is that I KNOW it would be more than wise to turn that damn things of and focus on one thing at a time, but instead (even now, when I write this comment, I am actually distracting myself as I was writing an article, but then lost inspiration for a few moments, turned on all of the Readers, and started reading other people’s blogs, with your included), instead it became more than easy for me to hop from one thing to another.

    That is the main problem of all this home-business thing, you don’t have anyone else to control you but you yourself, there is no boss to tell you: “Stop that foolish skype chit-chat and get to work, you worm!”.

    I really need to make a schedule and copy it like 1000 times and stick it on all the places around my home where my eyes usually lure, so that every time I read that schedule I remind myself to follow my line of duties.

  22. But don’t ever fail to read Problogger’s posts on how to become a more effective blogger…+5 minutes


  23. So True! But remember that Twitter and some of the other social media is “work” . . . but I could spend WAY less time checking things out. lol.

  24. Haha “Log out of your RSS Feed Reader – 2 minutes an hour” I would save about 20(!) minutes an hour :P

    Now I work from home I have considered taking my things and going to the library to ‘work’. Maybe pretend I’m working shifts at the library but I’m going there to work on creating some content.

    This way I’m not connected to the internet (avoid distractions) and be working in a quiet, relaxed environment.

    I realise I may need to use the internet so I’ll make sure any reference materials are downloaded on harddrive before going.

    I’d also be in airconditioned goodness as well ;)

    Sarge |

  25. Glad to see that even the Probloggers are guilty of checking the same things we do every day! Laughed as I went down the list because I do everyone of them except #10 only because I don’t have an ebook yet. Maybe I could do that with my 37 minutes.

    Really, Coree…back away from the TweetDeck. Ugh, it’s like digital cocaine.

    Someone just turned me on to a cool app called FocusBooster. It’s an AdobeAir timer on your desktop that sets 25 min bursts of work & 5 min breaks (or whatever you choose). Note: it only helps if you actually use it and work in those bursts. It’s not like those lose weight while you sleep diet pills. ;-)

  26. I admit it. I check my blog stats a lot.

    I do save time on Twitter by limiting the people I follow to those that can help provide consumer information for my blogs.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  27. I don’t even know what half those things are, and I still waste 37 minutes an hour.

    Cool post, especially the part about stop reading about how to blog, and start blogging.

    Thanks for the tips

  28. Plan & meditate before you start. It works, well atleast for me :)

  29. Switch off facebook/twitter/email? Dont’ check earnings/adsesne every 5 mintues?
    How could you even suggest all that???
    This is blasphemy against the spirit of An Internet Marketer.

  30. Wow, you just described me perfectly. I get started on getting down to business and when Facebook, blogs twitter, etc., come into play, next things I know half of my work day has passed and I didn’t address any of the topics needed. Work in progress, but this helped.

  31. Yes its good idea that we can save time and think, discuss about goal targeting and how to hit the goals but these things come first and this is not enough time to complete in just 37 minutes.

  32. Yeah — i hope there is additional time each day too but I may only need to do my activities more effective.

  33. Saving precious minutes can be used to family bonding. I will try to minimize laziness and use my time more productive in order to meet my goals next year.

  34. Direct hit.

  35. Bad advice perhaps for early bloggers who need to be doing all those things but might not.

  36. This is so funny and so true. I recently began streamlining my days so I only get onto Twitter, FB, and email about four times a day (early am, midday, early evening, and at night), allowing myself to focus for the remaining “minutes” of the day. So far so good.

    Great post, as always. Thanks.

  37. I can relate, I’ve certainly spent some of my time doing those things when I could of been blogging!

  38. I laughed–you are talking about making a ‘Lean Office’. One of the first things you do is log your interruptions and look at the waste in your day.

    But you only mentioned the work-related distractions. My guess is that in your other 23 minutes you are checking the scores from the game, replying to a friend’s e-mail, checking the snow report on the mountain, ordering a new book online, getting a cup of coffee…It’s a wonder any blogger ever gets anything published!

    Thanks for the post.
    Jeff Hajek

  39. Only check email twice a day.

    Unsubscribe to all but the best ezines (problogger is one I’ve kept among dozens that I cancelled).

    I only allow myself 15 minutes twice a day on Facebook. 5 minutes twice a day on Twitter.

  40. I must say that this is really good calculation by you but all people do not do all these things in every hour. But however this is nice rough calculation.

  41. Damn. I am guilty of all these things.haha

  42. The only problem with this is that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can actually help get your blog seen. Staying active on these sites gets free traffic to your blog.

    We all know that writing blog posts is just one aspect of being a blogger, getting your articles seen is another.

  43. Hey,

    I just stumbled on your blog for the first time. And so far I am really loving it, and I must say , that if i follow what u mentioned m just gng to save more than 37 minutes per hr. Awesome. Keep it coming!

  44. I actually find that having all those things available for distraction is a good thing. Sometimes I need to step away from what I’m writing and nibble on a bit of totally unrelated brain candy (Facebook, New York Times, Ask Metafilter). Then, when I come back a couple of minutes later, I’m better able to tackle a problematic sentence or find that perfect transitional statement that eluded me just a little while earlier.

  45. I teach time management and walk the talk. I don’t have these issues. I stay focused on the main thing/that which makes me money, and everything else can wait. I have projects and goals and always have something new I want to learn. I set aside a few minutes each day to go social and am not addicted to any of it. I think this is why I get so much done, especially since I’m organized too.

  46. Turn off the phone so your mother can’t call 3x a day. (This won’t actually work for me because she lives so close that when she can’t get me on the phone, she comes over, but it might work for someone else.) 12 minutes

  47. Funny how the holidays brings out a wish for more time. I just wrote about that.

  48. You are so right. I have to stop checking my traffic stats and some other stuff and just focus on creating content. Well I guess the truth is planning. Plan to spend so much on this and that and set limits. Once the time is up move on to something else.

  49. the worst one for me is reading other blogs or forums, I’ve literally spent hours getting off track because I start reading a blog and the worst part is sometimes I don’t even notice until I look at the clock and realize I’ve wasted an hour.

  50. Hey,

    Why can’t I just stick my finger in a USB slot, upload and download all the info I need and then have all day to play!

    Thanks all

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