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Are Your Recurring Blogging Tasks Making You Crazy?

This guest post is by Timo Kiander of Productivesuperdad.com.

What’s the one similarity between these blogging tasks?

  • approving comments on your blog
  • proofreading posts
  • writing and preparing your post to be published (finding images, SEO, setting tags and categories, and so on)
  • keeping yourself up to date with social media
  • writing guest posts
  • recording a video and uploading it to YouTube.

You don’t know?

All those tasks are recurring tasks and you do them again and again. Unfortunately, no matter how tedious these tasks may sometimes be, they just have to be done in order to keep your blogging wheels turning.

On the other hand, these recurring tasks eat valuable time from other blogging-related tasks, for instance, from building your email list, creating relationships with other bloggers, or creating your own products and services.

A tricky situation, isn’t it?

Do you know what you did today?

The feeling of poor productivity—even if you work a lot—can be strong if you don’t know what blogging tasks you did, when you did them, and how long it took to do them.

If you don’t have any stats on how long, on average, it takes to approve the comments on your blog, write a guest post, or record a YouTube video, then your blogging habits aren’t as effective as they could be. Also, planning your next day’s blogging task list is going to be difficult.

This knowledge is crucial if you want to make a steady progress with your blogging and get the tasks done on time. Especially if you have a very limited “time-budget” available (you’re working full-time, you have a family, etc.), you should know the best way to spend your time.

Having those tracking stats in a document in front of you is a real eye-opener for many people. If you don’t know how you spend your blogging time and you still feel unproductive even if you work hard, then you should change your attitude towards time tracking—right this very minute!

Put your productivity into the fast lane

Time tracking is, first, about gathering raw statistics. Gather the time you spend on various blogging tasks for a several days.

Second, do some detailed analysis on the data you’ve gathered. Analyze the tasks and how much time you spend on each, on average.

Third, use that data to plan your next day.

For instance, if you are going to write a post for your blog tomorrow, then take a look at the stats you have and see how well that time block fits your next day’s schedule.

Very quickly, you’ll learn how to be realistic about your next day’s planning. It’s useless to have ten tasks on your list if you’re only able to complete four of them by the end of the day.

With the data showing you how much time you spend on the common blogging tasks, you’ll become more realistic with your day planning.

3 steps to a sense of accomplishment

1. Stop assuming you know how you work

Gather the facts that show how you spend your blogging time. I bet you’ll be surprised to learn more about your blogging habits when they’re right there before you.

2. Log the time used

To gather an effective time log, take the following steps.

Make a list

First, list your common recurring blogging tasks and create a document that contains them all.

For instance, I have various tasks in my document, like writing a guest post, writing posts for my own blog, recording a YouTube video, uploading a YouTube video, approving comments on my blog, replying to comments on my guest posts, proofreading posts, and so on.

Track your time

Write down the following for the next seven days:

  • the type of task
  • the date when you did the task
  • the amount of time it took you to accomplish a task
  • any special conditions that helped you to do the task faster, easier, or better.

Once you have the data gathered, count the average amount of time for your different tasks.

For instance, if you write guest posts, you could see the pattern how much on average you’ll spend on the writing. When I take a look at my time log, I see that it takes approximately an hour for me to write a guest post.

Understand that there are certain tasks which you can do faster

For instance, I listen to music when I write, when I approve comments on my blog or on guest posts I have written. Why? Because my time tracking experiments have shown that that helps me to do those tasks more quickly.

With simple improvements like this, you can make your recurring task faster (and easier) than before.

Set time boundaries

You can also decrease the time it takes you to complete tasks by setting clear boundaries on them.

For instance, I’m using a 15 minute time block for my daily Twitter usage. This means I’m not spending hours on Twitter or on Facebook and then wondering where my hours went.

3. Automate

Why not automate your time tracking? Try using a tool like RescueTime, which keeps track of how much time you spend on productive activities, what applications you used on your computer, and which websites you accessed during your work.

this is just my recommendation, but there are plenty of tools out there. Just give one a test-run to see if it’s a good fit for you or not.

Your time is valuable

Recurring tasks are usually tedious—yet mandatory—tasks that have to be taken care of.

To make your time usage more effective, track these tasks and understand how much you time you spend on them.

When you track your time usage, it is much easier for you to plan your days—and sometimes even decrease the amount of time you use for those tedious blogging tasks.

Do you track the time you use for repeating blogging tasks? What tools do you use for that activity? Have you found tracking to be effective way to improve your blogging productivity? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to improve your blogging productivity, grab his free e-book, 61 Ways for Supercharging Blogging Productivity.

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Comments

  1. Mi Muba says:

    A wonderful guide on time management while blogging without any boredom. A great change from stereo-types technical posts.

  2. Kenny Fabre says:

    Timo

    the best thing I do with my blogging tasks is list them and actually do them. that gives me a big sense of accomplishment.

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Kenny!

      Yep, I’m a big fan of lists too :)

      Especially when you can cross things off your list – it’s the best feeling :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  3. Richard Ng says:

    Maybe my blogging venture is still in the early stage and haven’t feel the heat yet. Meanwhile still enjoying writing the posts, sharing in the social media and replying comments etc..But these tips will definitely comes in handy whenever I need it in the future.

    Cheers!

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Richard!

      Sure … at some point you’ll start to figure out that certain tasks popping up all the time and those are the recurring ones.

      Be sure to check this post again and to see how to deal with the recurring ones.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  4. Shane says:

    Great article! Thank you for sharing this. It is indeed a problem sometimes but it just needs constant refreshing in order to keep going.

  5. Arslanh says:

    Every successful person in this world lives by a time table, so it is very important to save time and do things according to your smart plan!

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Arslanh!

      Yes, planning definitely helps and you are not wasting your time.

      With some organizing, you can become more productive as a blogger.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  6. I love the time management tools. Nice one!

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Tabetha!

      Yes, I love them too :)

      What are your favorites?

      Cheers,
      Timo

      • ‘Understand that there are certain tasks which you can do faster and set time boundaries’

        I love this one especially. I could say, you are partly like me in one way or the other; music seems to be an accelerator and I always do my tasks quickly while listening to it. I also love the automate tool of time tracking. I believe this will help you use your time on more important activities especially the critical ones that need lots of time. I again appreciate for your post. Thanks!

  7. Reed Nixon says:

    These techniques makes it look easy. I guess they are worth a try.

  8. Shelby Roth says:

    Thanks a lot for helping me out on how to manage my time without any problem in my blogging. I have been saved greatly. I look forward for more!

  9. Joi says:

    Great article and, excuse the pun, very timely! The recurring task that gets me is having to do all of the filling in the blanks for seo with each post – tags, title, description… It’d be a lot simpler just to write the post and let ‘er rip!

    By the way, the link to Common Recurring Blogging Tasks has an extra h at the front – I only point this out because the article is outstanding and hope others will jump over and read it as well.

    Thanks for the motivation.
    – Joi

  10. the real problem with me, is the serious lack of time management but this give me advantage of writing good post when my brain send me literary waves. like if you are not feeling good or blank of ideas, so how can you write a post on schedule. :)

  11. Guy says:

    Excellent resource, as a new guy to the blogging world its wonderful to find quality information!

  12. Stella says:

    Writing bunch of articles and scheduling it for future! Way to go?

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Stella!

      My plan is to write all the posts for my blog at once (the first week of every month) and then schedule them. However, this is easy, since I publish only 2 full-length posts on my blog per month + 2 videos.

      When it comes to guest posting, I try to write at least 3 posts per week. When I do the posting on my blog at once, I have more time to focus on guest posting for the rest of the month.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  13. Good advice to be more analytical about time management Timo, something that I’ve been spectacularly bad at so far. I am so easily distracted by checking stats like Analytics or Adsense or responding to notifications and that lack of focus leads to useful time leaking away.

    So I will follow your advice and hope that some analysis of where time goes will allow me to be more disciplined in future and to wear some ‘blogging blinkers’ to keep those distractions at bay.

    Many thanks for an interesting article.

    Tony

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Tony!

      Thank you :)

      Yes, doing a bit of analysis of your spent time will definitely help to improve time usage.

      I realized this myself, when I did this simple time tracking.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  14. Churchill says:

    I am also new to the blogging world. Of late I have noticed that there is just so much to do and I am in need of better time management habits. Of course replying to lots of comments is not yet one of my problems but I am sure your tips will come in handy when the right time comes. :-).

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Churchill!

      Yes, you’ll start to see the recurring tasks at some point. In fact, you may feel that they are tedious ones (which they could very well be).

      Then, come back to this article and see how to handle them :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  15. Wade says:

    It can be tedious doing the same things over & over! But if you want to be successful, you have to be consistent! The way I manage all of this is to set a schedule.

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Hi Wade!

      Yep, scheduling is a great way to get recurring work done.

      And no matter how boring these recurring tasks may be, you’ll just have to do them to keep your blog’s wheels running.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  16. i start to be crazy after one month…hhhhh
    it is important to schedule your tasks.
    nice post with very important information