All the bloggers we spoke to as we researched Blog Wise had an opinion on structure.
Even those, like Matt Kepnes of NomadicMatt.com, who doesn’t blog to regular schedules, noted that they had particular times that were good for certain work tasks, and particular times that tended to be less productive.
Matt, in balancing his desires to work and to experience the destinations he travels to, puts time limits on his daily blogging tasks. “The Internet, blogging, it’ll take as much time as you can give it,” he says.
“I force myself into boxes to work … to limit the amount of time I’m working.” He finds this the easiest way to stay productive.
Jeff Goins, of Goinswriter.com, takes the concept a step further: he’ll create a good “context” for that time, to make the work more enjoyable. He explains his rationale like this: “I have to do something I don’t want to do, so I’m going to create the most enjoyable context possible. I’m going to listen to music, I’m gonna drink coffee, and I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna do it, and I’m gonna set aside this much time to do it.”
For Jeff, it’s not necessarily about hitting a milestone or goal within that time; it’s just about doing the work itself—about getting something done.
For the full-time bloggers, chunking time as part of the daily schedule was important. “That way I know how I’m going to spend my day,” Amy says.
She explains that this helps her prioritise tasks, and know if she has time to step away to do something a bit more inspirational or extraordinary.
While Leo’s a full-time blogger, he also practices a No Goals philosophy. What does that mean for the structure of his day? “When it’s unstructured, [the day is] really a huge, open container that you can do anything you want with,” he says. “I mean, you can fill it with anything.”
As he explains how that works to boost his productivity, he warns against the pitfalls of being too wedded to structure.
“When you’re structured, it just ends up being frustrating,” he says, “because you don’t always meet the structure that you set… if you had a structure that you had planned, and it doesn’t go according to that plan, then you’re messed up.”
Does a loose structure work for you? Or do you prefer something more prescriptive? Share your secrets for structuring your blogging workday below.
Tomorrow: managing distractions.