When I decided to get serious about blogging, it was important for me to commit to a schedule. I also needed to use my time wisely since I have a full time day job and two dogs that like to go to the dog park – a lot! It was difficult to find time to blog, but I decided to make a conscious effort to work smarter not harder since my time was limited.
How to Work Smarter Not Harder
Always use a to-do list
I love lists! Even when I'm not blogging, I keep a small notebook in my purse incase I get an idea for a blog post or want to take notes from one of Pat Flynn's podcasts. I constantly have a running list of things I want to work on, as well as a section I use for brainstorming. Having a to-do list helps me stay focused when I sit down at my laptop.
Allot specific time blocks for each task
When I go through my to-do list, I always prioritize the tasks I want to work on during my blogging session. My time is always limited, so I'll look at my list and determine how much time to spend on each task. Once my time is up, I move on to the next item.
This keeps me focused and prevents mindless day dreaming. Previously, I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time playing on Pinterest. Now I block of a small amount of time each day and use my Pinterest planner to work smarter not harder.
Use a calendar to plan and schedule all tasks
I used to keep a list of blog posts I wanted to publish, but never really had a solid plan or strategy. When I first started blogging, I would write a post and just hit the publish button!
Once I started utilizing the WordPress editorial calendar, I had a much better visual for planning my upcoming posts. It is much easier to plan out my monthly posts ahead of time and stick to a schedule.
One of the best ways to work smarter not harder is to get help. Making Sense of Cents recently discussed the benefits of outsourcing and I couldn't agree more.
There are certain tasks on my to-do list that are either too time consuming or areas I don't have enough knowledge on. Sometimes it is more beneficial for me to outsource a task so I can focus on what I am good at.
Have a backup plan
Life happens and not everything goes according to schedule. It is easy to get busy with a day job, get sick or have something come up unexpected. Since I like to post to my blog 2-3 times a week, it is essential I work ahead of schedule. I even have a few extra blog posts I am saving for a rainy day, just incase something comes up!