We’ve talked a lot about blogging schedules in the past few weeks. What a blogging schedule is, how to figure out your own, and tools for creating your editorial calendar. All that planning is well and good, but kind of pointless if you don’t actually stick to your schedule.
You know what they say about the best laid plans, and all that.
How to Stick to Your Blogging Schedule
1. Put Blogging Time on Your Calendar
When things have a time slot scheduled on your calendar, they tend to get done. I mean, what would happen if you ignored the “3 pm – dentist” note in your phone’s calendar app?
This is something I recently started doing at work, and it’s really made a difference in getting stuff done. Create blocks of time devoted to a certain task.
For example, let’s say you’ve figured out how long it typically takes to write a review, and you prefer scheduling all your posts for the week on Sunday afternoon. You want to publish 3 reviews this week and each review takes, on average, 45 minutes to put the post together. Create an appointment in your calendar called “Schedule Reviews” (because to-do lists need verbs). Make it last two and a half hours (that’ll build in a 15-minute cushion in case a review takes a little longer than usual).
You can even set a reminder so that your phone alerts you 15 minutes before the appointment starts, which gives you some time to get into “blogging mode.”
If you treat your blogging schedule like set in stone appointments, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
2. Don’t Let Your Blog Take a Backseat
I constantly have to remind myself that this blog is not my job, but I would never let myself forget about it for a week. Not only would my blog not grow at all that week, but I may even lose a few readers.
Because, the truth? You should treat blogging like a job. But a part-time job, not a “my livelihood depends on publishing this post on time,” job. 😉
If you constantly prioritize other hobbies over your blog, your schedule will fall apart. For example, I had the opportunity to go to a movie screening last week. I told myself, “If I get that day’s blog post up before the movie starts, I’ll go. If not, I need to stay home and finish the post.”
Seeing a movie on a certain day at a certain time is not as important as growing my blog. So I stayed home and saw the movie a few days later.
3. Use a To-D0 List with Recurring Tasks
This is going to be an entire separate post, but there’s one thing I want to mention here, because it’s been crazy helpful in sticking to my own schedule.
A lot of to-do list apps have features to set up recurring tasks. For example, I use Todoist. They let you set due date for your tasks, in natural language (typing “Monday” instead of 2/16/15). If I create a task and type “Every Monday” into the due date field, the task will automatically show up on my day’s to-do list every Monday.
I think Wunderlist has a recurring task feature too, although it’s not as robust as Todoist’s. I even have recurring tasks set to things like “every 10 days” and “every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
If you use a paper calendar or planner for your to-do lists, add any recurring tasks in far in advance. For example, at my job I need to send a certain email to all of the department managers on the last Monday of every month. So for the next six months, “email managers about ______” is already on my to-do list for those Mondays.
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