9 Mistakes Bloggers Make Managing Their Time

If you’re like me, your waking hours are filled with tasks, expectations, and stress. For most of us, even our vacations or “days off” are filled with things we have to do or obligations that need to be handled. Well that’s a sad thought, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.
For a long time, I found myself in this loop of never-ending stress and a growing to-do list. I didn’t find some magic pill or master time travel to give myself an extra 10 hours a day to write, sleep and watch Netflix…(isn’t Netflix just the best thing ever?!?)
The first thing I did was learn to recognize the mistakes I was making when it came to building my business that was slowing my business down. I am still growing for sure, but if I’d started to realized these mistakes sooner, I could have been seeing revenue, growth and a lot less stress in my business a year or so sooner.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of experience in the different roles that come with dating but I see a lot of things the same way I see romance. Trying to figure out your work style is a little like kissing frogs, Often you figure out what doesn’t work far sooner than you find out what does… so let me save you some time and point out some of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to manage their life, their day job, and a side hustle.

Focusing on Perfect

Any time you put something out in the world with your name on it you probably want it to be pretty kick-ass, after all, your name is on it. So it’s easy to get stuck on perfection. I hate to say it, but you’re never going to reach perfection. So instead of getting stuff done you just keep finding yourself being unsatisfied with the little work you do complete because it isn’t perfect and therefore it never gets done. Done is better than perfect. Think of it this way how many programs or tools do you purchase that get an update or reboot. Sometimes you might think something is “perfect” only to discover once it’s out there that something is missing or not working correctly. Steve Jobs didn’t get the iPhone perfect the first time…see the multiple versions that have followed and continue to come out each year.

Failing to Start

Have you ever sat down with the intention of knocking out a few tasks with a to-do list that looks something like:
Create a pitch for Lane’s Online Magazine
Write this week’s newsletter
Update the blog post about knitting
Answer email from Karen

Then you sit there and look at it without knowing where to start so you decide, oh I’ll respond to some social media posts and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Next thing you know it’s 3 hours later, time for bed and while your Buffer is full nothing else got done.
Falling into this trap is easy. We want to get so much done, but we get frustrated and then nothing gets done.
Just get started on whatever is the first thing on the list just do it and get it done.

Taking on Too Much

This goes right in hand with not knowing where to get started. When you are excited about your business or side hustle, you find yourself constantly having new ideas or wanting to implement new things into it. For me, I always want to do more and go bigger. Adding new forms of revenue or a new kind of media is a great way to grow your business but doing it at the wrong time and in the wrong way is an excellent way to kill your business.
If you are a one woman team already feeling pressed for time, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to launch a new e-course, 2nd website, podcast and youtube channel in the same month (yeah I seriously was considering doing this at one point in time). Start by looking at low-hanging fruit (things that are easy for you to incorporate at that given time) if you want to do all of these see which would be easiest for you to do first and then start with that and once you have your footing in one area, add in the next. If you try to take on too much at once not only will your attention be divided but your work will be sloppy.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking isn’t evil at the right time and place. Listening to a book on tape while washing the dishes or reading a magazine while pooping is great examples of doing more than one thing at once successfully. But most of the time multitasking is a major productivity killer! If you want to get the most out of your work time, focus on one thing at a time. Turn your phone face down, leave it in the other room or shut down the sound, even small multitasking like answering a few texts during the time you said you’d work can hurt your productivity and strain your focus.
The more you spend time working focused, the more you learn about your ability to balance things. Can you listen to music with lyrics while writing? Can you watch television while painting pieces for your Etsy store? For me I absolutely cannot work in silence, my mind starts racing, and I start thinking about anything and everything, besides what I’m trying to focus on. If I’m working on social media posts I can listen to stand up or even re-watch old episodes of Family Guy on Netflix if I’m working on a post I can listen to music but if I try to watch t.v. more times than not I find myself taking a longer time to get things done.

Setting Deadlines But Not Work Sessions

Deadlines are important. For me, it is my way of saying, “Hey world, I’m doing this on this date.” Then realizing, “Holy crap it’s out there, now I have to do it.” But what is a deadline if you don’t have a plan for actually getting the thing done? If you say you want to publish a post on the 13th, when do you plan to write it? Schedule a period for working on it and if need be, anything else that accompanies the task, like creating graphics or social media posts. A deadline is a lot like a goal, it’s great to have, but a plan of action is what turns both a goal and deadline into a reality.

Thinking busy and productive are the same thing.

Busy having a great deal to do.
Productive achieving or producing a significant amount or result.
There are a lot of people who love to talk about how busy they are but the truth is being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. I could go outside and try to pick up every rock in my apartment complex, and I’m technically busy, but it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything productive. While there are “busy” tasks that need to be done, you have to find a healthy balance of busy and productive. Yes getting your inbox down to zero is a great feeling but more than likely it doesn’t represent any income in your pocket. Just because you are doing something doesn’t mean you are making the best use of your time. Be able to recognize when you are performing goal achieving activities and not just stress relieving ones.

Focusing Too Much on Organizing.

This one was a huge rabbit hole for me. I want to be organized. Obviously, I work better when my desk is clean, and I know things look beautiful, but even worse I used to sit down with my to-do list and try to decide which thing was most important in the right order to get things done. Well, this was a waste of time.
I discovered that by just hitting the list running, I was able to get more crossed off. There are some days when it’s clear something needs to be done first, like if you have a deadline but other days you may not know where to start, so just start.

Getting Stuck on Semantics

If you can’t complete a task because you need something to complete it, then I try to follow this simple rule, if obtaining it will take more than 5 minutes I move on to the next thing on my todo list.
Are you writing a movie review and can’t remember the name of the lead actress? Go ahead and search for it, then go back to working on the review.
Do you want to make an email course outline on a poster board with sticky notes but don’t have the poster board or sticky notes? Then move on to the next task because you’ll probably just end up spending an hour at Target looking at cute office supplies. (Guilty!)
Don’t let the semantics, stop you in your tracks. Often I’ve discovered by moving forward and not focusing on the little things that could be a setback, I often find workarounds or better ideas.

Not Scheduling Downtime

This may seem counter-productive to all the mistakes mentioned above but in reality having downtime is great for productivity. I wrote a post Why You Should Take a Personal Day a while back, and I fully believe in it. Personal days and downtime are key for allowing your body and mind to recharge and relax. We are always so stressed and have so much to do, but I’ve discovered when I take the time to take a break or have some fun I come back with new ideas or feel revitalized and excited about whatever project I’m working on again. I try to do something fun most weekends, but I also have a night off I try to stick to at least once a week, Thursdays are for Shondaland. I put the laptop away, have some wine and enjoy some of my favorite shows. It’s all about rewarding myself for hard work and reminding myself that there is more to life than work.

Are you making any of these mistakes when it comes to setting up your day? Recognizing them is a great way to stop doing them. The next time you find yourself in one of these situations take a second and think about what you’re doing and how you can refocus your time and energy into working more productively.

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Task Crusher Worksheet!

  • These are all so important and something we have to constantly be keeping in mind. Love this post!

    • Dia

      Thanks so much Emily! <3

  • This is a GREAT post. I am guilty of a few of these, especially Setting Deadlines But Not Work Sessions.

    • Dia

      It’s crazy because you think it would be super obviously but it’s easy to forget lol like just because you set a deadline doesn’t mean the work will be magically done on that date lol Thanks for checking out the post LaNeshe.

  • Yes to all but focusing on perfect and not starting are probably my downfalls. I also get sucked up in social media!

    • Dia

      I used to but luckily now I find it a little annoying. I get sucked into Netflix, it controls my mind lol

  • I think a huge mistake I made was not building my email list soon enough!

    • Dia

      I think a lot of people make that mistake but it shouldn’t be a time distraction, that is something worth making the time for.

  • I love this piece as well as the audio that comes along with it! I’m guilty of failing to start. I block time and just don’t do it. However, if I set a deadline somehow I make it happen.

    • Dia

      Thank you, Jessica! I really appreciate you saying that. I was nervous about it.

  • Totally agree with all of these. I know I shouldn’t multi-task, but I simply can’t help myself.

    • Dia

      Cristina! Oh it happens to all of us, but you have to try! I believe in you!

  • Great tips! I need to stop multi-tasking because it is so distracting. You are totally right that placing the phone face down or far away is a big necessity when trying to focus on blogging. Thanks for sharing!

    • Dia

      I sometimes don’t even have it in the room. Anything I need during a work session I can get on my laptop 99% of the time.

  • If I had a dime every time I didn’t start something because I was nervous, scared, intimidated…the list goes on! SO important to just buckle down and GO FOR IT.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Dia

      Awe thanks so much for stopping by Erica. Even on this post I was so nervous to hit PUBLISH, because of the audio but I did it and I’m excited!

  • These are all so important! Some days I’m amazing at managing my time and others not so much.

    • Dia

      Haha I think that is totally normal. We all have strong days and weak days.

  • Scheduling downtime is the hardest part, and I know it has an impact on my relationship. I’m trying my best to make it better.

    • Dia

      Get luck Melody! What is it they say, the first step is realizing you have a need.

  • I’m totally guilty of setting deadline without setting official work sessions. I have general times where I know I will be working on stuff, but I probably should plan them ahead of time.

    • Dia

      It helps you feel so much more focused and makes you so much more productive.

  • Hi Dia,

    I have definitely made these mistakes in my five years of blogging. I like how you pointed out the difference between being busy and being productive. Now that I think about it, when I’m asked how things are going, my response is “good, busy as always”. It’s got me wondering what I’m doing throughout the day….am I being productive or busy spinning my wheels.

    There is such a thing as “blogger burn out” so scheduling downtime is very important. It’s always good to get offline and enjoy life every now and then. It’s amazing what it can do to reinspire someone who’s feeling kinda blah with their blog. I know that’s happened to me a few times. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this Dia. Hope you’re having a great week so far!

    Cori

    • Dia

      Thanks so much for the words Cori. <3 If I didn't make a point to have downtown I probably would have stopped blogging a long time ago.

  • Oh my goodness, you have so many great points I feel I can relate to each and every one of them. I’ve been trying to be more productive lately and I think it will be an ongoing struggle for me 🙂

    • Dia

      Little by little becomes a lot!

  • What a great idea to include audio! I fall into the “perfection” trap too. Ugh! I just need to be more mindful of what I’m doing lol

    • Dia

      It’s not just you there are always 100 things to distract us.

  • Mytha Reyna

    Great post! I have two kids at home (3 year old and 7 month old) I am still trying to figure out a good work schedule so I don’t end up submitting my work last minute!

    • Dia

      Oh wow! Those ages do require a lot of attention. My best advice would be to work ahead and just plan one things at a time.

  • I can totally relate to the “failing to start” one. I do that too much! I notice it on days where I tend to have more time to get things done. I take the extra time for granted. Time to set myself on a schedule

    • Dia

      Yes! I’ve totally had weeks where I get more done on a Tuesday after work than I do with a open Saturday. Good Luck!

  • These are all so true. I feel like I’m definitely guilty of taking on too much with my blog. I just started using YouTube in 2017 and it has added so much to my workload, I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it! Thanks for sharing these points.

    • Dia

      Good luck on your YouTube Channel. Keep in mind with anything that you will normally get better at it over time. Hopefully if it’s editing and stuff it will get over or maybe you will start seeing some income and be able to hire someone to edit it.

  • Thank you so much for this informative and encouraging post! I’m a one-woman show with a new blog and business in the works.

    It is so hard not to get stuck in the “perfect zone” as well as not getting stuck staring at a well-prepared list and having no idea where to start. Happens to me all the time.

    I’ve read about the importance of new bloggers/professional writers choosing great bloggers to follow and learn from (what I’m doing now). The thing is, just finding great bloggers to follow, signing up for their subscriptions, and then studying a bit of their style and advice could be a full-time job in itself!

    Finding time to write content for my blog and portfolio as well as tackling social media and finally having time to read great blogs is near impossible … the thing is, I need about five more hours in every day! Lol

    Anyway,
    Thanks for the great tips!!

    Stephanie

    • Dia

      Oh Stephanie, I would love 5 more hours a week lol That was a huge thing for me. I will kinds of listen to people but I have my small handful of bloggers whose advice I check out. There is just so much content it’s overwhelming but I totally appreciate you taking some of your busy time to read my post.

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