By no means am I a scheduler. By nature, I do not manage time well nor do I always show up to things on time.
When it comes to blogging, I am so much better at getting things done than I am about anything else but it’s still not where I want to be.
When I first started blogging, I was completely ok with just writing and posting content when I could. But over night I fell in love with it. I feel in love with writing, creating graphics, making relationships, and so much more. Which meant I started to spend so much more time blogging than I anticipated.
After just a few months into blogging my blog unexpectedly grew quickly. I started the Facebook group for Christian Women Bloggers, By His Grace Bloggers and began writing more to new bloggers about building a blog. I also wrote a eBook, By His Grace We Blog, about building a Christian blog.
This meant my task lists grew 4x’s longer than what it was just a few months prior.
I was now staying up all hours of the night and was waking up earlier to blog before the kids woke up. Unfortunately, it also started to cut into some of my tasks in home.
My “blog schedule” was not working. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and honestly feeling convicted as a wife and mother that I was not giving my all to my family. The words ‘How can you blog about being a Wife and Mother but yet you are putting them to the side?’ kept ringing in my head.
I knew there had to be a change and it had to be immediate. I wanted to sleep again, think clearly, and feel free from the thoughts that I was abandoning my position as a wife and mother.
First, I read a few blog posts about time management from other mom bloggers. There were some good points that gave me some ideas but it wasn’t till I read about block scheduling from a market strategist that I knew I had found the answer to my change.
What is Block Scheduling?
Block Scheduling is creating a schedule that is based off of your daily priorities which is then scheduled into time increments so you know how much time to spend on each task.
The best way to create a block schedule is to write a list of what you do daily.
For me, my home is top priority so I wrote my blogging schedule based around my home life. Having the home clean and dinner on the table for my husband as he gets home from work is important to me. This is what I enjoy.
I first wrote down what times I am able to blog and what times my children’s activities are within the time that I wrote down. Tasks such as cleaning and prepping dinner does not usually begin till about 2pm, which is why I do not do anything for the blog after that time.
In the blogging schedule I included the days the children go to daycare and their daily nap times.
Once I knew the hours I could give to blogging Monday through Friday I then began to focus on 4 key areas that I complete for the blog daily.
Writing, Creating new content
All tasks on the schedule are ones that I have included over time with the blog’s growth and accountability. These are tasks that have proven to help my blog grow.
All though my schedule is not the same everyday because projects and unexpected situations pop up every so often; having this block schedule gives me a strong foundation to what tasks are important for me to work on for the blog’s growth and consistent attention.
Some days I only get to my third task before I am interrupted by something unexpected but the benefit of having the schedule is that I can go back to it and pick up right where I left off.
The three main factors of why block scheduling works for me:
- The schedule reminds me of what needs to be and what I want to be done for the blog.
- Since creating a block schedule that fits my needs I am not in a chaotic position wondering what is next to do in the day of blogging.
- This type of schedule does not overwhelm me because I think of it as a guideline not a to do task that has urgency.
How do I make this process successful?
Here are three important factors that has made this success for me is,
I close all tabs on my laptop besides the tab I need open. Having 10 open tabs on your Internet bar is overwhelming and distracting. You can easily look to the menu bar and switch to another tab if they are open. This will cause you to lose concentration from the task in front of you.
Sticking to the time increments you created lets you know there is no time for messing around. Time increments puts your focus mode on. You are more likely to get it done if you have a time limit. Be sure to not make them unreasonable. Give grace within the time but also do not give yourself so much time that you loose time on other things you can get done.
No distractions. Meaning choose a place you will and can concentrate. I created a office place in my home. Once I walk into it I know what my focus is the moment I enter the doorway. Most full time bloggers enjoy getting out of the home so they use coffee shops or bookstores.
No distracting noises plays a big role into this also. Since I am a stay at home mom that is blogging full time this can be a challenge. Although I can not control my children’s noise all the time, I can control other noises. Meaning, no TV, my phone is on vibrate and out of reach. Alerts to social media and email is shut off and no electronics near my desk. You will be amazed by how much you can get done with those things out of arm’s reach.
What does a block schedule look like?
So glad you asked. Below is an example of what blogging tasks look like within time increments that I have found to be reasonable time to complete.
Here is an example of a Monday for me:
8:30 am to 8:45 am – Bible Study and Prayer
8:45 am – 9:30 am – Complete Manual Pin Schedule
9:30 am – 10: 00 am – Engage in ‘By His Grace Bloggers Group’ – Natalie post: Social Media Day. Follow members.
10:00 am – 10:45 am Take Kids to Daycare
10:45 pm – 12:00 pm – Check emails, blog comments, social media comments.
- Instagram – Inspirational Monday- Like and comment at least 5 pics.
- Twitter – Tweet one other bloggers post. One of my own
- Facebook – Post one other bloggers post. One of my own
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Complete Pin Schedule, Write Content. Prepare post for Tuesday.
2:00 pm – Pick kids up from Daycare
9:00pm – 10:00pm – Write Content
As you can, I stop working at 2pm but to keep myself motivated in my writing I still try to make personal time to write content in the evening before my bed time.
On Thursdays you will see that my kids do not go to daycare but I still schedule in time for lunch and setting down for nap time. You will also see I choose a few days a week I wake up to get extra tasks done before the children wake up.
5:00 – 6:30 am – Complete Pin Schedule, Write Content. Promote Salt & Light Link Up.
10:00 am to 10:30 pm – Post ‘Lesson’ thread by me in By His Grace Bloggers Group. Engage in group.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Complete Pin Schedule. Check emails, blog comments, social media comments.
- Post on Instagram – Blog post. Like and comment at least 5 pics.
- Twitter – Tweet two other bloggers post.
- Facebook – Post 1 other Blogger post. One of mine.
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm – Lunch time and put kids to nap.
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm – Create Blog post graphics. Post new blog posts in WordPress. Share on all Social Medias. Share any updated posts.
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Write Content and eBook.
Questions to ask yourself before creating a block schedule.
This is where you will need to do a complete pile of everything you do for your blog to help its growth. Asking yourself these questions will help you think of the things you should include on your blogging block schedule.
- What hours are you able to commit to each day?
- Within the hours that you can blog, are there any other tasks (i.e. sports, school events, appointments, volunteer) throughout the week you will have to stop during to do?
- What are your daily blogging tasks
- What blogging commitments do you have weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?
- How do you stay motivated in your writing? (i.e. Bible studying, personal writing, reading)
- Where can you set a area in your home that will keep you focused?
The purpose of Block Scheduling is staying focus and within time limits so you are not wondering off to other unnecessary tasks. It is about getting a task completed before going to the next. Once a task is completed you will feel the relief and freedom from a chaotic day. It like being free from a messy desk on a busy day.