Time management for mom bloggers
I have an extra special treat for you today! Suzi from Start a Mom Blog is guest posting here today. I recently stumbled across a blog post of hers where she talked about how she was able to write an ebook in a month (with two small children and no childcare).
I was so impressed with her time management and productivity advice in that post that I just HAD to buy the ebook. I bought it right then and there, and I was even more impressed with the ebook. I love how specific and actionable the content in her ebook is. She doesn't just tell you to find some good Facebook groups to join. She gives you an incredibly detailed list of lots of Facebook group boards and their features, so you can actually easily find some to join. She doesn't just tell you to join Pinterest group boards, and she even gives you an email template to use when you e-mail the board owners to ask to join. I definitely recommend her Blog by Numbers ebook.
Today she's sharing her time management advice for mom bloggers. (Really, this advice would apply to anyone who wants to manage their time better – mom or not – blogger or not.) So I'll turn it over to Suzi.
How do I manage my time as a blogger who is also a mom? I get this question all the time.
It may be because I launched my blog in January, had my second baby in February, have an energetic toddler running around trying to potty train, wrote an ebook in one month and had a successful launch in June. It's now July and I am working on a new, very exciting project.
I can give you the quick and obvious answer – wake up earlier or stay up later. And even though I do that, I get up at 5:30 am with my husband. That is not the only reason why I am productive.
To truly manage your time well you need to manage your focus. I used to have loads of time in college but I wasted most of it relaxing and being young. Oh how I wish I could have all that time now, I would conquer the world. But I don't have 24 hours a day anymore to myself, I have 2-3 hours a day, on a good day.
Have a No List
I have a large poster on my wall divided into two columns. On the left side are post it notes with things and activities that I have said YES to. And on the right side are activities that I have said NO to. This gives me a visual of all the activities I have committed to. It also alows me to quickly see if I am overcommitting myself.
I love being a tired and stressed mom said no one ever. We all have a very limited amount of time and emotional energy. If you spread yourself too thin you won't be able to do anything well.
This visual board enables me to say no easier.
Have a Simple System
My second trick is to use a system to schedule my life. On another large poster I have the week mapped out. On Sunday night I write down all of my activites for the week and my entire to do list on post it notes. Each task is on a different color depending on how long it will take.
I then schedule them on my weekly board. If I do not complete the task on the designated day, I can move the post it note to another time. Again, this visual management works wonders for getting things done and staying focused.
Focus & Write an Ebook in a Month
At the beginning of May I created my outline for my ebook. I knew what helped me as a mom who blogs, so I wanted to pass on the knowledge and resources. I also know the struggles that mom bloggers go through.
Not being able to focus on anything for longer than 10 minutes. Being pulled in a million different directions. Finally sitting down to blog and then the baby wakes up. The struggle is real. It’s frustrating.
So I wanted to share all the templates and guides that help me blog smart.
I went through each process of starting a blog and outlined the most essential and crucial steps. My ebook would be a step by step guide. It would be like painting by numbers but for blogging. That focus helped guide my mentality.
Also, instead of explaining what makes a good blog post or a great pinnable image, I provided examples. The ebook is filled with visuals. I would rather see an example than read 500 words. The information is quick to learn and easy to implement.
How Can You Do It Too?
The entire month of May I only allowed myself to be on social media for quick promotion and checking in. I did not network or chat with other bloggers or friends. I needed to stay focused. Going cold turkey works for me.
Many of you may not agree with my method. It may not work for you. But having just one focus for the month was critical.
I know how easy it is for me to waste the entire baby’s nap time chatting on Facebook. It is one of my favorite parts of blogging – the networking with other wonderful moms. But I was very strict on myself and stayed focused.
After I created the outline of my ebook I completed one section every day. I broke down a huge task into bite size bits – and slowly I completed it. At the end of the day if I had completed a section, I celebrated with a glass of wine. Sometimes two.
In All Honesty, It Took a Bit of Luck.
And in all honesty, starting and completing an ebook in one month while in the trenches of motherhood took a bit of luck. No one got sick. There were no big events we had to plan or attend. Life was normal. I had a routine and had time to work each day.
So please do not be hard on yourself if you have been putting off creating that product for months, or years. A mom’s life is continuously changing. Be kind to yourself.
The Results – 2 Months Post Launch
I launched my ebook, Blog by Number on June 1st. It has almost been two months now and I am beyond thrilled on how well it has done. I have a large team of affiliates who have signed up to help me promote the book. I have also received nothing but great feedback and reviews! I get emails daily from bloggers who are not moms asking if they can purchase the book too – and of course the answer is yes – it is still super helpful!
Daily I get notifications of sales going through. It truly is an amazing feeling building my business while being a stay at home mom. I am beyond blessed.
I want other moms to be able to do this too! Never before has it been so easy and inexpensive for a woman to take on motherhood and be able to build her own brand all from home. Just imagine how large your blog will be a year from now if you just start today.
Suzi Whitford is an Industrial Engineer and blogger. She is the author of Blog by Number, an ebook for busy moms who want to start a blog. She shares blogging advice, productivity methods and resource guides to grow your blog while raising a family.
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suzi whitford Says
Thank you so much for featuring me on our site. I truly feel honored to have my name on iheartplanners.com! 🙂 I ‘met’ you when you did a webinar with Abby 🙂 So thank you so much! I hope my systems help other mommies accomplish their goals too!
Jill York Says
Time management is SO hard for me! Sometimes I feel like giving up on blogging because it seems like I have such a hard time balancing all the important things. Thanks for the great tips!
suzi whitford Says
Don’t give up! As a blogger you are wearing a lot of hats – researcher, writer, marketer, sales dept. I get overwhelmed too – but I normally then take a step back – drink a coffee or glass of wine – and try to look at the big picture. I think a lot of times we forget to take a few minutes to think, “Am I working on the RIGHT things, or am I just being busy?” 🙂
K. Ann Guinn Says
Wow, Suzi! Are you actually saying you’ve accomplished all that and only started up this past January??? If I understood correctly, that’s amazing! I also started my blog this past January, and I can honestly say that I can learn a lot from you! I do have trouble focusing and using my time well, which is probably my biggest setback.
Thanks for the great, practical advice and encouragement for what can be done. Keep up the good work! 🙂
And thanks to Laura for recognizing your talent and allowing you to share with us on her blog. 🙂
suzi whitford Says
Thank you so much for the super sweet comment! Yes, I started my current blog in January – I believe it was the 18th to be exact 🙂
My hubby and I are both productivity junkies – and I love applying the techniques in unique ways for motherhood.
Thanks again for the comment and encouragement!
Wow, thank you for sharing. Very encouraging! I agree, focus is so important to productivity. The idea of moving post it notes around is very interesting.
suzi whitford Says
Thank you Kristal! The biggest benefit of the post it planner is that it is visual. There are a million ways to schedule your life – but if you can have that schedule visually infront of you at all times – well that makes all the difference 🙂
Thanks for sharing this resource, Laura! I so need to focus! And stop getting distracted in the name of research!
Is the book good for someone who wants to blog but doesn’t have children at home and works outside the home?
LauraJane SaysPost author
I think so. It would be good for anyone with a limited amount of focused time.
Thanks so much for sharing! I love the visual reminders of what you ‘should’ be doing on your list. For the first time in memory, both of my kids have activities at least four days/week, so I’ll get a few minutes of time to myself! Woo-hoo!!
I find that concentrating on one room a day is my answer. That way every room gets good cleaning every week. Monday is bathrooms. Tuesday is kitchen. Do some extra cleaning and let the rest slide. Concentrate on one change at a time. Do less, play more. the work will always be waiting for you… do not concern yourself with what others do. they may be screaming at their spouse and children to keep up the facade- not us we are a little messy, but our children are happy and we choose to spend time with them.
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Om prakash Says
It’s an amazing content