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If you’re like me, one of the reasons that you started blogging (or any entrepreneurial dream) was to have a passive income. Passive income means that your blog (or other business) makes money even when you’re not working (i.e. the opposite of being paid only when you are “punched in.”)
However, most bloggers and entrepreneurs I know quickly learn a dirty little secret: it takes a lot of time. From writing posts, to sharing those posts, to searching for sponsored opportunities, to building your social networks, to working with affiliate networks, the list of possible things to do seem endless every day.
While it is true that blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, I found that I spent more time on it then I really needed to due to my own lack of preparation and planning. To help myself get back to the idea of “passive”, it was necessary to learn how to get more done in less time.
Get More Done in Less Time
What does that actually mean? It means that I wanted to spend less time everyday actually working on my blog, while, at the same time, I wanted it to be more effective. I wanted to write more posts, have more social media followers, and make more money. The only question I had was, is that actually possible?
I’m happy to say that it is. Through some trial and error, I’ve focused on three traits that allow me to be more productive in less time. They are:
Many people claim they are wonderful multitaskers. I’m not saying they aren’t. But from my personal experience, it is very difficult to do multiple tasks at the same time. Or, at the very least, to do them well.
Time blocking, for me, has been instrumental is being more productive in less time. While many people talk about it, I stumbled across the idea from The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris (a must read for any blogger or entrepreneur – it’s full of so many great tips on how to be more productive in less time).
The idea behind time blocking is that you pick a task and give yourself a specified amount of time to work on that task. For example, giving yourself one hour to write a blog post. Then, during that hour, all you do is write that blog post. You don’t check email. You don’t see how your social media is doing. You just sit down and write.
Time blocking is great because it allows you to focus. And when I focus on one task, I find that I can do a more quality job in less time. I’ve also found that putting a tight deadline actually improves my productivity because I have no time to spare. Does it usually take me an hour to write a post? Then I’ll only give myself 45 minutes. The pressure causes me to work faster and smarter – and I often find that, not only can I get it done in less time, but I often do better work.
One of the things that make time blocking possible with blogging is to delegate certain tasks. Take social media. It’s not actually a good idea to post all your social media for the day (or week) in 30 minutes on Monday morning. Social media thrives by continuous interaction throughout the day. But that continuous interaction throughout the day goes against the productivity that time blocking allows.
Which is why delegating is so important. The two social media platforms that I have found work the best for my blog are Pinterest and Twitter. So I want to make sure that both those accounts are as active as possible. Which means I depend on Tailwind and Revive Old Post.
Tailwind is a posting app for Pinterest. Basically it allows you to sit down for 30 minutes and schedule all your posts for the week (or month). It sets it up so that they are posting throughout the day (and even schedules the pins to post and the most optimal times for traffic). They even have a new SmartLoop feature that will automatically schedule your most popular posts (saving you even more time). My engagement on Pinterest has skyrocketed since I started using Tailwind and I spend dramatically less time on it than ever before. You can get a free trail with Tailwind (which gives you 100 free pins) by clicking here.
Revive Old Post is a posting app for Twitter. Like Tailwind, it will schedule posts so that your Twitter feed is alive and active. It even can be set up to automatically go through your old posts and tweet them out. This help keeps engagement up for your entire site – even those posts you wrote a year or two ago. You can get a free trial with Revive Old Post by clicking here.
Close the Distractions
As a blogger, I spend a lot of time on my computer. And my computer is where I find most of my distractions. From a notification that I have a new email, to my twitter feed continuously showing me new tweets, it can be extremely difficult to focus on the task at hand. Which is why, when I time block, I close everything else on my computer. I close my email app, I close my social media, and I close my messaging app. I will also leave my phone in the other room (on silent).
Once everything is closed, I find it much easier to focus. With no distractions pulling my focus, I can work faster and better. And, more often than not, when I open things back up, I find that I haven’t missed anything important.
The wonderful thing about blogging is that you get to spend time writing and sharing things you are passionate about. If done correctly, it also allows you to work less so that you have the time to do those very things you are passionate about! With a few steps of planning and preparation, it is possible to enjoy a passive income by being more productive in less time.
Do you have any go-to productivity tips? Share them in the comments below!