Are you interested in starting a blog but don’t know how to find the time? Find out how you can make time to run a successful blog in this post.
One of the biggest questions I get from people when it comes to starting a blog is:
“How can I make time to blog?”
The answer isn’t always so obvious. Of course, we’d all love to just plop down a 3 or 5 or even 8-hour chunk of time every day to get things done… but that just isn’t realistic for most of us.
Most of us have full-time jobs, are stay-at-home parents, or simply just have a lot on our plates in life right now. You might only have an hour here or there each day (or even chunks of 20-minutes at a time) to get even life done – let alone starting a brand new blog.
And that right there is the trick having chunks of 20 minutes of time within a day for specific tasks is exactly how I have developed a blogging strategy that works this is how I’ve been able to create a successful five-figure earning blog on 2 hours a day.
That’s exactly how I’m setting this blog up – and how I continue to run it. On chunks of 1 to 2 hours every day. I try to reserve my weekends for my family and my personal time and dedicate my evenings to keeping my blogs and businesses running.
Finding time is all about adjusting how you go about your day. It’s about finding the unused pockets of time in your day to devote to growing your blog.
The truth of the matter is that most of us have time in our day and we’re just not using to its full potential. In this post, I want to have us dig deep to discover that hidden time using this simple strategy that has helped me clear out the clutter on a TON of extra tasks that got in my way of finding time to blog.
The strategy that I’ve used in the past couple years that has changed EVERYTHING about how I go about my daily life and running my blogs is called the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule is a well-known idea that for everything you do, 80% of the result is in 20% of the hard work
Especially for those of us who have a million things on our plates, every minute really counts during our days. When you aim for efficiency in your day, you can let go of some of the “daily grind” that we often get so wrapped up in and find more freedom in your life.
My husband harps on me for being so into efficiency, but the truth is that I’d rather figure out what works best to get things done the fastest and easiest than spend precious time doing things I don’t love or give me the results I’m after in my day-to-day life. It’s not my goal to spend all my time doing chores and making meals. So I optimize my time and effort to make sure that’s not the case.
If you’re a parent, you probably do a mountain of laundry, clean dishes, wipe down tables and floors, pick up toys, beg your kids to pick of their messes, cart your kids to and from events, have social activities, talk to your family on the phone or via email, and try to sneak in a little bit of me-time and partner-time when you can. And that’s just on the parenting front! If you’re working full time, all that stuff has to be done AFTER 5pm. The to do list can be extremely overwhelming and crazy-making!
I’m sure there’s a huge list of other things you do too.
I want to introduce you to the idea of the 80/20 rule.
The idea of the 80/20 rule is that at the end of the week, you may have felt busy, but aren’t any closer to creating the goals you have for yourself. Your house is still a mess, you haven’t had a meal with your partner, and you don’t remember the last time you got even 5 minutes alone. You’ve had on your dream board or your goal list to start a blog for 3 years and it just hasn’t happened yet.
The point is that you’re spending 80% of your time on the things that don’t matter to your happiness or your overall well-being. While the other 20% (the part that really lights you up) is getting the short end of the stick.
When you swap that ratio on its head, you aim to spend 80% of your time focusing on REALLY matters to you. While the other stuff that gets in the way gets reduced to 20% of your time.
Identify what your top 3 daily objectives are
Obviously, we all have long to-do lists, but the challenge for this exercise is to narrow it down to just three. Yep, you saw that right… THREE. I like to keep these objectives vague enough where I know I can accomplish something every day – and still not be overwhelmed.
As an example, you might say:
- Take care of your child
- Go to work
- Take care of yourself, spouse, and your household
Take an inventory of your day
What are the tasks that you do on a daily basis? List out what a typical day looks like and all that tasks (large and small) – and make a rough estimate of how much time you spend doing each task.
Really get into the weeds here with the things that you do. And be honest about the time you zone out on your phone, computer, or watching TV. You can look back at your Netflix queue or check out your settings on your phone to see how much time you’ve been on Facebook or playing games within a week. It’s honestly a VERY eye-opening exercise to go through your day and see how you actually spend it.
Compare your inventory of tasks against your top 3 daily objectives
Go through your entire list and see what tasks you’re doing that aren’t getting you closer to those daily objectives. Ask yourself some of these questions to really dig in to the details as to whether you’re making excuses for having no time… or if the truth is that you need to MAKE more time.
- What tasks are you doing regularly that aren’t getting you any closer to your objectives?
- What tasks are you doing repetitively that you can put into chunks and do them fewer times throughout the week?
- What areas of your day are spent doing similar tasks that could easily be combined to be more efficient?
- Which tasks can you group together to entirely take off your plate either by not doing them or delegating to others?
It’s hard to do this kind of self reflection and inventory. We often see things that we don’t want to. When I first did this exercise, I learned how much time I was wasting on watching TV, being on my phone, and simply just not being present with my family, despite feeling like I had no time at all. I assumed that if I felt busy that what I was doing was important, but when I looked at how I spent my day against my daily objectives, I realized exactly why I didn’t feel like I had time and also why I was never any closer to my larger life goals.
When you do this exercise, you can see the things you’re doing throughout the day that simply don’t matter to the larger picture of your life (ahem, being on Facebook or scrolling through Instagram).
Even better though, from this exercise, you can start to stack the tasks that you do throughout the day by doing the important things first. You can tackle the tasks that get you to your top 3 daily objectives, and leave everything else for later – or don’t do them at all. Best of all, you can free up time in your day to take on some new goals you might have for yourself… like starting a blog.
Cut out the excess tasks that aren’t getting you closer to your goals
When I apply the 80/20 rule in my everyday life, I wind up cutting out a ton of excess stuff that I’ve been doing just for the sake of doing it. Things like doing the dishes three times a day, checking my personal email and Facebook 30 times a day, doing laundry every day of the week, and keeping myself so busy with my family and social events that I forget to do something just for me.
Best of all, doing the 80/20 exercise helps you to see the areas in your life that you can chunk together and make a new routine for yourself. For example, I used to spend so much time out of my house going to different places around town – going to the grocery store, post office, getting gas, going to the library, or taking my son to and from school.
After doing this exercise, I realized how much time I was wasting in my week by doing each one of these things one at a time instead of all at once when possible. So now, whenever I leave the house I do a mental checklist of different places I need to go and when I have time, I chunk them all together. My weekly Monday rotation is to go to the post office, library, pick things up from the grocery store, and get gas on the way home if I need it. I do all of these things at once so I have even more time back to do things I want to do – like work on my blog or spend time with my family.
When I’m thoroughly engrossed in my 80/20 practice, I do most of my chores on Sundays, errands and meal prep on Mondays, and leave the rest of the week to do light pickup or minimal daily chores like dishes, laundry, and vacuuming. This 80/20 practice even helped me justify getting a robot vacuum.. Hello! Why waste time vacuuming when I could spend that extra 30 minutes every week working on my blog?!
What I love about this approach is that I get all the important stuff that makes me happy, feel productive, and fulfilled into my calendar before anything “extra” gets thrown in… or accidentally eating up my day.
Make working on your blog a priority – even in small chunks of time
When you cut down on all the excess activities and chores that you don’t need to or want to be doing anymore, you have the potential to free up tons of time in your day or week to make building your blog a priority. It might not be hours every day, but it could be 20 minutes here or there to start moving in the right direction, step by step.
When you think about your daily life, what places do you think you could benefit from a little more efficiency? Where could you flip the 80/20 on its head to free up some time for you to devote to creating your dream blog and lifestyle?
By spending time looking over your daily and weekly activities, my hope is that you can start to identify pockets of time that you can use for creating and growing that blog idea that’s been sitting on the back burner. Remember we all have the same number of hours in a day – it’s just how we choose to use them that makes us unique. I challenge you to look for even just one extra 20-minute chunk of time in your day to devote to creating or growing your blog.