I’ve been planning on writing this for a long time, as it’s one of my most frequently requested posts. I’m a full-time blogger, have been since August 2005, so that means I have to blog daily and I work for peanuts 😉
My schedule will be much different than yours as I have kids and have to adjust my work day to accomodate their schedule, however, maybe if we all share a sort of schedule we can learn some ways to blog more effectively.
My schedule is as follows:
6am – Wake up children and as they begin to get ready for school, I start researching via my newsfeeds. I’ll usually be able to blog 5 or 6 posts by the time I have to take them to school.
I’ve found that the earlier you post, the more likely your story will inspire others (and as such get carried all over the blogosphere).
8am – Take kids to school. This 20 minute trip is a great time to hash out in my head what I am going to focus on during the day. Of course, I often talk out a potential podcast during this time as well.
8:30am – I only do creative things at this time. From 8:30am to 10am I ONLY research and blog, and may even record a 10 minute podcast at this time. It’s often my most productive time of the day.
Avoiding email and phone calls during this time is so important. It may take me 5-10 minutes to put out a quality blog post, but if I am interrupted 2-3 times by email or phone, the same post may take me an hour. I don’t have time waste on these things during my productive time.
10am – I’ll check my email at this time and prioritize responses. This is when I decide what MUST be done today and what can wait until later in the week.
If I have time, which is rare, I will write an associated content article. Anything that takes concentration is taken care of during this time. The few hours I have before my kids get home is valuable and I have learned to treat it as such. Tedious tasks that require little concentration DO NOT get done during this time.
11:45 – Pick up kids. We’ll eat out our return home to a quick meal. Now, once my kids are hre with me, I am only half-heartedly working at this time. If they are here I am either on the deck with the laptop doing website work or researching and posting short pieces to one of my block. This time period is good for blog commenting because many people are responding about this time (guess they are goofing off at work?).
I try to comment on 25-50 sites per day. I haven’t done so well lately and it really affects your traffic, and ironically, it affects your posting. When I am actively participating in the conversation I end up with more ideas for posts because I better understand what people want out of a business blog.
2:30 – I have to go pick up my oldest daughter from school and we’ll usually go to Barnes and Noble or to a playground to give the kids time to run and play. I bring the laptop and work while we’re there, but again, I’m only partially productive because when they need me I stop and help them (admittedly, somtimes with grumbling) and then try to regain my place in whatever I was doing.
5:00 – We usually arrive home to fix dinner, bathe the kids and finish up any homework my kids might have. While I cook I listen to podcasts or read my blogs in Bloglines to stay focused on the news. This is the time much of Digg’s stories are hot so I might go digging during dinner prep as well.
7:00 – The kids watch a little TV and I blog some longer pieces I have put off until now. If my husband is home he’ll be posting beside me, but if not, I am forced to post alone, or at least as alone as I can be with four kids 😉
8:30 – Kids in bed, I’m looking for ideas for posting for tomorrow. Also, if I’ve put off email earlier in the day, this is when I tend to tackly the important, but not urgent, things I have to do. Any volunteer/ministry work gets done at this time.
11pm-2am – Bedtime. It varies every night, but I always bring my treo to bed with me. I’m one of those types that takes a long time to fall asleep, so I’ll play a mindless game like solitaire or Blue Blocks to make myself drowsy. Do you fall asleep easily?
Side note: I’ve learned that at least 2 days a week I leave the computer work around 2pm-ish and just hang out with my kids. They deserve to know that my laptop (or even the Treo) is not surgically attached to me and that I CAN exist without electronics.