Set Your Blogging Priorities For 2016
We have just passed the one week mark in the new year. Is your calendar still a blank slate? Have you taken the time to look at the new year as a fresh start for your business, and perhaps your life? Think about it and imagine the possibilities of a fresh new year all laid out before you.
What steps can you take now, today, before the year is more than one week old to set your priorities for a productive and successful 2015? What blogging or business goals do you want to set? Look at the entire year in front of you as being rife with possibilities and chances at new beginnings. Don’t you just love that feeling? I do!
If you’re like many of us, you feel you just do not have enough time in the day to get everything done. I have been there, and still am on some days, so I understand. Are you looking back and 2014 and wondering, “Where did the year go and what did I accomplish?” If that’s your mindset, you should take some time this week and write down what you accomplished. I’ll bet you did more and achieved more than you thought you did. If, for some reason you didn’t, then now is the time to change that and shoot for higher success in 2015.
I suggest this: Write down your goals. Post them where you can see them. Add them to your daily to dos and make it happen!
Here are my favorite steps for setting your priorities for business, blogging and life for the next 51 weeks:
- You can’t prioritize if you don’t know what your priorities are. Sounds simple, but many people skip this basic step. Write down ALL of your priorities. After you’ve finished that, look at them with a critical eye and assign them in order of importance. Even though everything may be a priority you can’t do it all at once and that’s why having a ranking system is crucial to your success.
- Now that you have ranked your priorities, look at them again and set realistic time frames to each priority. Want to write a book? How many hours do you think it will truly take? Or how many hours a day can you devote to that (or any) task on your priority list? How many hours a day do you want to work? Keep that in mind when you’re assigning time frames to tasks.
- What results do you want? Writing down a priority and assigning a time frame to it, won’t help you achieve it if you aren’t certain what the ultimate result is. For example, “write a book” is a priority that brings with it its own visible result. But if your priority is to “bring in more customers” or “blog more often” how will you know if you’ve it if you haven’t set a measurable result. “Blog more often” should be, “Blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday” – measurable and result-oriented.
- Don’t get bogged down in your emails. If you look at the messages that flood your inbox aren’t there many of them that you could ignore? Are there newsletters that come to you that you don’t even open? Unsubscribe. Items that linger in your inbox (or hard copy on your desk). They sap your energy so get rid of them! Answer the emails and respond to requests as soon a you see them. Only touch your emails once. Don’t read them and then think you will get back to it. Again, this is a lingering task that saps your energy in addition to doubling your work load.
- You need to have blank spaces in your schedule. Scheduling your entire day leaves no room for a family emergency or an unexpected phone call from a client. If that happens and you’re scheduled with no white space what will you have to let go? Scheduling a buffer into your calendar helps your productivity because you will not be operating in panic aka reactive mode if something unexpected comes along. When you think about it, truly when does everything in life or work go according to plan?
- Did you know that setting a deadline will help you conquer procrastination? Just as you’ve set your priorities above and added in the amount of time it will take to complete them, now you want to add in a deadline. For example, “write a book” if you don’t assign deadlines you will likely put it off until December 31, 2015 and chances are you won’t be able to write an entire book before the stroke of midnight, right? Break your bigger projects down into bite-sized chunks and assign due dates to them. For example under write a book, you could set a priority of: create outline, think of chapter names, begin research, write first chapter, etc.
If this is the year that you’re going to become a solopreneur, write that down on your priority list and give it a ranking. If you’re driven and determined to become a self bosser as Barbara Winter says, you should rank it high on your list and assign the number of hours a day/week you can devote to it and make it happen.
If, you find at the end of the day, your to do list is either longer than when you started the day or if you simply haven’t checked off many items it is time to step back and see where you might be wasting (yes, I said wasting) your time. Are you involved in tasks not on your to do list? If so, why? Write down how long you’re involved in tasks that aren’t related to your priorities and see if that’s why you didn’t complete a task. For example do you think you’re only on social media for five or ten minutes at a stretch but if you truly track it you notice you’re spending an hour or more? If you’re drowning in your to dos and they aren’t making it to a “done” list, take a step back, start a time tracker and see where you’re going off track.
Robbi Hess is a Written Marketing Specialist and business owner at All Words Matter. She works with small business owners to help them share their business story on their websites, blogs, newsletters and in their print media. Contact her if you want to have Your Words. Your Message. Put Where They Belong! Contact me for a complimentary 15-minute content strategy session.