Thursday, June 3, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Time Tracker...

Image courtesy graymalkn via Flickr

This week, because of a lack of time, I threw up a very short and to the point post.  I asked visitors to share their biggest blogging frustration.  And then I left the post up there for 2 days rather than create another daily one, because of a lack of time.  I also thought it was an important question and leaving the post there gave it more attention.

So, guess what the biggest blogging frustration is for those who chose to leave a response?  LACK OF TIME.  The same frustration that caused me to post the question was the frustration it seems many of you share with me.

People also expressed a large frustration with the behind the scenes technological side of blogging, as well as motivation to come up with post ideas, or to blog at all.  But lets face it.  I can share here for you on Fridays as many helpful blogging tips that I've learned, but if you don't have the time to read them or implement them, they aren't very helpful - and not a good use of my own time.

So now I am curious how to cure this time management frustration.  As blogger Cinn @ A Journey of Books said in a chat earlier this week - "we need to stick a GPS on Time and see where it goes."  I couldn't agree more.  But since I can't seem to find a way to attach Andy's Garmin to Time, I created a little time tracker worksheet instead.

I'm going to take stock of my blogging related activities for one day at some point in the next couple of weeks and figure out what I'm doing and how long each piece is taking.  First, I'm going to write down my blogging priorities in order of most important to least.  Things like researching, plotting, posting, commenting, feed Reading, forums, online chats, and e-mail conversations, etc.  Then I'm going to track the time of my blogging activities and compare them to my priorities.

If you are looking to improve your blogging time management, join me in this little experiment.  Print yourself a copy of this Time Tracker Worksheet and take stock of your own blogging time.  Then come back in 2 weeks for my next Tech Tips post to see if I've come up with any bright ideas about how to manage it!  No more excuses.  Instead of blindly following Time's GPS, lets tell it where and when to go for once.

The above worksheet link requires a Google account to view.  If you do not have and do not want to have a Google account, let me know in the Comments or send me an e-mail and I will e-mail the worksheet to you instead.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love this! I printed it out, thanks! I intend to start using it tomorrow (unless it takes too much time - HA HA)

Candy Minx said...

I do pay a lot of attention to how much I spend on writing etc for blogging. I write a lot of things in my head while doing other things...and it comes out stream of consciousness and that seems to save a lot of time for me.

Usually I commit a certain amount of time a day to visiting other blogs. I say usually because I've been super busy away from the computer of late. But I usually commit an hour a day to visit other blogs. About 20 other blogs. To read them and leave a comment. I believe visiting other blogs is the secret to a good blog experience and it improves one's own blog...because people will often visit you if you spend time at their blog.

I love seeing and reading what others are up to and I find it inspires my day greatly. this commitment came about because I have been living in a foreign country and do not know a lot of people. the relationships...even just chit chat ones with other peoples blogs have greatly positively influenced my life.

The time is invaluable...yes, it does take about an hour but it's benefits are immense to me.

Malcolm R. Campbell said...

When it comes to time and blogging, it's true: a lot of time gets away from us. Distractions are easy and so are rationalizations. Do I really want to know where every minute goes? Do I want to see that, for example, I spent more minutes with the Facebook Hatchlings application than I spent creating new posts or working on my novel. I'm not sure that I do.


kayerj said...

good idea--although I don't think I'll let my husband see it. He thinks I WASTE a lot of time blogging. (I'm sure I do--but it's my time to waste isn't it?)

Margot said...

Great idea. I'm going to print this out and see what I come up with. Like Jill, I'll start tomorrow since I've already spent two and a half hours just reading blogs and whatever on line this morning. Oh - maybe I should write that down now, today. Good idea. Thanks Molly.

Little Ms Blogger said...

That's why I took the break I did. The amount of time spent blogging, reading other blogs began to feel like an obligation and I hated that feeling.

I have a different perspective on blogging and do it when I can and WANT to. I don't carve out any special time or take away from anything that I'd rather be doing. Basically, I go into my reader and read a few blogs here and there and go back to my daily life.

McGillicutty said...

yep it is time consuming... i'm finding it harder to keep up with all the blogs I like to follow.
my daughter once restricted me to one hour after they were in bed and it just didn't cut it!!!

Kathleen said...

Thanks, I downloaded the time tracker but I think I already know what my problem is. I spend so much time reading and commenting on other people's blogs that I don't write enough of my own posts.

Beth F said...

I'm tempted to tell you that I don't even have the time to fill out the time sheet! LOL. Yes, I was late to the game and was just about to go leave a comment saying "time," especially time to read and comment on blogs. Actually I can usually read, but I struggle to find the time to comment.

Gwen said...

My only issue with a time tracker is that I have the attention span of a gnat. For example, right now I have multiple tabs open, some are related to reading blogs, two are related to blog tech stuff, and then there are 2 emails open and don't forget Mixero for my 4 twitter streams. I bounce around to all of them, checking out this or that. It will be really hard for me to actually track what time I spend doing what.

The only thing that I have found so far that keeps me focused, doing one thing at a time, is a timer set for 15 minutes. (I haven't gotten back in the habit of using this system since we moved) I spend 15 minutes clearing email, 15 minutes working on blogging tasks, 15 minutes reading blogs, etc. 15 minutes is the absolute maximum I can spend doing one thing and sometimes that is even too much.

I will try to get back on the timer and log how many increments I use for what on your sheet. Try, being the operative word:)

Michelle said...

This is an absolutely fantastic idea! I have a feeling I know where my time goes (hello, Twitter - I'm looking at you). I have thought, on more than one occasion, about the need to set a timer for certain tasks and move on. My OCD really works against me some days because I really have issues with stepping away from something unfinished. I'm getting better, but I still need to learn to set that timer! I can't wait to see what the results of this little experiment is!