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Cut the Blogging Overwhelm by Asking These 3 Powerful Questions

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Cut the Blogging OverwhelmBlogging can be an excellent source of income. 

But it can also get overwhelming at times.

Fortunately Timo (aka: Productive Superdad) has a few quick solutions.  In this guest post, he provides three simple questions that can help you combat the overwhelm.

You thought that blogging was a simple way to become rich and famous. You thought that a couple of hours per week on your blog would bring you success and fame – almost overnight.

Now, after blogging for a while, you know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Your task list is now miles long and even the simplest tasks take forever to finish. You seem to be adding new tasks to your list everyday and you can’t get these tasks done, no matter how hard you work.

This disheartens you and you start to procrastinate – even if you know that your work is important. Needless to say, your progress towards blogging stardom is facing some real difficulties.

The longer you keep working like this, the longer you’ll have to wait for blogging success.

You are thinking of quitting your blogging career because you’re not seeing any results.

And I don’t blame you, since I would feel exactly the same if I were you.

Stop in order to go faster

Let’s analyze what might cause the scenario I just described.

First and foremost, you might have had the wrong expectations towards blogging before you got started.

If you got the idea that blogging is an easy and simple way to reach success with very little effort, then unfortunately you were mistaken.

Blogging is anything but easy and simple – especially if you want to do it properly. You have to do research, create dynamite content on a consistent basis, promote it, connect with other bloggers, build your email list… and this is just a tip of the iceberg.

Another great way to cause the overwhelm is to try to do too much at once. This causes you to do all kinds of tasks by yourself, since you feel that no one else is capable of doing them.

The overwhelm and stress is also a result of your inability to stop.

“Stop? Why should I stop if I want to be more productive?” you ask.

Without stopping and looking around, you can’t improve your current (ineffective) actions and trim your routines for better productivity.

Are you afraid to change?

The inability to stop, unwillingness to let go and the overwhelm are the result of some fundamental roadblocks in your mind: over-complicating things and fear.

When was the last time you took a good look at your existing routines and how you were doing your blogging tasks?

Six months ago? Last year? Never?

Whatever the answer is, it’s probably been too long.

As you know, you should be able to react to new improved strategies or new technologies quickly to stop yourself being overloaded by work. Your job is to keep your methods as streamlined and as simple as possible – not confuse or overcomplicate them.

The overwhelm is the result of fear. You want to be everywhere and be involved in everything. You think that if you are not doing that, others will get past you and get all the success, while you keep on failing.

The overwhelm occurs also because of a lack of trust (which is caused by fear too). You are unwilling to let go of your work to others, even if they could perform those tasks faster and better than you.

As long as fear and complications are in your head, you’ll find the road to blogging success to be very rocky.

A critical look at your tasks

Things don’t have to be like this. In fact, things can be much better if you take a moment and listen to what I’m telling you.

Let’s start with your task list first: how many of those tasks on your list are really important? Are they contributing to your blogging goals somehow?

You don’t know?

Well, what are those tasks doing on your task list then? This is a sure sign that these tasks are never going to be completed.

Next, what about the tools you are using – are they the right ones for the job?

The benefit of having the right tools is that you can automate (and even get rid of) many of the tasks you normally do manually. Whatever your task is, look out for tools to help you complete it.

Lastly, check your working routines: can you do something with these to minimise your workload? If you can, then you should incorporate that new way of working into your existing workflows.

 

All you have to do is trim (and ask)

To find blogging happiness, you must restart your journey. Do the following steps in your everyday work.

1. Trim your backlog. Take a look at your blogging backlog and be ruthless: get rid of tasks which do not contribute to your blogging goals.

It’s very easy to keep adding tasks to your to-do list, but after a while the tasks that were once so important are now just cluttering your list.

That’s why you should trim your task list on a monthly basis. Take the last Sunday of every month to have a critical look at your tasks. Assess whether they serve your blogging goals or not. If not, just remove them off your list.

2. Ask yourself these powerful questions. Once you have done the trimming, it’s time to improve your focus and increase your performance for the rest of the tasks on the list.

You do this by putting your mind to work and asking these three questions:

  • “What am I not doing now?”
  • “How do I get more with less?”
  • “How can I use MED (Minimum Effective Dose – see the explanation below) with my blogging tasks?”

Here is the greatest thing: these questions kick your brain into gear and lead you to the answers you are looking for.

The first question, “What am I not doing now?” is from Lucy Jo Palladino’s book, “FindYourFocusZone”.

This question is a great way to get back on track if you are procrastinating.

You could be tempted to check out Facebook instead of writing a guest post, or watch YouTube instead of creating a free report for your email list.

Whatever the case is, this question exposes your avoidance of your task.

Note which task(s) you are avoiding and make the decision to take care of them. That fun task can wait a while, since it doesn’t contribute to your blogging goals in any way.

The second question, “How can I get more with less?” is another great question that I learned after reading a book “Living the 80/20 Way” by Richard Koch

This question seeks to find solutions for getting more results with less effort. When it comes to blogging, it’s a question of improving results by optimizing your routines and automating your work.

For example:

  • Join a service that automatically submits your RSS to various social media platforms as soon as you publish on your blog.
  • An automated way of promoting your posts on social media.
  • Generate more leads to your email list with the help of re-marketing. Create banner ads and display them to your visitors.

Another great way to get more done with less is to hire someone else to do some of your work. You could hire someone to proofread your posts or repurpose your content for different platforms, which could then promote your work even further.

The third question, How can I use MED with my blogging tasks?” is a very interesting one and it was originally coined by the late Arthur Jones. This method (MED) was later introduced by Tim Ferriss in his book “The 4-HourBody”.

MED stands for Minimum Effective Dose. The main purpose of MED is to figure out the smallest amount of effort to achieve a certain outcome.

The classic example of MED is in my social media usage. I spend just 15 minutes on social  media on a daily basis. That way I’m not ignoring social media completely but I’m also not wasting hours on social media.

3. Create a habit of asking. None of these questions are effective if you are not asking them on continual basis. The goal is to make a habit out of them, so that your brain keeps providing answers all the time.

Whatever task you do, ask yourself these questions and let your brain show you a better way to get the work done.

Over to you: are you overwhelmed as a blogger? How do you get blogging tasks done? Do you ask questions to improve your own actions?

Share your experiences and comments in the comment area.

Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Trevor

Love the questions, Timo!

I (try, as in usually) to use a minute timer to keep track of my tasks – 15 minute countdown for task A, 30 minutes for task B.

With practice, I can feel the end of my time block approaching, if it isn’t completed, I can wrap it up and leave it ready to begin at my next session.

Scheduling solid blocks of 45-60 minutes, without getting up or allowing distractions are another must for my workflow. Take a break and sit back down to get at it again!

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Trevor :)

Timer is a very powerful tool and it has improved my productivity too.

I also tend to work in time blocks – mostly between 45-50 minutes at a time. It seems to be the best time to get work done in focused way.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Michael Chibuzor

“How can I get more with less is the question” I always ask myself. When it comes to productivity, bloggers must recognize the difference between business and busyness. Earlier in my blogging career, I worked 6 hours daily, but achieved little. As I write this comment Steve, I’m already making more money from blogging, and I work less than 3 hours daily.

You want to know why? Because I focused on my core tasks. I expelled social media marketing for 2 months and focused on crafting quality content. That imparted my blog, my audience grew and I started getting orders on my products and services. I love blogging now – Kind of rewarding when you get focused.

I hope my 2-cent can help someone stay on course. Good luck Steve.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Michael!

I think we are sharing the same strategy: focusing on core tasks only.

This has reduced my blogging stress and overwhelm – something I had earlier.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Shirley Corder

Thanks for some good suggestions, Steve. Checking out the links for programmes to help save time.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Shirley :)

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Tune

Solid advice Timo.

I simply figured out what my goals are, and what the shortest route towards them is. Then I take action every day that brings me closer to the goal.

And not to get to much of track I don’t spend time on all the things you are supposed to as a blogger, for one I don’t have a twitter account.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi Tune!

You have a solid plan in place!

And yeah … you don’t need to do what everyone else does in order to be successful. So yes, you can definitely manage without Twitter account :)

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

You’re definitely right when you say people expect way too much from blogging way too soon. I found this out first-hand when I partnered with two different people from Craigslist to write a blog on their topic of expertise. Both sounded excited and were ready to go. To make a long story short – they both quit – the first after only 2 posts and the second after a whopping 0 posts. When people hear blogging they think “make easy money fast”. They don’t understand that with blogging (and entrepreneurship in general) the WORK comes before the MONEY.

Thomas

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thomas,

Absolutely right. In fact, you have to do quite a bit of work first and the money will follow later.

However, if you are ready to do the work and you are consistent with your efforts, you can reach blogging success someday.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Tim Bonner

Hey Timo

I’m a stay at home dad and I started my blog a few months back.

You’ve given me some really useful information to take forward. I struggle sometimes to find the time to write but I will take a look at other tasks and see if I can’t just trim them.

Thanks for sharing.

Tim

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi Tim!

Great to hear that :)

In case you want more time management advice, I have a section of free e-books I have written related to this topic:

http://www.productivesuperdad.com/time-management-ebook/

Take a look!

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Arwin Adriano

Hi Timo,

Great advice here, it is no doubt that it is hard to stay focus but if you make yourself more dedicated then I am sure you’re hitting the right track.

Thanks for the share.

Arwin

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi Arwin!

Thank you :)

The more you focus, the better results you get – I agree.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Jens P. Berget

Hey Timo,

That’s great advice. What I’ve discovered and you talk about this too, is the importance of focus. I used to just write and drive traffic to my blog, but I didn’t have I good way of earning money from the traffic or the people reading my blog. So I had to start focusing on one task/project at a time.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Jens!

Project focus will definitely improve your results. I think you are on the right track!

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Bill@ Succinct Research

Excellent advice, Timo. I had to learn how to be more productive after my son was born and I decided to start blogging for income. It has been pretty hard work and you have to keep at it. I started using some meditation and visualization techniques to boost my energy and keep my eye on the prize. The ultimate goal is to stay at home with my kids and do this full time.

I just clicked on some of your links and am interested to see how you’ve done it. Thanks for the info.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Bill!

Visualization and meditation – I want to learn more about it!

What I have heard that visualization can be pretty powerful, so looking forward to learn more about it.

Any books I should read about the topic?

PS. I’m publishing a blogging productivity e-book very soon. You might find it helpful when it comes to improving your blogging processes.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Bill@ Succinct Research

Visualization is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, it’s been around since the 70s and has been rehashed a bunch of times with not very good results (ex. The Secret). If you want to get to the source, check out one of the originals– “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain. She wrote that book almost 40 years ago and has literally created an awesome lifestyle giving retreats and workshops on how to use visualization. I’m not an affiliate of hers, but I’d love to be one because she literally invented the “how to become an expert” niche before there even was an internet.

If you want to know a couple more books that have influenced my thought over the years, check out my Slideshare slideshow on a 30-day meditation challenge I just finished this last week. There are a few references of good books you can look up at your local library or buy ‘em through my affiliate links in the slideshow.

http://www.slideshare.net/JobsinAyurveda/30-day-meditationchallenge

You can also see my YouTube explanation of what happened to me on the 30-day challenge. Look up my channel: Ayurveda Jobs.

I think you may have landed another follower, Timo. I’ll keep watching your stuff online.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Bill :)

Yes, I’ll take a look at the channel/SlideShare presentation and the book recommendation too!

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Md Firdosh

people think that earning money from blogging is very easy but its my personal experience that its not easy . It need lots of dedication if anyone want to earn money from blogging.Thanks to you author for providing such a useful information on blogging.These three questions are really very helpful

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi!

Yes, I agree. Blogging requires dedicated effort. It’s definitely not get-rich-quick type of thing.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Vektor

Great one. we expect too much from our blogs , while we should focus to improve blogs for achieving the results we wait.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi Vektor!

Thank you for your comment. Great to hear you liked the article.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

george

Yes i couldn’t agree more. Blogging is very hard work. Social media promotion, keeping oneselves updated and above all google panda and penguin. Its alabour of love .

Reply

Timo Kiander

Hi George!

Yes, blogging requires a lot of work.

I hope that with these questions, you can make your workload a bit more lighter :)

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

Nancy

Excellent advice. After reading this I went over my task list and found that a lot of time-consuming tasks that I could easily drop or just outsource (the small tedious tasks), but I was adding it to my list each day simply because I had space to allot to it. Now I am going through my entire list and finding out what’s really important and will produce the most results. Thanks again.

Reply

Timo Kiander

Thank you Nancy!

That’s great to hear! I’m glad that this article was helpful.

Cheers,
Timo

Reply

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