Blogging 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.To Your "Internet Lifestyle",