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Blogs consume their publishers.

They require intense concentration and time.  There’s always something to do and not enough time to do it.  Blogs are the only marketing tool that requires such a huge intellectual and emotional investment.  I’ve heard many people compare their blogs to children.  I agree.

Like children, authoring posts and growing a blog is deeply gratifying.  I still remember the day I saw Pushing Social mentioned in another blog post.  I still read my first comment.  I’ve kept the drafts of every blog post I’ve ever written, like a photo album of my “baby’s” progress.

The problem is that our blogs aren’t children.  They are tools that help us achieve tangible goals.  Like any other tool, we must keep our blog in perspective.  We also need to stay mindful of the tremendous effort a blog requires and balance our energy and time investment accordingly.

4 Quadrant Blog Time Management How to Balance Your Blogging Tasks Without Going Crazy : Blog PromotionThe first step to achieving balance is to identify your important and urgent tasks.  I’ve adopted the famous 4 Quadrant Time Management framework developed by Steven Covey to organize tasks.

The 4-Quadrant Framework creates four quadrants based on importance and urgency.

Here’s how I’ve organized my 4-Quadrants:

Urgent / Important Blogging Tasks

You need to perform these tasks every day.  Procrastinating our waiting will undermine your blog’s quality and growth.  These tasks should be completed when you are at your highest energy level.  For me, I complete these first thing in the morning and at 9PM, times when I’m most creative.

Not Urgent / Important

These tasks are critical for the long-term growth of my blog.  These tasks enhances your blog’s income-producing ability and creates long-term reader loyalty.  It’s tempting to ignore these tasks but doing so will undermine your blog’s success.

I recommend setting aside a chunk of time (2-3 hours) when you can concentrate intensely on these tasks.  For me, that’s Sunday afternoon when I can change my environment and get myself into a highly inspired and creative state.

  • Product Creation
  • Email List Growth
  • Blog Promotion
  • Reader Management (Comments and Emails)

Urgent / Not Important

These tasks are like vitamins and nutrition to an athlete.  Each one of them should be reviewed and optimized to make sure they don’t become Urgent and Important – i.e. Your blog gets hacked.

Each of these tasks can be handled at different times.  Blog infrastructure is done on an as-needed basis.  While Social community moderation is completed daily, I allocate a set amount of time (:30 minutes) to keep myself on track.  Search Engine Optimization and Analytics are handled weekly.  Of course, you will allocate time based on your schedule and situation.

Note: I’m often asked where I host Pushing Social. After getting hacked and experiencing site down-time, I moved Pushing Social to Synthesis.  They uprooted the hack, increased my site speed, and my site hasn’t gone down in months.  By far, this is the best investment I’ve made.

Not Important / Not Urgent

I have to admit that this is where I like to spend time.  However, these items aren’t as important or urgent as they feel.  These tasks should be handled when you have addressed the other quadrants.  These tasks are also great candidates for outsourcing and delegation

Complete these tasks in your spare time.  Resist the temptation to elevate these items to important status.

  • Theme Tweaks
  • Plugin Testing
  • Social Profile Creation

Optimize the Quadrants for Your Schedule and Priorities

If you are solely responsible for your blog then your quadrants will look similar to the ones I outlined.  Your quadrant items will change if you are managing the blog for a business or client.  However, be careful to put the right items in the right quadrants.  It’s rare that you’ll justify tweaking a plugin as Urgent and Important!

We’ll talk more about balance in weeks to come.  For now, make sure that you’ve outlined your blogging tasks and weighted them accordingly.

Before you go, tell me what you think of the 4-Quadrant approach.  Can you apply it to your situation?


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  • http://www.chivonjohn.com Chivon

    This is an awesome post Stanford! I’m a visual learner so having a quadrant like this is a great learning aid to underscore the importance of knowing where our time should be spend and to quickly catch energy robbers. Thank you.

    • Stanford

      Glad you liked it Chivon.

  • http://cherylnorman.com Cheryl Norman

    Excellent post, Stanford. As both a fiction writer and cookbook writer, I’m trying to balance my time between social networking for the two. In most cases, I target different audiences. Social networking robs me of productivity. Your quadrant graphic will help. Thanks!

    • Stanford

      Social networking can be a time-suck if you don’t have a specific objective in mind. I also make sure that I put a time limit on my social stuff to make sure that a 15-minute check doesn’t turn into a 2-hour distraction

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  • http://lacreatureandyou.wordpress.com/ Raphaele

    Interesting: “Guest posting” is urgent / important whereas I would have thought it was important but not urgent. I may need to rethink. On the other hand I have “Product Creation” down as Important/Urgent as I am in crafts and it is the essential part of my business: no product, no blog post :)

    • Stanford

      It’s urgent & important because its a proven method for getting new readers to your blog. It’s also an “essential” habit that will accelerate your blog’s growth. Bloggers who make it a priority and act with a “sense of urgency” will reap the benefits.

      I actually debated putting Product Creation in the Important/Urgent field. I decided on its current classification because creating products aren’t critical for getting new visitors. They help but aren’t critical.

  • http://www.o3internet.com Carol Kneedler

    Thanks, Stanford. As a new blogger, sometimes getting everything done can be a challenge – your post helped me think about priorities for tasks, especially the “every day” part!

    • Stanford

      You’re welcome Carol.