My life looks like this. Sometimes I’m so completely organised and I work productively, and other times I feel like I’m working blindfolded and waste a lot of time. It’s silly really, because I know exactly the secret to working efficiently and it’s not at all difficult to do. It just requires two things; time and the power of planning.
It’s when something happens like coming back from a holiday that throws me. I applied the secret and planned really well working so hard leading up to it and then when I get back to work, I’m treading water. I play catch up. Of course I’m so pressed for time that I feel that I don’t have any of it to dedicate to planning. Catch 22.
I’ve been forced back into the situation because I have something so exciting coming up which I’ll let you know really soon. This “something” is forcing me to plan ahead, I need to be more organised than I’ve ever been before. It’s taken me about a day to sit down and jot down a blog schedule for the next two months. Along with that, I’ve also worked out a three-month plan of areas of focus for each month. This is kind of like a mini version of my 2016 one-page roadmap. You know what? It feels so good. Everything is crystal clear and I can sleep easy at night.
I was speaking to some other bloggers lately and it seems that so many of us are chasing our tails and quite often not knowing what on earth we’re going to blog about until the last minute. Of course, that is the spontaneity of blogging, and it is important in our industry, it’s what makes the content so fresh. But if we have a plan, at least always a month in advance, we will have that peace of mind and then when some cool things come up, or an idea for a blog post pops to mind (like this one), then we can blog about it and reschedule the other idea.
Now there are some super organised people out there, some of them schedule a year in advance! My hat goes off to them. It’s my bet though, that most of us don’t naturally work like this. My goal for the moment is to have a plan of a couple of months in advance minimum, with a few blog posts up my sleeve in case something pops up, or if I have an off day.
There are loads of different ways to plan your schedule. There are many apps and programs that you need to pay for. I’ve always kept it very simple and have worked on a continuous Excel spreadsheet that I set out in calendar format. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s easy to navigate and get a great picture of what’s coming up.
Now that I’m organised and have a plan for the next couple of months, I can free my mind from always wondering what I should post about, it allows for more interesting content, that also has the flexibility for spontaneity. Most of all, I will be more efficient using my work hours and gain more free time!
Do you find yourself planning at the last minute, or do you work to some sort of schedule? I’d love to know of any programs you use and techniques that work for you.