I joke all the time that my BFF is my Quad-Timer. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without my timer when it comes to life and blogging. My timer ensures that I cover all the bases for my blog every day without getting sidetracked by Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Pinterest. Yup, all potential time sucks if I’m not careful.
Time Management for Bloggers
I’ve always used a timer for housekeeping stuff. I picked up the technique way back when I first learned about the FlyLady. One of her mantras was you can do a lot in 15 minutes. And you can. You can do a lot in just 10 minutes, too.
Timer on my iPhone
Ever since I bought my iPhone4S, I’ve had a timer app on the phone. I used it with the kids to do math drills during the summer. I also used it to time my planks, and I’ve used it to keep me on track with writing blog posts, scheduling, and just plain networking with my blogging buddies.
Recently, thanks to a recommendation by Kelli of 3 Boys and a Dog (cohost of the #learntoblog hangouts on Google+), I bought the Chef’s Quad-Timer. Now I am in heaven. Designed for a chef cooking food on 4 burners, the Quad Timer provides 4 options for timing. You can use all 4 at once, or have a schedule of set times.
I set my Quad Time up with the following time increments:
Writing Posts – 30 or 45 minute increments
I use the 30 and 45 minute increments for writing posts and editing images. If I’m doing a quick post like a linky party post, 30 minutes is usually enough time to update the template, grab the post images for the party image, set up the inlinkz script, and create the image in PicMonkey. I also use 30 minutes for posts I’ve already started and need to finish. 45 minutes is perfect when I’m writing a post from scratch, and need time to add in links and SEO.
Social Media, Commenting, and Scheduling – 15 or 20 minute increments
Every morning, I schedule Ahalogy, G+, and any other social promotion I need to do. Depending on how much scheduling I’ve done for the week, I will do 15 minutes for Ahalogy for pins from my site and the Ahalogy network. Next is G+ for 15 to 20 minutes depending on whether I need to schedule my linky party features. Later in the day, depending on my time, I spend another 15 to 20 minutes scheduling my social media.
I also use the timer for my commenting. I like to do 15 minutes responding comments on my blog, another 15 minutes commenting on my posts on my linky parties, and another 15 minutes commenting on G+ and Facebook.
Using the timer these ways helps me stay on track for the day. If I don’t have a lot of time, I cover the bases with 15 minute increments. If I have a full day of blogging, I do the scheduling, followed by writing, then commenting, and start all over again.