Would you publish more blog posts if each one took less time to write?
Over the years I’ve noticed some of the bad habits that sap my concentration and productivity. In order to write more blog posts and help you do the same, I’m telling on myself and bringing these habits into the light.
This post will reveal:
- The top 5 blogging habits that slow down your blog post writing
- The habits you should practice instead
- How multitasking can harm your productivity even while working on one blog post
Research has shown that we lose time when we switch to another task and then come back again. Do this enough times and you can easily double or triple the time it takes to finish a blog post – or more than likely you’ll abandon it because you “don’t have enough time for blogging.”
Instead of multi-tasking, keep a notepad handy so when other to-do’s or ideas pop into your head, you can jot them down and deal with them once your blogging time is done. Consider closing all windows except your word processor, and turn off any notifications, ringers and alerts.
2. Blog Task Switching
Completing a blog post involves a multitude of sub-tasks, and they can each take you away from the writing process like any other type of multi-tasking. Some you’ll do before you write, such as brainstorming, creating an outline, and researching. Others you’ll do after you write, such as editing, and finding or creating images.
Not all of these tasks need the same type of energy as writing. When you group them together and constantly switch between them, you’re wasting what might be your optimal time for creativity and writing.
Instead of aimless blog task switching, divide up your blogging tasks and schedule them to match the natural ebb and flow of your day and week. Plan your writing time for when you typically feel most inspired and can work uninterrupted. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
3. Forcing an Idea
You’re a busy wellness professional with no time to waste. That’s why it’s so frustrating to spend hours working on a post that just never comes together.
It might be the wrong idea for your audience, you might be the wrong person to write the post, or it just might simply not be ready yet. Some ideas need time to incubate, while you gather your thoughts and inspiration and watch for interesting connections.
Instead of forcing an idea and wasting your precious time, set it aside for later, or even scrap the post and start again. Keep trying ideas from your editorial calendar until you find one you feel more enthusiastic about.
4. Letting Yourself Off the Hook
(Whoops, I just caught myself almost giving in to this one!)
Sometimes energy lags because you’re working on the wrong post. Other times you may just be having a momentary lag in motivation, a dip into fatigue, or a wave of self-doubt. Writing takes intense concentration and perseverance, especially if it’s not something you enjoy or that comes naturally.
If we give in every time something feels difficult or unpleasant, we never grow. In terms of blog post writing, you’ll just keep forcing yourself back to the starting line and that adds hours, days or weeks to the process.
Instead of letting yourself off the hook, push past the uncomfortable feelings and keep writing. If you need to re-set, take a few moments away from the computer to have a drink of water, put on some energizing music, and move around a bit. Then get right back to your blog writing. (I use the Pomodoro Technique, which integrates these mini-breaks.)
5. Trying to Be a Thought Leader
When you’re publishing your thoughts for the world to see, there is a lot of pressure to produce something outstanding. While thought leadership is a worthy goal, it is actually counter-productive to try to be a thought leader, as this can paralyze your writing with perfectionism and hesitation.
Instead of trying to be a thought leader, remember: Your blog readers don’t need to revere you, they need to remember you, particularly when they need for your services (for themselves or someone they know).
In the editing phase, you can look more objectively at the quality and value of your post. When you’re writing, focus on whatever problem you’re solving for your reader. Trust your own expertise. Get all of your ideas out of your head and onto the page.
This year will have the same 52 weeks and 365 days as last year. That means if you’re going to write more blog posts, you need to stop sabotaging yourself and blog faster.