This past April, rewardStyle held their annual blogging conference. During the conference, bloggers and influencers met for a weekend to attend classroom sessions, brand meetings, networking events and more. Katey and I were both incredibly honored to have been asked to speak and host a classroom session over time management and how to make the most of your work day/week. We were thrilled at the opportunity and honestly surprised at the feedback from both attendees and readers. It was brought to our attention that many of you were not able to join the conference but still wanted us to share key highlights from our classroom session.
Over my 6 years of blogging at TTD, it’s been really cool getting to know you guys. From your emails, comments to DMs, I feel like I know many of you as a friend. And it’s been very apparent that a lot of you (nearly 50%) are wanting to start a business or blog of your own someday. I love that we have so many entrepreneurs in the group! Just promise me you’ll share your tips too, okay?
In the meantime, here are our takeaways from our classroom session at the rewardStyle Conference:
As a digital publisher, you don’t have time to lose your day to a to-do list and neglect your audience. You own and operate an online publication which means you are always doing 3 to 6 tasks at once. In a saturated market, strong time management is a tactic you can use to stand out to brands.
Content is always key. A few ways I manage my time is through time blocking. I actually do a hybrid of both Day Blocking and Time Blocking. I share more tips in my Time Management post, but here’s a bit about what time blocking is.
Time Blocking or Day Blocking
Day blocking is a great method for those that lose their creative flow when switching back and forth between different tasks. This method requires a lot of discipline so you don’t unintentionally overlap in your schedule. We also recommend giving yourself a “flex” hour each day at your least productive hour, so you can tend to tasks that may fall in another day’s slot.
Time Blocking is when you dedicate specific parts of your day to a certain task. I use this for time sinks. Like when I am engaging on Social Media on researching for my editorial calendar. I break up emails 3 times a day with 15-20 minute increments. During my time blocking, I put my phone away (unless it’s engaging on social of course) and only focus on that one task.
Studies show if you are focusing solely on work, don’t give yourself more than 7 tasks per day. If you are working two jobs or a SAHM, no more than 3 work-related tasks a day. Prioritize! If you want to time block, I suggest using a cube timer.
- Helps you focus on one task at a time with minimal distractions.
- Prioritize tasks, or break large ones up into smaller time blocks.
- 5, 15, 30 and 60-minute increments
- Option to choose a hybrid method – you know your schedule
Ah, the not so fun stuff. Or at least I don’t think so anyway, but crucial for any business. It’s important to have a system for your invoices, taxes and legal documents. We shared some tips in this post and this post.
PLAN YOUR CONTENT: EDITORIAL CALANDER
Set up an editorial calendar based on research within your readership and research within traditional media.
This allows you to work in weekly, monthly and quarterly timelines. With your editorial calendar in place, make sure your brand contracts allow you an appropriate amount of time if there are delays in shipment and approval from the brand.
Knowing and understanding your audience is key for an effective editorial calendar.
I keep my editorial on my Google Calander but Katey uses a spreadsheet (which is incredibly detailed and efficient). Keeping an editorial calendar helps me stay organized and held accountable. This also helps me plan for seasonal trends, sponsored content and monthly series.
Be sure to check out Katey’s post for more helpful tips! xx Ashley
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