Would you publish more blog posts if each one took less time to write?
I’ve been noticing some bad habits that sap my concentration and productivity. In order to write more blog posts, I’m telling on myself and bringing these habits into the light.
This post will reveal:
- The 5 worst blogging habits that slow down your blog post writing
- The good habits you can practice instead
- The harmful ways you can multi-task even while working on the same 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. Multi blog-tasking
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 multi blog-tasking, 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 business owner 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 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
(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 there is a 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.
Now is the perfect time for new blogging habits
Since I identified and acknowledged these habits for myself, I’m much more conscious of when I’m slipping into them. I still don’t always make the best choice in the moment, but having the new habits at my fingertips makes them much easier to reach for.
Which of these habits do you recognize from your own experience?
Do you see how they’ve been slowing you down?
How would your business benefit if you could blog faster and produce more posts this year?
Please leave a comment below, and share the article with your peers!