It’s About Time! – Like When Is It NOT?

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Sorry this is a long post …

Rabbit

It’s About Time! – Like When Is It NOT?

Part 4.2

This is the very last post in this mini-series and it must be pointed out now, that this is quite possibly the ‘geekiest’ of the five. Ideal for those who like myself are fascinated with Time, numbers, patterns, routines, schedules and colour. I am a very colour orientated person and l respond to colour like many respond to other stimulants and by introducing colour into my day l find that it motivates and inspires me to ‘crack on!’. [This will make more sense at the bottom of the post]

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Marthe Troly-Curtin

This post highlights and displays with schedules and worksheets how l managed to combat my time – and l know my style or strategy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea or even ideal use of Time – but as the quote above suggests if you enjoy wasting Time – then it is indeed not wasted Time – so whilst the content that follows may seem strange to those who do not need this kind of fixed rigidity in their life nor are obsessed with Time itself then l can only say with hand upon heart … “Wow to be you! I envy you!! Seriously!!” 

It ‘s not always my choice to be so hyperfocused on certain things l assure you – however it’s a seriously large part to my genetics so l have to let it ride till l have achieved peace of mind.

l said in 4.1 l would NOT be able to conquer Time in so far as creating an 8 day week and 25 hour day  in the conventional manner and so  this meant that l had to create a totally new Time strategy to work by.

Now to those who might be asking, why the big deal? Why are you making Mountains out of Molehills – Just Blog – and that is a perfectly fine question to those whom are able to regulate their Time and moderate their abilities with regards their writing.

But l am not very good at that and l NEVER have been, it’s a daily struggle and one l seek to achieve balance with and have battled almost on demon level since my childhood. I am fascinated with Time like robots are fascinated with electronics and sadly l tend to look at things more like an Android than a humn – in certain areas l am less human – one of these areas is Time Use.

Although l am better these days than say fifteen years ago, it doesn’t take much for me to suddenly lose the plot and forget that l am human and become a robot again! This whole series has been about Time itself but also …

Passion – Moderation – Blogging – Balance – Time Management – Being Human – Living Life – People – Letting Go – Regulation – Self Training – Business Management – Enjoying Life – Finding More Time – Free Time.

When l upgraded my blog in June this year from Premium to eCommerce l did so with the clear intention that l would start to change the way l was managing my Time, personally and business wise.

However prior to that upgrade, whilst l was also a business blog l was very much a personal blog and what l aimed to do was balance myself to equal shares of Time split between personal blogging and business blogging – but also to try and find valuable Time for other things of importance to me – living life, interaction with people, studying for success and career and enjoying other past time and leisurely activities – there was lots l wanted to do and achieve, but l was losing Time in my blog for whatever reason and this needed to be ironed out.

Time was running away from me – l was enjoying blogging too much and l was too indulgent in what l was doing. Am l wrong to say l was overly indulgent in my own Time use?? No, l am right in using this term – l was trying to do too much and yet l was struggling to achieve the other stuff l needed to do – and this was long before l wanted to start to study for business and personal career choices.

So ….

Taking Control of Time Again ….

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Readership Interaction

Huge Time Consumer

I do not use the internal WordPress Reader – I have a very specific reading system established in my blog – it’s a personal page for my eyes only and this allows me to see my favourited readers very quickly and l use that – so l travel  from blog to blog rather than from post to post internally.

I was struggling to sustain engagement with my audience and becoming seriously anxious about it all – yes – Stressed!  You see, whilst not everyone may agree with this … but as MUCH as l do blog for myself – l/we do write for an audience, l write for my readership as well as for my own pleasures. I am not detached from the simple fact that without an audience or readership, whilst my blog would exist anyway it would not be a breathing entity if not for the engagement of my readership! Blogs need readers, reading and readerships because without them, words, posts, topics and so on are just dead and taking up space. A readership even if not commenting  still breathes life into your content.

But it’s not a one sided journey – – whilst l don’t deny that as blogs grow and increase in size – bloggers cannot get to every single one of their followers. At that point they may purely only be able to interact with those whom comment on their published posts – fine – but they are still interacting – but prior to that size how on earth are writers and bloggers alike supposed to interact and engage with their entire audience on a healthy regular basis?

Truth is, it can’t be done – not in the way many might think – but a healthy percentage can be achieved when you start to apply some logic to it and once you have acquired the learnings of this method you must apply it.

What is the method?

Be realistic in what you can and cannot personally achieve – identify key commenters, understand that they are your most devout readers and they will be your biggest supporters. Once you have recognised them – work with them, socialise with them, interact and engage and read what they write on as regular a basis as they read your own content.  They will become your social circle and your closest online virtual friends and allies. They become influencers for you and you become an influencer for them.

This doesn’t mean you do not interact with other readers, of course you do – but you can only primarily focus 100%  properly on handfuls of people at once effectively. In the old system, l was struggling with this process and trying to read too many blogs every week. This was not working! A close friend of mine gave me some excellent advice – Angie said ‘work with less and work more closely with them’ – best advice l ever received. But also to NOT feel guilty about what you couldn’t do – life’s too short!

Now under the new system instead of trying to read 90+ favourited blogs a week – l only read 32 dedicated blogs every week and an additional favourited 29 blogs once a month. I spend 1 hour a day reading 6 blogs and commenting. I now only share to my own audience two pieces of work a week from my readership and they will be posts which l consider worth a share again.

So far this is working very well and it allows me valuable time to interact, engage and participate in my readership again and spend quality time with them and thoroughly enjoy their writing … and prompts.

Talking of which …

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Prompts

Huge Time Consumer

A few months ago, l was doing a lot of prompts and they were taking up considerable time every week – too much time. I felt obligated to taking part and creating them and the fact is l wasn’t even really doing my own prompts which was kind of strange … a friend of mine suggested that if l didn’t like doing prompts then why was l doing them, and maybe the answer was to only do prompts l enjoyed?

Sounds obvious right? Of course it does, but sometimes you become so closely wrapped up in your prompt creation that you lose sight of what you are doing. You see, l do like certain prompts but not all, and there are certain types of prompts l enjoy doing when l have the time … but prompts are supposed to be fun and not become a chore. But you need an outsider to observe that for you.

I don’t specifically create ‘prompts’ anymore well l do and l don’t…. l do the prompts l like such as questions, quotes and film and music – but l do have the time now to take part in reader prompts again which is brilliant. However, something l also do now is, as one of my favourite prompt types to create is questions – l do answer them first, which is something else my friend suggested l do when advising me to not force myself thinking l was obligated to do prompts , so many thanks Ursula.

But the other thing which is a huge consumer of Time is how many prompts you respond to weekly ….

These days I make Time each week to take part in the minimum and maximum of readership prompts and respond to 3 – 5 only per week. The average is around 4. Of my own Question/Game prompts I have four that are created over 10 days.

***

In Yesterday’s post 4.1Paula wrote this in response …

Yep, I totally gotcha there. Gave up the 3TC and reading every post in my feed. Now I do a scattershot read, focusing on those who leave comments on mine and others as I have time. I also (sorry) have given up a lot of the fun question type posts regularly and only do them on occasion.

What’s interesting though is I’m finding it more enjoyable to write one long (800 word) post in a continuing story, now that I can focus, rather than stress about churning out 4-5 mini posts per day. Interesting to me anyway!

Paula’s response here tied in beautifully with that post and today’s post – that the moment you start to take control of your Time again and identify what is causing anxiety, stress, tension and let go of those negative aspects – you start to feel more refreshed. Paula, cut down on her prompt creation, trying to read every single post published, rigid reading and responding to prompts. By doing this –  she was able to start enjoying her blogging experience again. This is the secret isn’t it? Everyone is different, but we each have to find our style, our personal strategy – once we have this in situ – life becomes easier.

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Reblogs/Shares

Prior to the eCommerce upgrade l used to share a lot of my readership’s content to my own blog – with eCommerce, that function is not so easy or instant – if l wish to share content from another blog, l must write a very specific linked post as l am unable to simply hit ‘reblog’. This seemed like a problem at first, but it worked to my advantage  – now all l do is ‘share’ two pieces of published content a week from my readership.

Additionally, a new thing from me – as in it’s been in full effect for the last ten days is l no longer ‘reblog’ my own content and if l do so, it is literally a Random Question. I no longer reblog frequently – l studied it like l study everything l have penned in this series for weeks on end to test if it is effective and concluded that reblogging my own content was really not 100% effective. So l stopped. [Deep vaulted poetry admittedly is reblogged once every three months]

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Post Creation

We are now nearing the Geeky part!!

 

Create great single use/read content and keep doing it! That’s what l am working on these days, producing different content each day even with the daily features.

Now you may recall when l paid mention to the staggering number of 18+ posts per day let me explain that … it wasn’t all my own work – in May this year my blog published  …. 10 – 12 my own Content posts, 3 reblogged content of my own and 5 – 8 shared readership posts per day. So not much really …. but still an annoying amount. This had to change ….

I set myself targets – end goal is to produce 4 ‘single use’ content posts daily come 2020 … l have been very successful so far  – and literally in the last two weeks l have managed to secure 6 single use content posts per day, and yesterday l managed to achieve 5 and still maintained  my statistics for 8.

I don’t watch my stats very closely as in cry if they drop, but l have been watching them for the last few months and especially since upgrading to eCommerce – because where as prior to that upgrade l was receiving 1000 views a day which was quite a few, after the upgrade – they dropped significantly.

Now, Views to me are nice – but the real stats of importance l think – are Visitors, Likes and Comments because these are the real engagement and interaction figures -whereas Views can be affected by having two servers – if l wanted to just open new pages , l would affect my daily viewings.

Once eCommerce was on board interestingly enough l dropped stats from 1000 views a day to 400 – very odd l have to say ha ha. But l think todays figures are probably more accurate. My average viewing figures daily were for September between 335 and 355 – but since l have made the changes to my October blog and more so since l started only producing 6 posts per day, my Views figures are starting to rise and stay risen and now uphold 380-395 daily. But l have across Visitors, Likes and Comments an average figure of 150 on each stat daily, so l am quite happy with those.

Month

Daily Posts Being Created

Reduce Daily Posts To

June

15

12

July

12

10

August

10

8

September

8

6

October

6

6

December

6

4

Other changes however that l made to post/post creation were – a major shuffle out of the series, features and prompts/games l offer my readership monthly and came to a more organised layout and scheduler of events and so now …. on the personal blog l offer Three main areas…….

Dailies

Prompts

Random & Topical

….. whilst on the ‘business’ side to the blog , l only offer two areas…

Blogger Reviewer

Blogger Glossop

As of yet, you haven’t seen much of the business blog side – although the series The Changing Face and The Positive Brain are features from that side.

But what l needed to do was  … ‘fine tune’ posts and so the last three months has seen that fine tuning being worked into schedulers, planners and colour management schemes.

The strategy l needed to adopt was what l created in June and then hammered to a nice result last month. October is the first month that the completed strategy is being implemented. Months of trials/testing successfully or unsuccessfully, starting at the starting post again – hundreds of ideas thrown into the bin – systems worked and knocked into shape.  Produced the following :

Weird numbers, routines, patterns and colour coding.

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SMARTER THINKING – THINK SMARTER

6.55am – 21.55pm [15 Hours]

05 – 03 – 08 – 02 – 10 = 11

39 Units Per Week Maximum

Ideal Posts Per Day 5 [5] – Target 2020 [4]

Minimum Prompts Per Week 3 – Maximum 5 [3] [8]

Maximum Shares Per Week 2 [2]

Minimum 4 Posts Per Day – Maximum 6 Posts Per day [10]

Minus 1 on either [11]

Posting Times

06.35 – 06.55

09.25 – 09.55

12.25 – 12.55

15.15 – 15.55

18.25 – 18.55

21.25 – 21.55

Features

Prompt or Share

Features

Series

Challenge/Competition/Award

Game

All the above was created to moderate my Time more effectively – this post is long because this process although it looks long and incredibly complex isn’t …. but trying to write this strategy down and commit to paper is long winded where as the actual physical aspect of the strategy is much simpler as it only uses coloured magnets placed into Time Zones.

However  ….. above is posting times that achieve greater response and traffic footfall, ideintification of content posts that work and are read and not ignored. The creation of something called the ‘Prime Post’ meaning that is the main post of the day, as in this post is a Prime Post and a host of other little goodies that makes life seriously easy.  I managed to understand that as long as l had  a form of rigidity in situ, l could be 100% flexible with it and around it – it became fluid in its movement.

With this strategy l was finally able to really understand exactly how my blog worked, how my readership ticked, what they wanted to read and see and how to tie in their engagement and interaction with my social fun.

It looks more complex than it is … however it works. My blog is operational from 06.55am – 21.55pm daily. I am however only involved in blog creation, publishing and interaction for 8 hours per day. I can now take a half day on Saturdays and l am working to achieve a full day off on Sundays and be away from my blog. With the remaining time daily l am now able to concentrate on business and personal study, shop creation and enjoy evenings off.

I know this must look odd to someone who doesn’t have a problem with self regulation and or Time Management problems – but to someone who does, this was the only way l could achieve my 8 day week and 25 hour day and peace of mind.

Job done!

Weekly Scheduler #August Prototype

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Weekly Scheduler Actual Working Model – This Morning 16th October 2019

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Wall Planner 7th October – 13th October – 1st Full Successful Week

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Wall Planner 14th October 2019 The New Week Ahead

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Wall Planner as of This Morning 16th October 2019

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Thanks for reading ….

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18 thoughts on “It’s About Time! – Like When Is It NOT?

  1. I love that you’ve made room for Murphy😂
    How much time do you think you’ve devoted to getting this system in smooth working order? Roughly. Unless you already know the answer, which wouldn’t surprise me at all😉😁
    Turning the problem into a puzzle and then solving it, finally, must give you great satisfaction on top of the smooth running blog. I’m very glad I was helpful. That makes me happy.
    💌

    1. Wow, l am impressed if you read that post, that was longer than even l wanted it to be, but l wanted to wrap it up and not run into 4.3 or 5 ha ha.

      I can answer that question – so you guessed right. The longest time dedicated to it and the trialling process was from effectively as in really knuckling down and resolving the issues 1st July to first week September – then once the back was broken and l had the basics in situ – it became a lot easier – much easier and very quickly more efficient.

      From the first week September the two leading components were the wall planner and the Excel sheet and they were then just subjected to Time testing and tweaking.

      In the very last week of September everything fell into place, and it is literally been working properly as a system and without hiccup since Saturday 5th October – so 11 days efficiency and l am thrilled .

      So in answer to your question .. from problem identification to problem solved, just over 90 days with as said 11 days fresh and working.

      Yes you did help, but so too did a lot of people along the route, my friends here helped, whether they knew it or not, everytime they expressed a negative or objective or welcome comment, everything was noted and l was noting comments from my readership back in May of this year.

      So everyone helped 🙂

  2. I’m loving this post. Some great advice and some humor as we poke at ourselves. We attract what we are and I’m thinking you have some type A friends (self included LOL). Laughing at my ability to relate to your post aside…you put some terrific advice in here for new bloggers in the community.

    1. Hey Emily – glad you enjoyed it – well we both know the best advice is the learned experience and hey if we can’t poke fun at ourselves first ha ha 🙂

  3. Great post! I’ve been struggling with time management as well. While I am familiar with excel (because of IT), I do not like working with it. I like the way you’ve scheduled yours and it has inspired my own. I have a few social media places that I’d like to give one on one focus. So, instead of trying to work on each one every day, I’m going to be scheduling more focus time on a couple of them a day. Thanks!

  4. I’m enjoying your blog much more without all that rebloggery nonsense. I don’t mind a poem or two from your archives, but I don’t want to read gobs of other people’s stuff on your blog.

    My stats have sunk dreadfully without the 3TC and churnout of silly question posts. I don’t care!

    1. Hey Paula, Thanks.

      I am enjoying my blog more these days now l have the time to enjoy it more …. l have more time to think about what l am doing as opposed to churning content out like a droog daily.

      Reblogging other content was okay it was a community thing – but as they say ‘less is more’ – your figures will return – l am sure of it 🙂

    1. Hey Ribana, it works – and it isn’t that complicated – it looks like it is because l do run close on to 20 features over the course of a month now, which will increase to around 30 in the next few months – with this system in place, l will be less stressed 🙂

      1. That’s the most important, to feel less stressed 🙂
        I think if we start to not enjoy it only being stressed, then we are really tempted to forget about all this 🙂
        Finding the way that works is difficult, but when you find it, you start to enjoy it better 🙂

  5. It’s been a very interesting series, Rory, thank you for sharing your behind the scenes in this manner 🙂

    I’ll admit I tuned out a third of the way through this last post in the series and skimmed the rest. The comment of mine which you used in the first episode in this series, the bit where I said – “but I blog differently from you” – resounded loudly in my ears as I read this post.

    I also tuned out a bit in the penultimate post in this series because I perceive and experience time differently from you too – it’s more a wibbly wobbly timey wimey. Seconds, minutes, hours are human construct stuff and my dyslexia isn’t interested, finds it too stressful, boring to get with the human time construct program.

    That bit where you mentioned being 65% personal and 35% business was very informative, now I get what was not making sense to me about you and the way you blog and what you say about it. You see other bloggers as friends but also as stats because you’re 65% personal and 35% business. You treat blogging as work/chore (esp. the reading of other bloggers’ posts) but also as something fun because of that too. I get it now, at least intellectually I get it.

    Best wishes for your next phase!

    1. Hey Ursula … in truth this post especially, l expected people to zone out – it was a lot of words and as l said to Angie yesterday it was more than l had expected, but l wanted to wrap the series up and not run it into a 6th episode.

      The 65/35 – 35/65 ratio is the issue with me i struggle to seperate business and personal – it’s the way it is with some of us.

      Thanks for reading, contributing and commenting 🙂

      1. If you’re naturally 65 personal and 35 business then that’s the way that you are, that’s part of your you-ness – the you-ness is what makes each individual blog you-nique 😀

        There is no issue other than that you’re trying to separate something which doesn’t want to be separated within you. Give up the struggle and embrace the whole as is.

        For me the fact that you were open about the 65/35 makes everything fall into place.

        When people reveal themselves as they are, are open about it, it makes it easy to understand them and what they do.

        When people hide themselves, wear a facade, try to be who they are not because they think that’s who they should be to be liked, loved, to sell product – the product of themselves, etc. then it’s easy to misunderstand them and what they do.

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