Time is money, don't waste it!

Having what Todd Morris from Home Business Tips called so nicely “Internet ADD” on one of his recent comments here, I always try to find better ways to stay focused on the task at hand (like writing an incredible useful blog post for you at this moment ;-))

As I wrote in the title, “time is money” and wasting time is therefor also wasting money. Now, if you are like me and my hyperactive brain, then you know that it is often difficult to stay focused and not to get sidetracked by something. Over time I have acquired some tips and tricks that help me to get actually a blog post written and not only to gather more or less useful information in my “human hard disc”. Here you go, hope one or more of them help you to become a better blogger, to save some time and make some more money:

Email
A simple change makes a big difference. I have set my email client so that it does NOT automatically checks every xyz minutes for new emails. That avoids that I get distracted by the “you have mail message / sound” and get tempted to “just quickly” read the email, see it is a response to a comment I have left on another blog, go to the blog, comment again, browse the latest posts and this blog, browse over to another commenters blog, leave there a comment >>> You get the idea 😉 Instead I go and check my email manually when I want and when I have the time to!

Checking Stats
I check my full stats one time in the morning and only occasionally check my Adsense account during the day, in case some idiot tries a bit of click bombing on one of my sites. To be disciplined and not to check my stats every few seconds has proven to be the biggest time saver of all. Because, lets be honest, earnings don’t increase magically when we check our stats, they increase when we do some — work!

Twitter and other social media
I disabled the twitter desktop tool I had, as it tempted me to just stare on the timeline and answer randomly to tweets. Now I “schedule” around an hour a day, broken up in little chunks, of “social media time” when I go to my Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts and update them, send messages, answer messages etc.

Browsing and Blog Commenting
Networking via reading and commenting on other people’s blogs is part of being a blogger and of being part of the blogosphere. I am still trying to get this one better under control, but the idea is to approve all comments asap, but then to only answer them only one time a day. I also try at the moment to get a browsing list of blogs together that I try to visit, and comment on, daily. But this one, needs some more work / discipline from my part, I have to admit. At the moment it is “Hey! Idea! I haven’t visited Lis in Australia recently, lets see what is going on on her blog!” And of I go to another travel into cyberspace 😉

White noise
I share one office / study with hubby who also works a lot from home. Add a very vocal cat to the mix, the telephone, visitors that ring the doorbell etc then you know why I am wearing headphones most of the time and watch-listen to some Harry Potter DVD 😉 Separating myself from the surroundings helps me to concentrate better on blogging.

One last tip, one I heard being recommended, but that doesn’t work for me, but might work for you is to turn off the spellchecker whilst writing out a blog post, article. In theory you then don’t get distracted by the little red, wavy line and don’t interrupt the flow of your writing. I simply don’t like it that way, I type and be concerned about my typing / spelling at the same time, which kind of defeats the purpose of turning off the spellchecker in the first place.

So, what are your favorite tricks on staying focused whilst blogging? Care to share?

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉

38 comments to Time is money, don’t waste it!

  • I agree that time is money and that is how I run my business. I make sure that I optimize my time and that it is used wisely. Mainly so I get the most value for the time put in and so that I can get back quickly to my blogging.

    Once home and blogging away, I don’t mind the little distractions. I can see where you’re coming from though.

    As to the email. I purposefully leave it on so that I know when someone leaves a comment so I can reply quickly.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Why Marketing Your Ad Space Should Precede Marketing Your Blog =-.

  • LOL..I can particularly relate to the ‘New email messages’ thing..My Gmail is on for almost as long as I am awake in a day..and everytime the Inbox text changes to Inbox(1), I can hardly concentrate on what I am doing and have to check out who sent the new email…And most often it would be some disqus notification to a new comment posted by someone somewhere…aargh..

    And no, I have not tried to change my habit yet..
    .-= Anand@Real time collaboration´s last blog ..Google Wave Extends Invitation Limit =-.

  • AdventureRob

    Hmm, annoying I know all of this, but gradually keep slipping discipline and going into bad habits. This is all easier said than done I find.

  • I thought there was a FireFox plugin for Adsense stats? That would be a time saver for those that are just addicted to checking their states every 10 minutes. 🙂

  • Ok, at first I didn’t understand why I was supposed to click on frogs. ; )

    How do you work while listening to Harry Potter? Don’t you find it distracting?

    Chris
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Is the Thanksgiving Turkey Bad for Your Dog? =-.

  • My todo list is in a sad state of affairs at the moment ! Friday was a right off because I was sick -didn’t get out of bed until 11am – got a headache from watching the screen (duh!) so had to go offline and do some domestic stuff like clean the car. Sat was just about as a bad, but I did advertise the car online, Sun was a dance competition, Monday I had a pile of messages about the car – net result 3 hours later car sold to happy French backpackers – but again sat down to work at 2pm! Sadly I think its going to be like this for the next few weeks – anyone want to buy a fridge – pick up from Perth!

  • Thanks for an interesting and informative post, Well I am suffer in “Disease” of checking my adsense status after every hour while after reading your post and specially an awesome title may be I will defeat my this “disease”.

  • hospitalera

    @Sire
    Thanks for your input, yes, different people have different set-ups that work for them, great that it works for you to leave your email notification on! SY

    @Anand
    Seems we have another thing in common 😉 If you have to change this habit or not depends entirely on if it helps or if it doesn’t help you, SY

    @AdventureRob
    Yes, I am not saying I am perfect, but I keep trying and sticking to it;-) It is a bit like dieting, you slip and have an ice cream one day, but the next day you are back to fresh fruit for desert. SY

    @Bill
    I have to check that one out, do you have a link? That would be great! SY

    @Chris
    Glad you found it out 😉 And no, I need the distraction to keep focused, that is the way my brain works, it serves as a kind of “white noise” for me. SY

    @lissie
    Hope you feel better!? Hope your big move goes well! And no, I don’t need a fridge, have you tried Twitter? Seriously, there must be a lot of people on Twitter that are from your area and are interested in your household goodies! SY

    @Rok Mejak
    Good luck and speedy recovery 😉 SY

  • I prefer to turn sound off on my computer, then there are no distractions from email, skype, icq and other sounds 🙂
    .-= Vi @ Travel Tips´s last blog ..Whale watching Sydney: 2009 season whale sightings update =-.

  • Treadmills equipment

    Exactly, the time is money. There are very few who can cash their lives in a better way. In fact spending life in a useful way, as I think, is saving our money.

  • hospitalera

    @Vi
    Like I wrote above, different things are working for different people 😉 SY

    @Treadmills equipment
    Thanks for your input 😉 SY

  • Man, I think I am so addicted to my e-mail that is really difficult not to check it all of the time! I applaud you for your discipline because I am sure that it saves you so much more time in the long run, but I always like to check my e-mail 24/7, especially since I have a home business.

  • @bill thanks for the tip, i had never heard of the plugin, firefox does everything.

  • hospitalera

    @Chuggin
    The situation is different when you run a home business and you have to react to customer questions, inquiries or complaints asap. You are right, SY

    @Jason
    I had a look at some of the firefox addons available, but I am not comfortable to give such a plugin the login details of my Google Adsense account. Seems a bit dangerous to me! SY

  • This is a great post and a very common problem! I find keeping a list of blog posts I want to do very helpful in keeping me focused on doing them. I’ve had some post ideas listed since the first of the year though. Writer’s block is not the problem – sitting down and spitting out my ideas out is!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Disarming the Velvet Revolution =-.

  • hospitalera

    @Karen
    Hey, stranger, long time not seen, how is life back in the States and how is the visa situation regarding coming back to Prague? SY

  • I agree, time is money. You need to use your time wisely. To successfully manage time, you must set priorities and distinguish which tasks are important and must be addressed immediately and which tasks can wait. Just try to stay away from distractions like when blogging, immediately close anything that distracts you.
    .-= Tabatha Hayes´s last blog ..Preparing for the Big Day: Christmas =-.

  • Audrey

    It is remarkable to me how many medium-sized and big corporations still treat working from home as if it is an opportunity to goof off. Then they wonder why they suffer from a brain drain!

    • hospitalera

      I am not really sure I do understand the relation between your comment and my blog post. Care to elaborate? SY

  • Brianna

    Love the site great article, would be nice to have some of the political discussion removed, but hey its your blog?

  • Mia

    Greatings from Singapore.. An excellent site there.. How do you manage to check the traffic? I mean I been using wordpress stats for WordPress any suggestion you can recommend for Joomla?

    • hospitalera

      I simply use Google Analytics, that is independent from the platform you use, just google “joomla+Google analytics” or similar and I am sure you will find great resources. I am not an Joomla user myself, so I can’t help you, sorry, SY

  • We perhaps have got some common techniques on which we both work on, like you, I’ve a tendency to lose my focus soon or get bored with the work I am doing so to stay focused and keep my mind involved in the work, I hear to some lectures etc I’ve got. That’s all I need, they keep me involved with the work I am doing.

    Like you, I also don’t like my email client checking every 5-10 minutes for the emails, I do it manually and it seems I am getting addicted to check my emails every 10-15 minutes manually now lol. Gotta work on that one.

    Ok now I may have one tip to share with you, if you use Firefox and as you speak of getting the list done of blogs you regularly visit for commenting. I’ve got an ebook about Firefox extensions and it has mentioned the name ‘Morning Coffee’, it allows to open up a group of websites set by you with a click of a button. I haven’t used this extension yet but it might become useful for you.

  • Hi SY,

    I agree that time is money and wasting it is wasting money. I’d go even further. Wasting our time is wasting our life. Within reason of course.

    Relaxation is just as important as hard work. But achieving balance is incredibly hard.

    I probably waste half of my time compared to someone who uses it most effectively and efficiently. Apparently there’s a difference between being effective and efficient. I lack in both.

    I don’t have my email on, like you, and I check it when I feel like it which is sometimes too often.

    I can’t stand ear plugs for too long and I don’t listen to anything while writing.

    My problem is that once I start doing something I tend to keep doing it for longer and more of it than I originally intended.

    For example if I start commenting I keep on commenting instead of just making a few comments and be done with it for the day.

    I know what’s the solution but I have a big resistance to it.

    It’s planning and scheduling. Ouch. I’m working on that.

    Vance

    • hospitalera

      Very true Vance, additionally we accumulate a huge amount of information in our heads without ever sharing and using them. Or at least I do, sometimes I am so caught up in research that I forget that the reason for all the research is to write an article about my findings. Perhaps I am more “way” then “goal” orientated 😉 SY

  • Checking email CONSTANTLY is my downfall. I check it, have the little Outlook notifier in the bottom right and get sidetracked all day long. I struggle though because I know quick response times are critical in my business and the reason for several of my sales. For me, that is just something I am going to have to live with.

    • hospitalera

      If email really IS crucial to your business, like when it comes to sales / customer care then there is nothing wrong with checking it all the time 😉 I was referring more to people like me that get distracted by emails like “somebody just commented on a blog post you have commented previously” and the like 😉 But that is just me, your situation might, and most likely will, vary, SY

  • I wanted to drop you a quick note to express my thanks. I’ve been reading through your blog for a few days or so and have picked up a ton of excellent information as well as enjoyed the way you’ve structured your site. I’m trying to run my own blog however I think its too general and I need to focus more on smaller topics. Being all things to all people is not all that its cracked up to be.
    .-= oliviya@smooth fitness coupons´s last blog ..Special offer =-.

    • hospitalera

      Glad to hear that you found this blog useful, feel free to drop any questions / suggestions you might have in a comment 😉 SY

  • Chris

    @oliviya I made the same mistake with my blog ifdogscouldread.com. By making it a general dog blog I put myself up against some very serious competition. The fact that my articles are not specific to a given theme hurts me as well.

    SY tried to point me in the right direction, but I’m afraid by then it was too late. My content is still across the board, but I think I’m going to leave it that way.

    Even though I know that blog will probably never receive much search engine traffic, I enjoy writing it. Although recently it seems other projects are taking a lot more of my time.

    Take care,
    Chris

  • These are all good tips. I agree that distractions are probably the biggest productivity zapper there is. You mentioned “white noise”. I was half-way expecting you to say that you use some type of white noise generator, such as a fan. Personally, I find that a fan helps generate enough white noise to mask many distracting sounds in my immediate environment.
    .-= Anthony @ Indianapolis Real Estate´s last blog ..Pheasant Point Franklin Indiana Subdivision =-.

    • hospitalera

      Lol Anthony, as hubby and I are sharing the same home office / study he might feel a bit “blown away”, but nevertheless a good tip for other people, SY

  • That is a good idea, schedueling a time to answer tweets can probably be teadious. I need to respond to my tweets, so great tip.