Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend a local mini-conference (or summit, or meetup, or something) where 3 online business rockstars spoke. In Utah this is a pretty big deal. I was able to hear from Mitch Joel, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan. It was really, really good – the Women Tech Council did a great job putting on the event. You should buy their books and read their blogs and all that stuff. There is a reason they are rockstars.
But that’s not really my point in bringing it up. My point is that I am constantly amazed by the continual quality of work and content that these guys produce online. I mean it really baffles me. They were actually asked how they do it during the summit, and their answers boiled down to two things:
- They make it a priority
- They make sacrifices
These are not uncommon answers for the “how do you find time to blog” question. In fact, they are both things I have heard before. I have been giving it a lot of thought lately though, because my own writing and content creation has been seriously neglected over the last… forever, and it’s about time it stopped. Or started. You know what I mean.
As I said, I have been giving it a lot of thought. So as of about 6 minutes ago, I am instituting a “blog for at least 15 minutes a day” policy in my life. Why? How? Let me break it down for you…
“I don’t have the time” and other such nonsense
A common hurdle to get over when to writing is the “I just don’t have the time to devote to writing” problem. Well I’m solving that one first. I’ll tell you right now, I don’t have the time. I have a full-time job I spend an unholy amount of hours working at, I have a family (including a new born), a house, and a number of side projects that take up all my waking hours, and some of my sleeping ones. But I also know that creating content is important, and it’s a skill I want to improve.
So instead of doing the whole “1000 words”, ”a post a day” or “3 posts a week” or whatever, I am blogging for 15 minutes a day. Now whether I can get something posted in that time frame is not what’s important. What is important is that 15 minutes is something I can plan for, schedule in, and accomplish without being pulled away to something else. You can’t really say “I don’t have the time to do X for 15 minutes every day” because then you are saying that you don’t have 15 minutes free. Which is a lie.
Why it’s not “Write for 15 minutes a day”
If you have ever blogged, you will know that it’s a lot more than writing. There is coming up with ideas, outlining and organizing them, writing, editing, revising, looking for fancy images, creating links, posting, tagging, promoting, etc. If I limited this 15 minutes to just writing, I would still never get anything posted. I would have volumes of unpostable drivel.
Now there will of course be some days that I will want to spend more time than just 15 minutes. For example, I hit the 15 minute mark about 42 seconds ago, but I’m still going. But according to my self-inflicted rules, I don’t have to. I could stop right here (.) and pick it up tomorrow, and post it then. But I happen to find myself with a little extra time tonight, so I will keep at it a bit longer.
I’m hoping that this system I have devised is going to do the trick. What’s the trick you ask? What’s the outcome I am hoping for?
The point of all this is to build the habit. Classical conditioning at work here. Very Pavlovian. I want to create content easier, blog more often, develop my thoughts better, share them with my peers and followers, have conversations and build relationships. All in 15 minutes a day!
I’m joking around a lot, but I am really serious. I am putting in the time. I’m getting out the laptop (not the phone or iPad or netbook or whatever – the workhorse), turning off the distractions that off buttons (Phone, Twitter, Facebook, IM, iPod, Pandora, Hulu, TV, etc.), hiding from the ones that don’t (the wife, the babies, the mom looking for tech support) and putting in 15 solid minutes of straight blogging every day.
So what do you think? I have a few questions I would love for you to answer in the comments:
- How do you find the time to blog? What have you found that works for you?
- Do you think my plan will work? Why or why not?
- Do you want to join me?
If you do want to join me in the 15-a-day plan, let me know. We’ll start an awesome club or something.