Saturday, July 25, 2009

Setting Parameters to Online Time

Jenn here.

Do you blog? Do you read blogs? If so, how many blogs do you write and read a day? How much time is being consumed by blogging and reading blogs?

If you're like me, you have a limited amount of time to get on the computer to blog, social network, check and respond to email, and write on your manuscripts. The key is to set parameters around your blogging and social networking time so that it doesn't eat into your writing time. Now that I'm having problems with my eyes and computer light seems to strain them, I find my time even more limited than before.

I've started timing myself on the computer. I set an hour for checking email and writing my blog in the mornings. That hour includes a quick update on Twitter, which auto posts on Facebook. My blogs are set to post to Facebook as well, so it looks like I'm busier on FB than I really am. If blogging and online networking takes up more time than that, I'm blogging too much. If email takes up too much time, I stop responding to people and email loops. I used to stress over returning an email within 24 hours, but I've stopped doing that to myself. I don't write full-time, so I can't promote and market and deal with people as if I do. My goal is not to let an email go more than 2-3 days if possible. I do scan the subject lines to make sure I'm not overlooking something that seems vital. I've had to do this for my health and my sanity.

The rest of my computer time must be spent on writing and researching my manuscripts. My goal is to produce a couple of new pages each day. Some days I manage more. Other days I have to answer interview questions, write guest blogs for promotion on other blogs, and I try to comment on at least five new blogs a day. This lets people know about me and it builds readers on my own blogs.

If you get the chance, it's best to sit down one day a week and write all your blogs in that week and set them to post on their appropriate days and times. I've even taken a weekend and done this for the whole month. That way I have more writing time in the mornings throughout the month and I don't have to worry about blogging.

Set parameters, time yourself, and set goals for each time slot you spend online. You'll be amazed at the writing time you can carve out for yourself. Time management is a positive thing, and when done well, it works.


  1. Jenn,

    Great article! I am in the same situation as I'm sure others are also. Too many blogs, too many emails, too much to do = not enough time to write!

    Thanks for sharing how you handle this!

  2. Jenn,

    Good timing with your post. I'm really trying to figure out time management. Like Edwina said...not enough time to write.

    I know there are things I could do differentley. I'm trying!!

    Thanks for the suggestions you made. They are very helpful.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more. Just this morning I was trying to set up a schedule so everything could be managed. It is so easy for me to get sucked into reading blogs, commenting, facebook, etc. and I get away from writing. I am still looking for the right balance.

  4. Thanks for the article on time management. I recently got a new computer (my first laptop), so I've been spending way to much time on the computer. I'm either checking my facebook, looking at blogs, or writing on forums. I have way to much time on my hands, but it'll soon change once the school year starts because I'm a teacher. I really should be using the last few weeks before school to prepare, rather than spending so much time on the internet.


  5. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I'm glad my post on Time Management is helpful. It's a daily struggle for me to put my own advice in use.

    Many blessings to you in finding the right balance.

  6. Great suggestions, Jenn! I'm so bad that when I open my laptop and turn it on, my first instinct is to open Internet Explorer!

    Not a good habit. I've been trying to save the email and online stuff for later in the day when I'm getting tired. I hope to do better.