Clock faceWhen people first realise just how many blogs I maintain, the first thing they always ask is ‘Where do you find the time to write all of that stuff?’. Here’s a look at how I generally go about it.

Firstly, only a few of my sites are updated daily. Of these, only one – Straight to the Bar – regularly contains ‘time-critical’ content. Things which are in the news or on other blogs.

The remaining oft-updated sites (this blog and 99 shades of grey, an environmental site) contain articles that can be written in advance. In fact, they usually are.

I’ve effectively reversed the typical 5 day / 2 day week; in which most people work 5 days then take 2 days’ break. I work solidly for 2 days, and perform minor maintenance duties on the remaining 5. Oh, and spend 5 days enjoying the things that most people only have a weekend to enjoy.

How does this actually work?

During Saturday and Sunday each week I aim to write 5 articles for this blog, 5 for 99 shades of grey and at least one major one for Straight to the Bar (whilst many posts on the site are quite brief, the Monday article series’ more than make up for this). I don’t always reach my target 11 pieces, but that’s always the goal.

Any articles that are not written during these two days are simply written as required during the week. Perhaps 2 or 3 are done this way.

NB : these articles are always written in a simple text editor (usually just TextEdit), and are not transferred to the relevant blogs until complete.

Once the weekend’s frenzied writing is over, the articles are copied to the blogs, links created and images found. This part of the process can itself take quite some time. The articles are then scheduled to appear automatically during the week. Whilst I’m usually there to oversee the final stage (the actual publishing), it doesn’t really matter if I’m not. The article is still released into the wild.

How did I switch from a 5-day-week to a 2-day-week?

I can assure you, it didn’t happen overnight. More to the point, I actually changed from a 7-day work week to essentially a 2 day one.

This was accomplished through two types of changes :

  • Improved efficiency. Through a number of means (many of which are the basis of their own articles), I reduced the time it took to do things. As an example, the time I spend checking email dropped from around 2 hours to 30 minutes per day.
  • Self-employment. Once I was self employed, this type of switch became possible. It’s rarely feasible when you work for someone else – the idea itself sounds unusual to say the least.

Future improvements

I quickly discovered that spending time actively working on my personal development has one major long-term benefit : the drive never stops. There’s always a new way of looking at things, and a more efficient method to perform any substantial task.

Whilst I rarely share my concrete goals with the world, I will say that the current amount of time (2 days per week + maintenance) should be much smaller by this time next year. Much, much smaller.