Use these five secret blocks to boost your productivity right now.
I’ve been time-blocking most of my life. But I wasn’t always successful.
When I first started, I sucked. Time-blocking was all about strict rules and generic tasks. So I organized my life into consecutive blocks of activities with no break or chill time. And respecting the timeline became more important than doing the right thing.
I missed specificity and deep planning. Therefore time-blocking was useless because I spent most of the time understanding what I had to do instead of doing it.
But since I’ve become a part-time content creator, I have used time-blocking many times in my routines. And I mastered it a bit after each failure. So here is my time-blocking guide for content creators and five blocks that could help you improve your efficiency.
Who doesn’t know about time-blocking?
Everybody knows about time-blocking.
Since Elon Musk and Bill Gates shared their secret technique with the world, every solopreneur tried to emulate them to become more productive.
But even if you know what time-blocking is, it doesn’t mean you know how to use it. And most people fail to make the most out of time-blocking because they have been using it wrong all along.
In my experience, I have failed at time-blocking for many reasons:
- Sometimes, I become too obsessive about time division and quit because of too much stress.
- Other times, I filled my entire day with tasks without leaving any free time for unforeseen events or distractions. So I couldn’t reach the goal and would start the following day from behind.
- But most times, I used general blocks that weren’t related to any specific task. So when the time started, I had to figure out what to do first.
Why do content creators need time-blocking?
Content creators procrastinate more than others. It’s our professional deformation.
While other people use social media for entertainment purposes, we have to use it to interact with the audience and promote our work. Therefore, you spend more time than others on social networks and risk doom-scrolling many times. And the only way to escape social media traps is to use fixed time slots to interact with those platforms.
Also, time-blocking helps you become more efficient because of single tasks and short deadlines. You must finish your job in a limited amount of time. And, if you already prepare for it, you know what to do, so it’s simpler to work.
Contrary to multitasking, single-task activities can increase efficiency by up to 80%. You can focus faster, reach deep work, and increase your productivity. But if you are not specific enough, you will spend time figuring out what to do and lose all these advantages.
So, which content creators should use time-blocking the most?
Everyone, of course. Especially if:
- You have a 9–5 job and don’t have much time to invest in your side hustle.
- You distract easily, struggle to focus, and procrastinate many times.
- You don’t have a functioning planning system or content calendar.
- You feel like you are always working and never find time to relax.
- Or, you want to become a content creator but miss time.
How To Start Time-Blocking as a Content Creator
Efficient time-blocking respects three rules:
- Limited and short deadlines: give each task around one hour. And, if you need more, split it into multiple time slots.
- Specific tasks: don’t allocate time for generic tasks like writing. Be specific. What do you need to write? How many words? Which part of the article?
- Batched tasks: if you have many small activities of the same kind, group them in the same time slot. Once you reach deep work, you can jump from one to another easier and finish faster.
And for content creators, it is the same.
You may talk about various topics and create many forms of content. But you can always incapsulate your job into five essential blocks you can split accordingly: outline, production, review, schedule, and promotion.
5 Blocks You Must Put in Your Time-Blocking Plan
You can always split content creation into five essential blocks. And using them for time-blocking will increase your productivity. But that doesn’t mean each block would take the same time to complete.
Usually, producing a piece of content requires more work. So it would take longer. While scheduling or outlining would require less time. So you can use batched tasks and fill a time slot with more activities.
Suppose you are a part-time content creator and have ten free hours a week for content creation. How can you split them using the five essential content creation blocks?
One Block for the Outline
One hour is enough to outline the content and list the information you want to discuss.
You have plenty of time to think about the form content of your piece. But I would also focus on collecting data that might support your ideas and do some research if you have any spare time.
Also, if you are very fast at writing outlines, you can add other activities to this block:
- You can do your keyword research.
- You can use it for time management purposes and redistribution of free time.
- Or you can review your content strategy and plan your next moves.
Three Blocks for Production
Production is the fundamental part of each content creation process. So it deserves most of the blocks.
Also, you must reach deep work in these sessions because they are the core of your work. So you can use as many tricks and helpers as you need.
Here are a few examples of things you can do:
- Set a timer in the background to give yourself a sense of urgency.
- Set short-term goals for each session. It will help you become more specific and motivate you to work faster.
- Find a productive space that is comfortable and distraction-free.
Two Blocks for the Review
Once you finish creating, it’s time to review and edit what doesn’t work.
You don’t need as much time for this as for expressing your thoughts. But still, you might need to cut or rewrite portions of the text. You can never know how much time it will take to edit a piece.
During the review phase, I usually focus on two things:
- Simplify ideas and sentences to clarify them.
- And focus on how you share the message to keep the audience interested.
One Block for Scheduling
I used to undermine how much time I spent scheduling a blog post and taking care of everything around it. But if you need to publish content on multiple platforms, each has its formats and requirements. So scheduling can take away a few hours.
Also, you could notice some SEO improvements and variations you could adopt when scheduling your content. And you can use this time block for those variations too.
Three Blocks for Promoting
Creating content is nothing without promotion. And, sometimes, an efficient social media strategy is more important than your content. So take time to build engaging content to share on social media and attract people to your post.
But how will you promote it?
You can promote your posts in many ways and with multiple platforms. And since you have three blocks, you can use different strategies.
- You may use each block to create promotional posts for a specific social media platform.
- Or you could use one block to find promotional ideas, one to write them, and one to review and schedule them.
Building an efficient time-blocking strategy as a content creator is challenging, but it can bring many advantages.
- It improves your focus for short time blocks you can use to create more content.
- If content creation is your side hustle, it can improve your time management skills and help you plan your work and passion.
- And it increases your flexibility by allowing you to adjust your schedule as needed.
Also, time-blocking for content creators is even better because you can improve your efficiency even more with specific blocks. You can use blocks like the outline, production, review, scheduling, and promotion. And since each binds with its unique activities, it will be easier to schedule your week and improve your efficiency.
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Cover photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash for Time-Blocking for Content Creators: A Simple Guide to Better Efficiency.