As a blogger, I’m sure you’re no stranger to overwhelm.
Whether blogging is your part-time side hustle or full-time gig, I know it’s oh-so-easy to get wrapped up in the mentality that you have to do “all the things” in order to be successful.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Over the past few months I’ve come to realize that bloggers are SO much better off when they focus on a few key aspects of blogging and business, and do those things really well – rather than trying to do EVERYTHING at once (and most likely, failing miserably).
Think about it:
Would you rather be known for doing 2 or 3 things REALLY well, or for doing a bunch of stuff kinda well?
When we divide our time and attention between too many things, we quickly start drifting into the “kinda well” category. We’re only able to give 70 or 80% to each task, because let’s face it – there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do a million things at 100%!
But here’s the hard truth: People aren’t going to remember you for 80%.
They’ll remember you for giving 100%. Or better yet, 120%.
With that being said, today I want to share a 5-step process that will help you simplify and declutter your blog with systems, so you can give 120% to everything you do! This process is perfect for anyone who’s ready to ditch the overwhelm and get back to doing what they love.
The 5-Step Process to Simplify & Declutter Your Blog
I recently worked through this 5-step process, and I’m so pleased with the game plan I have for going forward. I’ve included lots of examples from my own experience in this post, so you can see exactly how the process works.
As you work through the 5 steps below, I urge you to take a heart-centered approach. Remember: Success is NOT always about stats, pageviews, and ROIs – sometimes it’s about how a certain task makes you feel, and whether it fits in with your mission and purpose for you blog.
Step #1. Make a list of your regular blogging tasks
Start by making a list of all the blogging tasks you work on regularly. Write down everything you can think of. If it’s taking up your time (even just a few minutes), it goes on the list.
As an example, here’s a snippet from my own list:
+ Writing blog posts
+ Editing blog posts
+ Creating images for blog posts and social media
+ Client work
+ Pinterest pinning and scheduling
+ Running my Facebook group
+ Scheduling Twitter posts
+ Creating email list freebies
+ Developing online courses
+ Launching online courses
+ Designing landing pages and sign-up forms
+ Writing weekly newsletters
Before you even start thinking about which items have a low ROI and need to be crossed off the list, stop – take a breath. Put the pen down. Let’s move on to Step #2…
Step #2. For each item, ask yourself: Does this serve me?
Take a look at each task on your list. How is it serving you? Here are a few questions to consider when working through this step:
+ How does the activity make you feel? – e.g., excited, invigorated, tired, drained?
+ Does it align with your “bigger picture” – that is, your purpose and mission?
+ Is it helping you move closer to your goals – blog, business, financial, and personal?
As an example, let’s look at a few of my answers…
Task: Creating and editing post blogs
Although content creation is very important for my overall blog goals and mission (educating and inspiring other bloggers), I don’t always feel super motivated to write. Plus, not being ahead of schedule makes me feel stressed and uneasy.
Task: Client work
Although I enjoy working with clients, my main goal is to generate passive streams of income so I have more free time to travel, and the financial freedom to start a family. Sometimes I resent the fact that I’m still trading dollars for hours, and that I don’t have a lot of free time to chase after my dreams of passive income.
Task: Twitter scheduling
This one’s easy. I HATE scheduling my Twitter posts. With a passion. Don’t get me wrong, I love interacting with people one-on-one on Twitter, but scheduling is something I could do without.
Now it’s your turn! Write down your answers for Step 2 in your workbook. Once you’ve reflected on each item and decided whether it’s serving you and your business, it’s time to move on to Step #3.
Step #3. How are currently feeling, and how do you want to feel?
How do you feel about your blog and processes right now?
For example, do you often feel stressed and “behind schedule” when it comes to your blog? Are you chronically worrying about your stats, followers, and pageviews? Do you feel like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done?
If so, you’re not alone! Like I said earlier, overwhelm is a very real thing in the blogging world. Here’s a peek at some of the struggles I personally go through when it comes to my blog.
To see how Step #3 works, here’s how I personally answered the two questions above:
How I currently feel:
I feel stressed at times, and relatively calm at others. I feel like some of my processes are organized to a T, and others are a mess. I especially feel like my division of time is holding me back from getting where I want to be.
How I want to feel:
I want to feel FREE – free of stress, free of deadlines, and free of worry. I want to enjoy the perks of being my own boss (especially the time freedom that comes with it!)
Your turn, babe: How do you want to feel?
Step #4. What can you simplify or eliminate?
It’s time to start working towards the way you want to feel. Look through the list of tasks you created in Step #1, and make a plan to eliminate, simplify, or outsource the items that aren’t serving you and your blog or business.
Keep in mind that just because something isn’t serving you exactly the way you want it to right now, doesn’t mean you need to cut it out completely. If you’ve identified some problems areas in your blog process, here are a few ways you can tackle them without totally eliminating them…
For each item, ask yourself:
+ Is there an easier or simpler way to do this?
+ Can I do less of this task (but still see results)?
+ Can I automate this task?
+ Can I outsource it?
+ Can I change the way I approach this task, or my mindset towards it?
This questioning process will take some time, but is so worth it in the end. I also encourage you to do some additional research to determine the best solution for each “problematic” task you identified. Which option fits better with your budget? Which will be easier for you to implement? Which will produce the best results?
Take a few days to think over your options before choosing one particular path for each task. Try to listen to your gut and intuition above all else. It will never steer you wrong!
Step #5. Create 3 new lists and make a game plan
Once you’ve thoroughly examined each item on your list, divide the tasks up into three new lists:
1. Things to keep
2. Things to eliminate
3. Things to keep but tweak
Tasks that are working well for you go on the first list. Things you want to completely get rid of go on the second list. And things you’re going to continue doing but that need some adjustment go on the third list.
Next, make a game plan for how you’ll simplify, declutter, or minimize the tasks on the third list. Will you be outsourcing? Automating? Shifting your mindset?
As inspiration, here’s how I decided to tackle a few of the items on my third list:
#1. Content Creation
Instead of deciding on a blog post topic a week in advance and then working on the post for several days that week, I’m going to start having weekly “Batch Days”. Every Wednesday will be completely devoted to content creation, and another half day later in the week to editing and finalizing the blog posts I wrote that week.
Through trial and error, I’ve learned that batching doesn’t work well for a lot of my blog and business-related tasks, but it DOES work well for content creation. It helps me get “in the zone” and my creativity flows so much better when I can focus solely on writing and writing alone.
Batch content creation days will also help me get ahead of my blog posting schedule, which will lead to less stress and overwhelm in the long run!
#2. Client Work
Because client work is my main source of income at this point, I can’t eliminate it completely. Instead, I’ve decided to take on an assistant to help me with my client work a few days a week, so I have extra time to work on creating passive streams of income.
(Post-Note: A few months after writing this, I officially “retired” from my client work!)
#3. Twitter scheduling
Although a part of me was tempted to cut this out completely, when I dug deeper I realized that one of my biggest goals for Blog Beautifully is to build a strong, genuine community. I love interacting and connecting with people on Twitter, and I don’t want to give that up!
I’ve realized that it’s not so much the Twitter platform I’m not a fan of, but the way I’ve been using it. Instead of building connections, sharing inspiration, and chatting with my readers, I was spending two hours a week scheduling pre-written tweets promoting my own blog posts. Not really “building community”, right?
So rather than scrapping Twitter altogether, I’ve decided to change my approach to it. Instead of bulk scheduling a week’s worth of tweets in advance, I’ll be interacting live on the platform whenever I can, regularly chatting with my readers, and reaching out to people I admire.
Research, seek guidance, listen to your gut, and choose the best route for each task – whether it’s to continue on as always, eliminate the task completely, or tweak it a bit using one of the methods above. Then make an action plan and carry it out!
I promise that by the time you’ve worked through this simplifying and decluttering process, you’ll feel a million times less stressed and overwhelmed, more relaxed and at ease, and better aligned with your big picture goals for your blog.
Download your free workbook and carry out this 5-step process. Let me know down below what changes you’ll be making to simplify and declutter with systems!