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August 4, 2015 Scott

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

boss-fight-stock-images-photos-free-long-way-home-960x642 Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

You would have read yesterday about the growing discontentment with blogging and what to do next, and how Megan Tietz finally realized it was time to walk away. Liberating, eh?

Today we chat to Nicole Avery from Planning With Kids, who was dangerously close to burnout at the end of 2014. She knew if she didn’t change her approach to blogging, she was going to ditch the whole thing entirely. Her ideas of how to pull back, recalibrate and start again with a new focus is super-inspirational, and I am sure that those of you who are looking for fresh ways to do an old thing will find Nicole’s tips incredibly useful.

5 tips to get you back on track when you feel like quitting blogging

Towards the end of last year I reached my lowest point with blogging. I was tired, overwhelmed and feeling completely over blogging. I felt like quitting.

Blogging brings along amazing opportunities but it is possible to take on too many. Blogging is a wonderful medium to share, but it is no longer just about blogging, there are newsletters to write, social media channels to grow and products to make. Blogging is a fabulous medium to start an online business but with tens of thousands of blogs started every day, keeping up can feel like you are continually running a super fast race struggling to keep up.

My love of blogging though won out and I continued blogging, managing to turn around how I was feeling in the space of three months. While I did more than what is listed below, here are 5 key things I did to get me back on track.

1. Take a break

Each year I usually take two full breaks from the blog, one in the summer school holidays and then the second in the winter school holidays. Due to family circumstances, I never had the break in July and never seemed to find the time to take it later in the year.

Taking a break from the blog is essential to maintaining my enthusiasm and love of what I do. So at the end of December, I took a break (I had planned to take time off in late January). Usually to take a break I work super hard in the lead up to schedule blog posts and social media posts. This time I just took almost a week off and didn’t post. I gave my weekly newsletter a rest for the whole of January and I pared back my social media activity, for example I went from four posts a day on facebook to one.

2. Analyse your time

It was in my break that I came across the Pareto principle. If you are not familiar with it, it can defined as follows:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.[1] {source}

If I was to apply the 80/20 rule to my blogging it meant that 80% of the time I was spending on blogging was only creating 20% of my results. Effectively most of my time was being spent activities that were not adding value.

To understand this better and see if it was indeed true, I used RescueTime to see exactly how I was spending my time. RescueTIme focuses on measuring exclusively active computer time and detects when your computer is idle. My initial analysis showed me very clearly that the vast majority of my time was spent on activities that contributed very little to results, way too much time on email and social media. On my least productive activities I was spending only 26% of my time on design and composition. A huge wake up call and a stark reminder that if you are spending your time on the wrong activities, no matter how well you manage your time, you will not achieve the productivity you are after.

3. Set a goal

I came across and interview with Jay Papasan on a podcast called a Dose of Leadership and it helped me greatly. Jay Papasan is the author of the book The One Thing. Listening to him speak helped me realise something I think I knew all along. My many and varied goals needed to become a goal clear and concise goal.

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Russian proverb

So I created one goal for my work life and one goal for my personal life. It has made a huge difference to how I operate on a daily basis. It has given me clear purpose for 2015 and has aided me in making better decisions. My goal is in the forefront of my mind every time I make a decision – will it help me achieve my goal for the year? If not then I have no choice but to say no. Having one goal makes this process so much easier.

4. Create a work schedule

Creating a work schedule helped me get back on track for two key reasons:

  • It scheduled in the activities that will help me achieve my goal for the year. We are all aware if you don’t plan it is unlikely to happen.
  • It prevented decision fatigue – work is just one part of my life. There is always a great deal going on at home and by creating a work schedule it is effectively telling me what to when. Not having to think about what to do means I can just get started on my work each day and not lose time procrastinating over where to start.

5. Practice daily gratitude

This one is a little out there I know, but I have found my attitude to the task at hand plays a huge part in how I approach it and the results it creates. Practicing gratitude does wonders for improving your attitude – we do really have so much to be grateful for if we take the time to think about it.

I began using the 5 minute journal app which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have always thought practicing gratitude would just add to the list of things I have to do and become a burden. This app however allows me to practice intentional gratitude in 5 minutes each morning and evening.

Instead of bemoaning the pressures that come from running a small online business, I would very frequently list it as something I was grateful for. For example:

  • I was grateful I could easily help out in my son’s class at short notice.
  • I was grateful picking up a sick child from school was not stressful and could be done in minutes.
  • I am grateful I can choose to clear my calendar and not take on additional work to free up more time when family life gets busy.
  • I am very grateful blogging allows me travel overseas each year.
  • I am so grateful I receive the most amazing feedback from readers who read my posts and take action.

Have you ever felt like quitting blogging? What did you do to turn things around?

Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged 16 to 6. Nicole is slightly addicted to spreadsheets, tea, running and CrossFit. Family is the most important thing in her life and her goal for 2015 is to be a planned, patient and present mother to her beautiful kids.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

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