How To Map Out A 40 Hour Work Week For The New Year

Despite much success in 2007, my biggest downfall, by far, was not staying on task. I worked in fuzzy mode, bordering on chaos mode. I jumped from thing to thing to thing to thing to thing to thing, without finishing the sentence. Each day, when I woke up, I really had no freakin’ clue what I was going to do. I just did what seemed most pressing.

This fuzzy, chaotic, haphazard work pattern wasn’t all bad. I did, after all, far exceed my goals set last January and within a year came to hire 7 employees. Last January, I couldn’t have imagined generating the sort of revenue that I’m now generating…not to mention having a plan to generate it.

Now that I know what works, I’ve decided to put more structure on my time and those of my employees in 2008. The idea is that my company can increase cash flow by being more intentional about the way we use our time.

As a model, for your benefit, here’s an example map of a 40 Hour Work Week that I might implement for myself:

1. Eight hours per week creating a highly-linkable resource


A. Replicate the Dog Guide photo contest on RideLust -> Car Photo Contest
B. Create a photo-history resource for HipHop Crunch entitled “The History of Funky HipHop Clowns in Pictures”
C. Create listbait called “The 10 Most Dumbest, Dorky Celebrities of all time”

2. Ten hours per week of social voting

Example Schedule:

A. Twenty minutes each day at 10am
B. Twenty minutes each day at 1pm
C. Twenty minutes each day at 3 pm
D. Twenty minutes each day at 6pm
E. 3+ hours per week of miscellaneous social networking

3. Twelve hours per week developing links

Example Schedule:

A. Three hours, emailing other niche bloggers about articles that may be of interest
B. Three hours, developing a blogroll inter-niche link exchange
C. Three hours, participating in relevant forums
D. Three hours, soliciting links from other SEOs

4. Four hours per week writing articles

Example schedule:

A. Three hours researching and doing an SEO related article for the company
B. One hour writing a more conversational, basic article for the company

5. Six hours per week brainstorming and consulting

Example schedule:

A. Make concrete suggestions for ways to improve company properties (title tags, bait suggestions, etc.)
B. Weekly report that includes 1) SEO suggestions, 2) content suggestions, 3) a summary of progress and successes, 4) goals and plans for the forthcoming week 5) company action-list
C. Any external consulting work

16 thoughts on “How To Map Out A 40 Hour Work Week For The New Year

  1. I have to figure out a way to schedule in 40 hours of NON-BLOGGING work (aka my DAY JOB) into my already increasingly amount of Blogging time that I do spend online.

    2. Ten hours per week of social voting

    For some reason, I think this is the area that I currently decided to experiment and seem to be having somewhat success, but also trying the networking as well and, 10 hours is not enough! It’s one thing to put out all your own stuff to the social voting sites .. but, if you don’t contribute and share and “be social” and do the same with others .. it won’t be as effective.

  2. Full-Time Blogger at 40 hours a week = (monthly income ???)

    Can’t answer that. Depends on variables like:

    age of site
    popularity of site
    topic of site

    Personally, off 40+ hours a week, I make an amount I couldn’t have imagined making 2 years ago. But it took a lot of hard work to get here.

  3. Here is a question: and i know it probably varies, but i’m looking for ballpark. If one were to spend 40 hours a week on the above mentioned activities, what should one expect in return as income. There is no salary or income research on this on traditional salary sites.

    Full-Time Blogger at 40 hours a week = (monthly income ???)

  4. Successful blogging is quite time consuming. It’s not just about the WRITING, there is so much more, like:

    social media
    trend watching
    extras (like domaining, affiliate marketing, ppc)
    back-end operations (like blog platform, design and functionality)

    A daily, weekly, or monthly plan is a requirement….if you will. So i better go set one up. lol.

    I hope 2008 is my year.

  5. I put together a Google Calendar schedule using Ryan’s list above, added to everything I have to do in a given week, and basically I shouldn’t expect to have much of a life outside of work.

  6. Thanks for this post, Ryan, especially point 5. I focus too much on the details and forget about the big picture. A weekly scheduled time of brainstorming should help me see the big picture better.

  7. My 2008 is going to be about trimming my fat, from my day and my waistline

    The direct approach is using the 80/20 rule, find the 20% of activities, blogs, readers, clients who produce 80% of your profit and love them to bits, and find the 20% who cause 80% of the pain and suck up 80% of your time and drop them.

    Earlier in the year I had several clients who I would bill by the hour, now I am mostly on retainer. What I noticed with the hour-billing clients was I knew where my time was going and I was less prone to wastage. I need to keep a diary again.

  8. … no one knows.

    I have spent most of my adult life being un-organized. It can be quite stressful and leads to running in circles and frustration.

    Being organized with a schedule will help anyone accomplish a whole lot more.

    Thanks for your post Ryan. I need a reminder every so often to keep me thinking structured business.

  9. Working 8 hour days (5 days a week), even well-organised, is only going to bring you up to the level of the competition. The top guys work 10, 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Remember Ryan, you talked about working like a freak (or making your resources work for you in that fashion)?

  10. is it time effective to spend a twelve hours going after links in an untargeted fashion?

    I would recommend putting that time to good use by laser-targeting your focus to high-value links only, and doing whatever it takes to get them.

    The rest, well if you’re looking for quantity then crack linkbait / widgetbait should handle them (easier said than done)

  11. Ryan,

    for our benefit, you could have atleast let that comment stand and not point out the obvious 😛

  12. Ryan, I think I’ll just copy and paste your schedule and tweak it to fit my own since I need to allot more time to writing than anything else on the list.

    While I was reading this, I keep thinking, just like Ahmed, that a 40-hour work week is too much since I only spend 20 billable hours per week writing. But come to think of it, the time I put forth to network, build links, brainstorm for ideas, scour the job boards, etc. — everything totals a LOT more than 40 hours per week. I reckon I spend around 12 (or more) hours per day in front of the computer. I need to shake off the excess hours and be more focused by 2008.

  13. Anyone who thinks they’ll get away with a four-hour work week right away online is in for a giant disappointment. Few of the bloggers that say this are including time they spend researching/ reading.

  14. Ahmed…your comment is called disinformation – information meant to destroy the competition. Don’t deny it;-)

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