Are you at the point where you’re getting multiple daily blogging projects but not sure how to manage them? Many people have trouble managing multiple projects, often feeling overwhelmed. I’m sometimes amongst that group, and I find myself changing my project management methodology to suit my mood, environment and deadlines. Some are more ideal than others for when you’re blocked and can’t seem to complete your work. I’m highlighting here two ways that you can approach a group of projects, regardless of the size and frequency of each. The second method, multi-tasking, is in my opinion more productive.
The SplashCast below consists of two frames. The first is an image of the way that people usually complete a group of projects: focus on project 1, complete each step, then move on to the next project. In this mode, you don’t really think of each task as being distinct – the task is the entire project. I’ve diagrammed each project as consisting of sub-tasks, then.
The second frame shows an alternate tactic that requires a bit more thought and organization. Instead of completing one project fully before moving on, you split each up into actual sub-tasks and interleave the whole lot of them any way you feel comfortable. In this case, I’ve shown the completion of each step 1 across the projects before moving to step 2. This lets ideas brew in your mind while still letting you get some work completed. If something new pops into your mind, you can then refine your work by editing what you’ve written.
Note: to advance to the second frame, press the start button, then hover your mouse over the SplashCast area and click on the advance arrow at top right.
I’ve left out the “research” step for simplicity, to focus on the writing tasks. The reason for the second approach is that it helps seed your mind with article ideas and lets the “background processes” of your brain mull them over while you work on another task. This is especially ideal if for whatever reason (ADD, hypothyroid problems, anxiety, stress, guilt, laziness) you cannot focus on a single project before moving on to another one.
As well, I also find that if I “sleep” on articles at least one night before they’re posted, they usually turn out better – less typos, more cohesion, etc. What’s more, if I’m feeling overwhelmed with the work, breaking the projects down into tasks allows me to focus on a little piece at a time while feeling a degree of control. Also, if I only have a partial story, sleeping on it usually gives me ideas on how to complete it.
Here is my ideal approach for completing a batch of daily posts:
- Browse my feed subscriptions.
- Take note of potential references and write down tentative article titles.
- Write the outline of each article, or just a few bullet points to jog my memory. (However, if I’m completing each project before moving on, I may not use this step.)
- Write rough drafts, then leave for a few hours or sleep on it.
- When you return (i.e., in the morning), edit each draft. Now add external and internal (deep) links, if you haven’t done so. If you’re short of the word quota, search your archives for related stories and see if you can’t work in a relevant summary tied to the new story.
Now, this “ideal” approach works best – for me anyway – when applying method 2, interleaved tasks. If I feel up to completing a single project before moving on, then I do so. However, I always feel that the interleaved method allows me to be more productive without sacrificing quality. It’s not foolproof, and sometimes you’ll still feel blocked – at which point you maybe need to get up from your desk and go for a walk.