006 Motivational Minute Audio: Balance Flexibility With Discipline in Your Blogging Efforts

Right click here to download the transcript. (And click on the play button above the photo to listen to the audio.)

I’m big on being consistent. In fact, consistency is a big part of success in most anything in life. For example, it’s important to be consistent in exercise if you want to get into shape. It’s important to put aside money in savings regularly if you want your savings account to grow, and it’s important to blog regularly if you want to increase the traffic to your site and grow a loyal following.

But sometimes you need to go with the flow, and change things up a bit.

As an example, I generally post these Motivational Minute audios every Monday. My thought on them is that I want to give people a bit of encouragement and motivation at the start of each new week.

But I just couldn’t seem to pull it together this week, and couldn’t think of anything to focus on for the Motivational Minute. Plus, I recently began treatment for TMJ and that has required, among other things, an appliance that I have to wear in my mouth 24/7 — and that makes me talk a little funny.  Between the two, I thought it best if I put off recording anything for a little while.

Interestingly enough, I had a great idea for a photo blog post so I decided to go to work on that, even though I was “supposed” to work on an audio instead.

A funny thing happened in the process — I got my photo blog post done, and then all of a sudden had an idea for the Motivational Minute — the importance of being flexible.

Now, instead of having one, or perhaps no posts done, I actually have two posts at least partially done and am a bit ahead of schedule for the week. Now granted, I’ve decided to reverse the order of my posts this week, because though I’m writing this “on time,” I haven’t yet actually recorded the audio.

Plus, it seems a little odd to speak and write on the importance of flexibility as I rigidly stick to my schedule, don’t you think?

Discipline in your blogging and content creation efforts is a great thing, and something I strongly recommend, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow.

The main thing is to keep moving, keep reaching toward your goals, but flex when it makes sense to do so or when you need a little change of pace.

Your Turn:

How rigidly do you stick to your blogging schedule? Have you managed to find the balance between consistency and flexibility? Share your thoughts below. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Rebecca Livermore is a blogger and content manager. If you need help developing the blogging habit, she invites you to sign up for her free eCourse, 5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging Habit,or to connect with her on Facebook.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

18 thoughts on “006 Motivational Minute Audio: Balance Flexibility With Discipline in Your Blogging Efforts

  1. I’m flexible, but really need more structure if I’m to keep the momentum. I need to find that happy place somewhere in the middle.

    • Marie Anne, I think balance in anything is hard to maintain. For me the happy medium has been focused on creating more attainable goals and striving to meet them “most” of the time, except for times when I really feel a need to flex. One important key for me is trying to be honest with myself when it comes to whether I am just being lazy (which is the case for me sometimes) or if I need to cut myself some slack or make some changes. This is an ongoing process, and one I likely won’t have perfected any time soon, but I’m working on it!

      Rebecca

  2. I have tried posting weekly features – oh, I had Pinterest saturday and Missed-it monday, but inevitably life happens and I just can’t get around to it. What do you recommend for someone like me? Scheduling posts weeks in advance? That’s often hard to do if you’re trying to do a weekly roundup of your posts.

    • Eleanore,

      For some people, too much structure doesn’t work. For example, Pinterest Saturday. What if you’re in the mood to do something else on Saturday? I’m a bit of a fly by the seat of my pants type myself, so I’ve learned to compromise. Instead of being THAT scheduled, I set different goals. Initially it was publishing a blog post 1 day a week — didn’t matter what type of blog post, I just needed to do one. I shot for Monday, but some weeks I didn’t get it done until Tuesday. But still, I was at least getting 1 post published each week. So that was my discipline, which looked quite a bit different than other people’s discipline. I’ve recently increased my commitment to 2 blog posts per week, which are “generally” published on Mondays and Thursdays. There could be slight variations, but the basic goal is clear — 2 posts per week, with a few days between each post.

      I haven’t been able to work too far ahead myself, though I now some people do.

      I’ll share with you a way that this same idea applies to other aspects of my life. For me, routines work, but schedules do not. In my mind, a routine is kind of like a relaxed schedule. With a routine, I might say, “I start work at around 8:00 a.m. I spent about 30 minutes doing a quick email check and then spend a little time on social media. Then I start on client work. After working for about 4 hours, I take a lunch break. After lunch, I shift my focus to. . . ”

      A schedule would be more like:
      I sit down at my desk at exactly 8:00 a.m. every morning.
      I go through email from 8:00 – 8:30
      I do social media from 8:30 – 9:00, etc.

      The former works for me, the latter does not — though I know it works great for SOME people. With the routine, I’m productive, even though it is fairly relaxed. The same is true, regardless of whether it pertains to household chores, my VA work, or whatever other responsibilities I may have.

      I think we all have to figure out what works best for our personalities and life circumstances. Having “just enough structure and just enough flexibility” is what works best for me.

      I hope this helps!

      Rebecca

  3. Life circumstances really throw some whoopers. I think it’s important to also identify what needs to be consistent and what doesn’t. Some of my activities I haev learned aren’t a priority and thus need to be put aside if there are time crunches.

    • You are absolutely right with this, Caroline. I think people need to figure out what their non-negotiables are and be as consistent with those as is humanly possible, and then do the best you can with everything else.

      I used to have taped to my computer monitor the following: “What is the ONE thing I need to accomplish today to be able to consider this day to be a success?” That gave me a focus for the day. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do anything else, but if I had a crazy day or just needed a break, I at least got that one thing done and could feel good about the day.

      I think you could apply the same thing to your social media, including your blog. But maybe make it for the week. For instance, what is the ONE thing I need to get done on my blog THIS WEEK in order to consider my week a success?” For me that would be something like “write one blog post.” Maybe I really want to write 2, but I can feel good about the week as long as I got one post written.

      Thanks as always for your support, Caroline! Have a great weekend!

      Rebecca

      • I like the taped note to my computer idea. Thanks! Maybe I’ll take a picture and share that with you after I do it =).

  4. I have a spreadsheet for my writing. I just changed it up slightly after I stopped writing sports for Yahoo and I am having problems keeping up with it. I shouldn’t be though. Spreadsheets – I live and die by them

    • Shawn, I’d love to see your spreadsheet sometime. I’m still working on what an editorial calendar might look like for me.

      Best,

      Rebecca

  5. That absolutely helps! Glad to know there’s a kindred spirit out there!

    • Absolutely, Eleanore! I had to figure out what “discipline” looks like for me, and I’ve pretty well got it, though I still slip up sometimes!

      Rebecca

  6. Hi Rebecca, you have such a lovely soothing voice and I really enjoyed that motivational minute. I need to go back and listen to past episodes so I don’t miss out. Finding the right balance can really be challenging at times but when I get overwhelmed I like to take breaks from reading and writing. Your motivational minutes will be great to listen to during those break times. Thanks so much for recording them!

    • Thank you so much for you kind words, Ileane. I started the motivational minute because I wanted to explore audio, but wasn’t sure I had time for more. Plus, it was an idea that wouldn’t go away, and you know how those are!

      I’ve shot for once a week with these, but since they are only a minute long, I’ve considered doing them more frequently. What do you think about that?

      I know I love listening to your voice as well, as you have such a kind way about you.

      Thank you as always Ileane, for your kindness. I really appreciate you.

      Rebecca

  7. I stick to my schedule by using editorial calendars. It really works wonders when I have so much content to produce in a certain period of time. I really enjoyed this and will be stopping by often. Thanks!

    • Lisa, I haven’t yet gotten into using an editorial calendar, but I’m certainly heading that direction. I do best with a combination of flexibility and structure, and that isn’t always easy to come by. I try being hyper structured, and that never works for me, so then I loosen things up a bit. I’ve just about figured out how to find the balance between those two, which is a very good thing!

      Have a great day, Lisa!

      Rebecca

  8. Great post… I do use a calendar and schedule all my social media including blogging… I believe consistency is the key.. Thanks!

    • Karen,

      It is great that you use a calendar. Planning helps a lot, and I agree with you that consistency is key. It is true that if we don’t bend, we break, but a calendar keeps us from bending TOO much!

      I appreciate you stopping by, Karen!

      Rebecca

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