It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for as long as it takes to make a baby. That’s crazy!
I’ve gotten a few questions from readers over the past nine months. I try to answer all of them, and I’ve always thought it would be fun to go back through and do a Q&A post. So recently I scrolled through my emails, texts, and direct messages and started gathering questions to see if any of the answers I gave might be useful to the rest of my readers. And that’s when I stumbled upon a question that, somehow, slipped through the cracks. I completely missed it and never responded.
Well here at New Year’s Revolutionary we take our reader questions very seriously, and so I’m going to answer it now in New Year’s Revolutionary’s first ever reader Q&A post!
This question came from my good friend Holland (in New York City, y’all!) on December 3, 2018:
(Dear David): How do you find the time to blog so hard???
That’s a great question Holland (and sorry for the delay in getting back to you). I’ve been blogging pretty hard the past few months, and finding the time isn’t always easy.
First, let’s talk about how much time of a time commitment the blog actually is. I spend a lot of time on content development, but it’s hard to say how much exactly – it varies wildly and is sort of happening all the time (ex. going to the gym, reading books, developing work habits, learning new things). As I mentioned in my very first post, one nice thing about blogging about Personal Development is that, ideally, “developing content” is really just trying to develop yourself and being honest about it.
For the writing portion, the first draft takes about an hour. If I don’t completely hate it the next day, then editing might take another thirty minutes. If I do hate it and feel like it needs a complete rewrite, it’s usually faster the second time because I’ve learned a good bit from the first pass and have a better idea of where I think it should go.
Overall, I’d say the writing takes about two to three hours a week. Which doesn’t sound like much, but those hours can be pretty elusive. In particular, it can be hard to find chunks of time larger than an hour, and if I try to write in smaller increments I lose efficiency.
Finding the time is hard! Work, chores, kids, all big time commitments. The kids in particular are kind of a wild card – sometimes they can be very forgiving and take long naps (like right now), but other times they are up and about during all hours of the day and night demanding my attention (like when I wrote this other post).
I wish I could tell you that I have a perfect, consistent process, but that’s just not the case. I write on planes, in bed, on the bus, on the balcony late at night, at our kitchen table early in the morning. I write whenever I can.
So how do I find the time? One thing that’s helped: developing a Morning Routine which allows for thirty minutes to an hour to myself every day. This time isn’t dedicated to writing specifically (although I definitely get a lot of my writing done in the morning). It’s better thought of as a pressure-release valve for my personal development goals in general. Sometimes the time goes towards working out, sometimes it’s reading, sometimes it’s meditating, but the point is it’s me time. And on the mornings where I pull it off, I find that it gets my head right for the rest of the day.
Which isn’t every morning. This is definitely a work in progress; however, when I first took a step back and evaluated the way I spend my time in the morning, I discovered one particular piece of low-hanging fruit that needed to change: I had to get control over the snooze button.
This year, my Morning Routine NYR is pretty simple:
“In 2019, I will measure and track the time I spend snoozing.”
More specifically, I will track 1) the time my alarm goes off, and 2) the time I actually get out of bed, and try to do this for 80% of the days of the year (292 days). You can see my progress here.
Bad news: I’m almost out of gimmies (I’ll have to record my snooze time pretty much every morning for the rest of the year to reach my goal). Good news is I’ve got some pretty helpful data. As I’m writing this post…
- I’ve recorded my snooze time 209 days in 2019.
- My average alarm time is 5:30 a.m.
- My average awake time is 5:42 a.m.
- My average time spent snoozing is 11 minutes and 39 seconds.
- Based on a prior year sample, that’s an improvement of ten minutes per day from 2018, which translates to about 60 hours over the course of a year.
That’s about an hour a week, which is enough time to write that first draft.
Or read a chapter or two of a book. Or plan my week. Or just enjoy a cup of coffee by myself. There are many more opportunities to make time for yourself that we’ll get into later this month, but if you’re looking to make a change and currently hitting the snooze button, that’s a good place to start.
Thanks for the questions – keep them coming!