Could you find an extra 15 hours? (DJ Francis)

19136863 I recently outlined all of the media I recommend to keep up with the best in blogging and marketing. It was a large list. Very large. After reading that list, I sympathize if you think it would be impossible to keep up with all of the books, magazines, blogs, and podcasts.

Before I started blogging, I never would have thought that I could consume all of that information (outside my day job, no less). I’m here to tell you that it is possible and these are the secrets to create at least 15 hours in your week to do so.

No Rest For The Wicked First, wake up an hour earlier. If you’re tired, go to bed earlier. It’s amazing the amount of time we waste at night. Believe me, you will not waste time at 5am. (Hey, no one said this was going to be easy.)

  • 1 hour x 5 days/week = 5 hours gained

Podcast Your Way To Work You probably commute to work – train, bus, car – doesn’t matter. Why are you listening to shock-jocks or staring out the window? There are a thousand ways to connect your iPod to your car radio (and one particularly effective way to connect your iPod to your ear). Polish off some podcasts on your way to and from work.

  • .5-1 hour x twice/day 5 days/week = 5-10 hours gained

Idle Hands And All That You don’t have to be a kid to realize that everyone poops. I don’t want to get too personal, but you’re just sitting there, right? I hear it’s a good place to, you know, read…

  • Let’s not even divide this by day – let’s just say 1.5 hours/week gained (give or take)

Digesting Content It’s likely that you eat during the day and that’s just wasted time. Sure, you might need to throw in the client lunch here and there, but most of the time you’re shoving down a sandwich in front of the computer like the rest of us. Grab a book or your iPod and head to the park. You’ll get work done over lunch and it’s better for your health.

  • .5-1 hour x 5 days/week = 2.5-5 hours gained

Exercise Your Mind Too How much time do you spend on the treadmill watching Chris Matthews bloviate on television? How about all of those hours watching the Yankees lose (or the Cubs win)? Don’t waste this time.

  • .5-1 hour x 3 days/week = 1.5-3 hours gained

Add It Up Add this up and you are looking at 15.5-24.5 hours gained per week! Think of what you could do if you had 2-3 work days just to focus on your own career – not the one where you earn money for your boss, but the one where you improve your life for your family. None of this is easy, but it is possible. It’s just a matter of how much you want to succeed.

Go Pro If you’ve mastered these steps and you are ready to go professional, follow Chris Brogan’s advice. Unlike me, he actually derives a living from blogging. I know these tips work – they’ve been working for me for months. Feel free to leave other tips in the comments.

DJ Francis has spent his professional life in the persuasive marketing communications world.  Whether it was his stint in political strategy, his foray into magazine marketing or his current gig, healthcare marketing — he has mastered the art of leading the horse to water.  You can subscribe to his blog Online Marketer and check out his free white paper, Writing Content for a Web 2.0 World.

Every Friday is "grab the mic" day.  Want to grab the mic and be a guest blogger on Drew’s Marketing Minute?  Shoot me an e-mail.

11 comments on “Could you find an extra 15 hours? (DJ Francis)

  1. Tage says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I knew I wasted a lot of time during the night, but seeing it added up was eye popping. 4-6 hours a week is nothing to sneeze at! Also I must testify how much content one can consume while commuting to school/work. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to campus, adding in time between lectures, I found I good fly through at least 1 or 1 1/2 hours of podcasts before evening dinner.

  2. I should clarify your above-mentioned statement. I derive a living from the reputation, influence, and reach that blogging has afforded me. Look at my site. No ads. : )

    I don’t think we can make money blogging the way people THINK we might mean it, but we can do something big.


  3. Thanks for the clarification, Chris!

    Jay Moonah had a good podcast about this recently (Media Driving with Jay Moonah #13) – about how we make money with blogs and what falls into that sometimes vague category. Maybe like other folks here, I consider the blog an extension of my brand and if I garner freelance work by giving info away there, then I lump that into the “blog earnings.” (In other words, not just ads.) But I should have clarified, so thank you.

    I’d recommend to anyone wanting to make money from blogs (however you define that) the new Darren Rowse Problogger book. It covers a lot of stuff, especially for those just starting out.

  4. Tage,

    I figure if I can even save a couple hours a day or week — I’m ahead! And in this multi-tasking, fast paced, information overload world, a couple hours is a valuable commodity indeed!


  5. Chris,

    Thanks for the clarification. You’re right — people are finding all kind of models for making money when their launch pad is a blog.

    When you started your blog…was your current reality the vision you had from the get-go?


  6. Brett says:

    Good tips, especially the tip on commode surfing. It definitely works – I’ve never appreciated by mobile browser more.

  7. Hi Drew. Sorry for the delay in responding.

    When I started ten years ago, I was posting fiction to the web. Over time, the blog has had LOTS of iterations. Ultimately, I’ve learned over the last few years how to make my blog more effective by making it more useful to other people. That’s helped me a lot.

    It’s certainly still a work in progress. : )

  8. Brett,

    You know…when you open your blog up to guest bloggers — you never know what kind of marketing advice they will dispense!


  9. Chris,

    One of the most remarkable benefits of the internet is the ability to explore new possibilities without staggering start-up costs.

    To that end….I guess we will all be a work in progress forever, eh?


  10. Raj says:

    Sorry man, don’t agree.

    We will never have enough time for everything.

    The key is to eliminate non-productive tasks – including non-specific reading, tasks, activities etc.

    Use Pareto’s principle – do and concentrate only on the most productive tasks, instead of filling your day with, what is in essence, white noise.

    Why wake up earlier? Just to read some blogs? Or review some other non-essential writings? Why read on the sh*tter? You really need to ask yourself the question, are you being productive or being busy?

    Having a great breadth of knowledge is essentially useless – depth counts more. Books, magazines, podcasts etc. are useless. Do what is productive instead.


  11. Raj,

    I think if you read the first link in my story, you will better understand my suggestions.

    In that linked post, I run through all of the effective media I consume to be a better marketer. Not ALL of the media out there – a select group that I’ve found useful over time.

    After selecting the most effective media, I can then become much more productive. I’m taking in less junk and filler by consuming quality media.

    However, I question your resistance to what I see essentially as hard work. Why get up earlier? Because I want to be better at my job. Because I want to be paid more. Because I want to support my family. If hard work is the issue then yes, we will disagree.

    And to say that books, magazines, and podcasts are useless…you should probably back up that assertion. I’ve found great value in many books, magazines, and podcasts. However, I’ve also found that people who resist new information or think they understand *everything* are the ones who learn the least. After all, how do you expect to gain the depth of knowledge you aspire to without learning from the masters?

    Best of luck,

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