The Time Management Mistake That’s Sabotaging Your Business (and How to Avoid It)

(Last Updated On: March 6, 2017)

A few months ago, a woman posted in one of the facebook groups I’m in. She was looking for help with time management and productivity. Here’s what she wrote:

“I’m struggling with being productive. I’m terrible at time management, but I know having a schedule would be useful. I have blog posts to write, jewelry to make, photograph and list, work on stories, interact on social media and do chores and of course spend time with my son. I’m also looking for ways to make some extra money online.”

Wow. Like many of us, this lady has a lot on her plate.

But her experience sums up the biggest time management mistake I see bloggers making: not having a single, clear goal.

Successful bloggers know how to set clear, actionable goals. Learn their goal-setting techniques and download a free goal worksheet.

Ready to hone in on your goal? Download my free goal planner worksheet.


As a blogger, freelance writer, and stay-at-home mama, I get it. When it looks like everyone else is doing it all, you feel like you’re falling behind.

Plus, you know there are about 873 different things you could be doing, so you feel like you should be doing them all.

And with so much advice out there on how to grow a blog/business, you want to try everything.

But the problem is, as a solo blogger or business owner, you can’t do everything and do it well.

What’s a busy blogger to do?

The solution is to be SUPER CLEAR about your top goal. Not goals. Goal. Singular.

You may not think that goal setting has anything to do with time management, but it’s really the foundation. If you don’t know what your goal is, then you don’t know how to spend your time.

The bloggers and business gurus you admire have become so successful because they know exactly what their top level goal is, and they don’t stray from that goal.

Don’t Try to Do It All

During her $450k course launch, Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur describes how she didn’t get on Twitter or Instagram, she didn’t do a pre-sale, and she didn’t create an affiliate program.

In her own words: “I think this is an important lesson in that even if you don’t do EVERYTHING you think you SHOULD be doing or COULD be doing for your launch, you can still be really successful. It’s more about the high-impact activities like the emails, webinars, and affiliates than doing all of the tiny things that tend to fall to the wayside in crunch time.”

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Let’s stop and think about that for a minute.

A woman who made $450K on a single course launch is telling you that she was successful even though she didn’t do it all. You shouldn’t try to do it all, either!

Like Mariah, you need to identify your goal, then focus on the high-impact activities that will help you reach your goal. And here’s the catch: the only way to identify the high-impact activities is to have a very clear and specific goal.

Here’s another example of the power of a single goal:

What You Focus On Will Grow

Jen Snyder of Women Winning Online decided that she needed to focus on building her email list. So she stopped writing blog posts, stopped playing around on social media and put all her time and energy into growing her email list.

In her own words: “The first thing I did to grow my email list is I made it a priority. What you focus on will grow. I was too busy focusing on social media and even blogging. I had to get serious about my email list. I had to actively participate in making it grow.”

Jen created an amazing opt-in, a gorgeous landing page, and promoted her opt-in heavily for two months straight. The results: She got more than 500 people on her list in that short time. And did I mention that Jen is a mama to three? If she can get stuff done, so can you.

You just need to be super clear about your goal.

This is trickier than it sounds, of course (isn’t everything in the blogging world?).

Most of us want to make money from our blog. But that goal is so broad, it’s hard to break it down into action steps. There are a dozen different ways you could make money through your blog, so you need to get more specific.

Looking for more time management tips? Sign up for Master Time Management, my FREE 5-day email course for bloggers and solopreneurs. Each lesson takes less than 10 minutes to implement!

Specific, Measurable Goals Are Key

Elna Cain of Twins Mommy is awesome about setting specific, measurable goals. For example, in this post she writes: “My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to generate at least $1k/month from promoting products by April 2017.”

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That’s so specific. Elna knows exactly how much she wants to earn ($1,000/month) and how she’s going to do it (promoting affiliate products to her audience). She even has a deadline for herself.

Even better, she knows the steps she needs to take to reach that goal. In her post, she writes that she needs to convert 1% of her site visitors into paying customers to hit her goal of 1k per month. And then she calculates that it means she needs to get 100 visitors per day to her posts that have affiliate links.

Elna goes even further in her planning by listing out the half dozen companies she will promote as an affiliate.

Then she describes what type of blog posts she will write to promote her affiliate links.

Do you see the difference between Elna’s goal and a goal like “I want to make money from my blog?”

Elna’s goal gives her a framework and helps her plan. She knows what steps she needs to take to reach her goal.

And from a time management perspective, Elna can now create a schedule that helps her reach this goal because she knows what she’s working towards and how she’s going to get there.

Let’s think back to the blogger I described at the beginning of the post. You know, the woman who is trying to do it all, but who has spread herself so thin that she can’t get anything done.

If you’re ready to stop being that woman (or man), then you need to clarify your one big goal. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find that it’s easier to make meaningful progress in your blog and business.

Looking for more time management tips? Sign up for Master Time Management, my FREE 5-day email course for bloggers and solopreneurs. Each lesson takes less than 10 minutes to implement!

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  • Exactly what I need to hear (read).
    I too tried to do EVERYTHING at once…but now I am working on collecting email subscribers…so I took a break from writing blog posts and building up my socials…the last thing I want is to lose a lot of potential subscribers just because I am not focused!
    Ya know what I mean?

    • I know exactly what you mean! Good for you to focus on one big goal. It’s so hard sometimes, but I bet you’ll see a ton of progress, just like the three ladies I mentioned here did.

  • Hey Emily! Great advice, it really pays to focus in your efforts. One thing that I find interesting (and something I’m currently living through right now) is trying to balance multple TIME SENSITVE goals. For example, I’m growing my side business, working full-time, planning a wedding, and somehow getting normal life/chores/errands done. Lots of stuff to handle! So I found that assigning each day of the week to a specific concentration (Mondays are for chores, Tuesdays are for career goals, Wednesdays are for Wedding planning, etc…) is helping me still stay on track and focused, but not feel like I’m letting a million things fall to the wayside if I’m just focusing on one thing. Being able to focus on one goal can sometimes be a luxury, and at least this system incorporates the best things about focusing, and minimizes the overwhelm related to the time sensitive nature of the goals. Thanks again!

    • Hey Brittany, I love your system of theme days, and I hope to write a post about that soon. You’re right, it is a luxury to be able to focus on just one goal at a time. Most of us don’t have that luxury, so theme days can help eliminate the overwhelm. I’d say as long as your goals are broken into smaller chunks, then theme days can work perfectly to work towards a goal in multiple facets of your life at one time! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your system!

    • Brittany – I absolutely love the idea of focusing on one thing for an entire day. I will certainly implement this strategy in my schedule. Thanks for sharing!