Have I got a treat for you today. Although this isn’t the first guest post on Blogging Without A Blog (BWAB), it’s the first time I’m using a “substitute teacher”.

Two weeks ago when I was buried in work from my paying job and blogging was taking a back seat, Avani emailed me and offered her help. Although I am one who normally tries to do it all, I accepted Avani’s offer and she agreed to try her hand at teaching.

Let’s get started.

Take your seats, please.

Avani, the floor is yours.

155105184_fb318126c7.jpg

Hello everyone. Thank you for the warm welcome. It’s a pleasure to be here.

As you can see by the picture I’ve put up on the board, my lesson will center around procrastination.

It starts with a short story.

I had an amazing time this week. We (me and my hubby) made a list of all one-time activities which we have been postponing for someday and decided to take at least one activity off the list everyday (like organizing cabinets, updating our expense file, making calls to family and friends, some documentation etc) .

As we found ourselves happily patting each others back at amount of work we finished after a week, I started wondering how can I use this experience in blogging.

Today’s Lesson

When I started to blog, I took a deep dive into reading blogging related sites like Darren Rowse’s Problogger and Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs Journey. I took notes and made multiple lists – a list for coding activities, a list for networking activities etc. For the first few weeks, I diligently attempted to check everything off the list.

And then, I got lost in the sea of posts, comments, reading other blogs, commenting on them and of course, how can I forget stats. The amount of work these five activities represent and the amount of time they took, became my reason to not to do any additional tasks (I guess this is the reason why sometimes I feel that my blog has reached a plateau. Same activities = same results.).

I made a list of activities other than these five on which I have been procrastinating. I plan to take one off every week depending upon how much time this would take. Adding meta-tags, setting correct categories and tagging top the list.

In order to ensure that this does not happen again, I plan to list out everything that I procrastinate on and add star to everything that is a repeat in a weekly review. This way, those activities which are most procrastinated, will stand out and become high priority.

Today’s Assignment

What are the blogging activities you procrastinate on all the time?

Do you plan to do these activities anytime soon? If not, could they be delegated to someone else or take them off the list?

What’s your plan to finish off these activities?

That ties up today’s assignment.

Let’s open this subject for discussion. Your answers, additional questions and comments are welcome.

Barbara, I see you raised your hand. What would you like to share?


This post is by Avani Mehta. She maintains a personal development blog at Avani-Mehta. You can subscribe to her blog by RSS or Email.


Photo Credit: Wanda G’s photostream

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  1. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, Ms. Mehta,

    First, I would like to welcome you to the BWAB classroom. You’re our first substitute teacher.

    In response to the assignment, I recently learned how to delegate more. Although I try to be “super woman”, I realize I can’t do it all. When my work load and blogging activities got to be too much, I took a friend up on her offer and let her fill in for me on one of my blog posts. I’m finding this has taken a lot of weight off of me and it’s something I will do more of in the future.

    Thank you. 🙂

  2. “Hey cool, a substitute teacher,” John says as he folds a paper airplane! hehehe

    Hello Avani, excellent post to get the mind thinking and working toward accomplishing your goals. I procrastinate the most basic part of blogging – writing a post. I don’t consider myself a full time blogger as I have other duties to perform. Many times in order to draft up a blog post requires spending less time with the family when family time is already thin as it is.

    My plan is to work on articles early at home while everyone’s still asleep and/or stay up late to write them. I don’t like either solution but unless you can put more hours into a day for me I will continue to struggle.

    That said, I’m not really a big procrastinator. I usually set aside some goals and find a way to accomplish them as efficiently as possible. Sometimes it helps to write them down the night before and in what order I will accomplish them the next day.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  3. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Avani. That was a nice offer to fill in for Barbara. Hope you managed to dodge John’s paper airplane! 🙂

    Right now, funnily enough, I’m procrastinating what I enjoy the most… writing! I’ve got a lot of business marketing activities on my plate right now and they’ve been moved to the front of the list. I took a big bite out of the bunch over the last 2 days, so tomorrow… time for writing. I guess my challenge is to MAKE time every day even if it’s just for an hour.

    Davina´s last blog post..A Ghostly Life Experience

  4. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Miss! Miss!

    (sorry, couldn’t resist it) Avani – striking that balance between consolidating what we are doing (eg operating in a particular social network) and trying new things is tricky, isn’t it!

    Robin´s last blog post..How A Lot Of Wind Changed My Plans

  5. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    this is great barb, we have a sub. that’s cool.

    Hi Avani, not sure i procrastinate with blogging, it just takes me a while to make my rounds to different blogs. I don’t do any of the meta tag stuff, so other than posting, responding and commenting on blogs, I’m okay. I do like this thought though for personal life…I try to break up tasks into days, doing one thing a day, sometimes it works, sometimes I mess up.

    Do you plan to do these activities anytime soon? If not, could they be delegated to someone else or take them off the list? I thought about having a guest post from someone in radio. I haven’t asked her yet, but with me not having to write the post would save me some time.

    What’s your plan to finish off these activities? I thought about a blogging schedule, on certain days I do certain things and visit certain blogs based on their posting schedule and then leave a block of time for commenting on blogs. I need to open up my reader too.

    That ties up today’s assignment.

    side note: do guest posters usually answer comments. i know no one has to, but normally they do, yes. they would do what you would normally do, yes?

    Natural´s last blog post..Answering Comments: Obligation, Optional or Off?

  6. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, who threw the spitball?!

    Hi Avani – very inspiring! I think Pete and I should make the same kind of list as you and your hubby did. He was just moaning that his to-do list is already too long! 🙂

    I tend to procrastinate the technical things. It’s way more fun to write posts and select photographs and respond to comments! I’m intimidated by upgrading WordPress and the theme and I still haven’t figured out which rogue code is causing an upset for some Internet Explorer viewers, either. My eyes just start to glaze over when I think about it!

    I try to catch up on these items on weekends when I tend to have more blocks of time, so that’s my plan for now. If I truly am unable to figure it out, I may have to hire someone.

    Betsy´s last blog post..SENTINEL

  7. Eric HammNo Gravatar says:

    (Can’t think of any witty student/teacher jokes…oh well.)

    Avani, you’ve done a wonderful job substituting for Barbara!

    I would say that it’s always the squeaky wheel that gets the blogging grease for me. These tasks are usually things like writing the post for the following day, answering comments and then trying to visit some of my readers and other blogs to read and then comment on. On top of that I’m working on a project with another blogging buddy and this often takes a back seat.

    So what I’ve been trying to do is get those squeaky wheels greased up quicker and get them out of the way so I still have time left in my day to work on some of the ‘extras’ that are still very important to my blogs/blogging future.

    Once again, great job Avani! Now, can I go to the bathroom? 🙂 Eric.

    Eric Hamm´s last blog post..M2A! October Week4: The Benefits Of Intentionally Stressing Your System

  8. I procrastinate on a lot of things – commenting on other people’s blogs being number 1. I need to be more diligent throughout the week. #2 would be my ebook that I’m working to to give away for free with an RSS subscription. #3 is being more consistent with my social media outreach.

    It’s tough working a full time job, just like Barbara, and making it all fit together. The idea is to do the most important stuff first and not worrying about what you don’t get done.

    Blogging is about creating a routine for the most important stuff and sticking to this plan without worrying about the stuff that you don’t get done.

    Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matters´s last blog post..A Steve Pavlina Interview on How to Build Your Career

  9. Good day Miss Avani *hands over a shiny apple*

    Sigh, okay, give me lines to write out, because I keep procrastinating my move to wordpress. I have delegated the design to one person, and the banner to another. However, they are waiting on me to sign up to a host server. And I keep saying “I will”.

    I will sign up for a host server this week.
    I will sign up for a host server this week.
    I will sign up for a host server this week.
    I will sign up for a host server this week.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..Theme Fiction Friday – At last

  10. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    A most excellent article! Now I need to go make myself a notepad file list and start checking things off.

    Right off the at, I would guess my biggest are internal activities; tagging, naming, etc.

    Things that must be done, but since I concentrate more on what the reader can see, I put them off.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..Oct.’08 Post Round-Up for Direct Sales Web Marketing

  11. AnnNo Gravatar says:

    I should procrastinate blogging activities more than I do and get some other stuff done around here!

    I’m an absolute tech disaster, so I tend to put off learning about coding, etc.

    My daughter just learned how to make a stink bomb (funnniest thing she’s ever heard of in her short life) but I won’t let her know there’s a sub today 🙂

    Ann´s last blog post..Only Children: Lucky or Lonely?

  12. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    Before it gets too late, yes Eric, you can go to the bathroom. And class … no talking in class, no rockets, no chalks and no spitballs! At least when I am facing you all 😉

    @Barbara: Cheers to us, may this friendship stay forever. Don’t we all want to be ‘super woman/man’. A super woman gets things done – doesn’t matter whether she does it herself, or makes someone else do them (delegate girl!).

    And you are always welcome (As it is, I am having a good time with your class) 🙂

    @John: It’s tough when blogging impacts family time or sleep. We don’t want to choose between either. I love the way Darren @problogger manages his blog posts. He works every Monday and Wednesday for writing posts for entire week.

    @Davina: That’s what friends are for. And then … being a substitute teacher is so much fun. Yes, trying to squeeze in one hour in a 25 hour day is really a big challenge.

    @Robin: Yes, balancing is tricky but worth the effort. The trick is to make trying new things part of what we already do.

    @Natural: Wow, to not to worry about technical aspect of blogging sounds like heaven. Having someone to guest post saves up a lot of time for other activities, doesn’t it?

    @Betsy: I know the feeling. Our list went into pages. The mantra is – one thing at a time. Don’t look at the rest. I checked your site in ie, didn’t give any problem to me.

    @Eric: Thank you. I am having a great time as well. Blogging seems to have a lot of work, doesn’t it? How do you grease the wheels quickly? That’s a great topic for a guest post (hint! hint! next substitute teacher?)

    @Karl: That’s a nice approach – do the most important stuff first. How can you include commenting, ebook and social media outreach in your routine?

    @Urban Panther: Weekend is just round the corner. I will give you an ‘A’ if you do this assignment 😉

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..2009 Personal Goals

  13. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    My biggest procrastination has been replying to comments. I’m better at it now, but not the greatest.

    Next is finding a theme that works well for me, which I’m currently working on. I don’t have time right now to figure out how to create one and I’m not sure that I want to.

    I really want to get my blogging to be a routine, a norm, so that procrastination isn’t any issue whatsoever… someday!

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Just Grazing Away

  14. I am happy and proud to say that I do not procrastinate. When people wonder how I do it – my family, my part time job, my blog, participating in other blogs – the answer is simple: I do not waste time. Ever.

    OK, almost never. 🙂

  15. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there Avani! You seem to be quite a natural at this 🙂

    Networking always seems last on my list of blogging items. Always last. I have it in my head that networking is BAD – for my heart and soul 😉

    I even put off commenting sometimes because I think I *might* be doing it for the sake of merely networking !

    So for now, I am dealing with these issues and taking small steps towards fixing that! I am learning to admit that so many people have such wonderful things to offer and I would never have known if they did not network.

    I know your question was not philosophical, but I will let the teacher decide what she wants to do with my answer 🙂

    Maya´s last blog post..Embracing our cultural identities at work and in life can only be good for us

  16. My CSS needs attention. Was at the Bookstore last evening looking at CSS for Dummies, et al when it hit me—- LIBRARY!! So off went I and lo and behold there were books there on that subject,) ones FOR FREE to borrow. So I got me a couple and have started on “Head First HTML,” which I probably should be reading Right Now, but of course, I like your blog a lot so here I am commenting. Again.

    Getting a bit smarter now in my 6th blogging week. I’m planning my Friday posts to hopefully stimulate a little discussion and not post again until Sunday or Monday, so I can take care of general blog house-keeping, checking in on buddies’ blogs, etc. over the week-end.

    I even turned comments off my post from earlier yesterday.

    Blogging may be even become actually managable!

    Jannie “Funster”´s last blog post..How much are you paying?

  17. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Miss Mehta, too many rules. You didn’t say I couldn’t pass notes, right? I’m passing one to Ann right now. (You didn’t see that.) 🙂

    I would say that I too get so busy with the regular blogging activities that things fall by the way side. There’s a mental list of some more important activities. Let me think about this one… Looks like you have two philosophers now. Maybe that’s why I’m putting some things off – I’m too busy thinking. 🙂 Seriously that might be something for me to think about…..

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Have You Told Yourself this Lie?

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Oooouch! Ms. Mehta, John just hit me with a spit ball

  19. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Ms. Mehta and Barbara, this has been a good read and I have loved the comments – substitute teachers are always a change to explore and discover what is new, that they bring to the class.

    I am afraid I procrastinate on learning the technical and business parts of blogging. My oldest daughter does most of the technical work on site and designed my spot, I rely very heavily upon her knowledge and abilities. The business part and the technical parts too, I am just so slow at learning them – if a human need intercedes I can quickly divert myself from that learning and head for the need immediately.

    I have the time set aside on my time management slot daily, I am just happy when I have to go and do something else. I am an expert on managing my time and am extremely efficient.

    I do write contemplation time into my schedule because mulling and talking with people are important dimensions in my problem solving and clarity of thinking. I probably will read and clean the bathrooms at the same time!

    This was very fun – thank you dear teachers.

    Patricia´s last blog post..Factoid Friday: A Sweet Pumpkin Treat

  20. John casually nods his head implicating Eric Hamm.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..How Can A Blog Help Your Business?

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara looks at John, then looks at Eric. They both “look” innocent. She’s now confused. She takes a mirror out of her purse and sets it up strategically so she can see what’s happening behind her. She’s thinking, “I knew I should have picked a seat further back.”

  22. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    The item I procrasinate with most these days is actual post writing! My blog is rather new having only launched two weeks ago. I pre-wrote all my posts and then set them to publish daily. The last of which published this morning.

    I had planned to continue writing articles over the past two weeks, instead I was busy doing research on advertising, affiliates, tweaking the site and beginning to promote my blog.

    Great post, I’m glad I joined the class today!

  23. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    @Mike: A set blogging routine would be great, wouldn’t it? I too am searching for some good themes. I bookmarked following two pages since I found interesting themes : Best WordPress 3 Column Themes and 20 Free 3 Column WordPress Themes.

    @Vered: Wow, you seem like a pro. What’s your secret?

    @Maya: As long as you show progress, any answer will do 😉 I too find networking difficult. But as you have already said, I just take one step at a time. Once the ice is broken, things automatically become easy – I don’t try to be anything that I am not (that’s too stressful)

    @Jannie: All head first books are great. Am sure you will gain lot of value from the one you have picked up. You have started planning a blogging routine at your 6th week – that’s quick progress.

    @Jennifer: Now, how did I miss out on this rule – no passing notes in class as well ;). It is said too much thinking is dangerous to health – what do you think ?

    @Patricia: This has been fun for us as well (right Barbara?). Pick up one thing you want to learn and give it 30 days. Gives amazing results.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..2009 Personal Goals

  24. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Yippee, a substitute teacher! That means we don’t have to do any schoolwork today, right? 🙂

    The area I would like to work on for my blog is social networking, but my blogging time is spent on writing, comments (both on my blog & others) and answering emails. I want to do more social networking, but don’t want to give up the time I spend writing since my blog is new and regular posting is important IMHO. So, is that considered procrastination or prioritization? Not sure. I certainly don’t feel like I’m procrastinating.

    Another thing I want to do is learn how to set up and use a Flickr account, for personal and professional reasons. That has been on my to-do list for months now. 🙁 Again, it doesn’t feel like procrastination, but maybe it is.

    I’ve already delegated the worst and hardest part of blogging for me, which is the technical aspect. I work with a designer as needed. If not, I would definitely still be procrastinating and my blog probably wouldn’t even be launched by now.

    I really enjoyed this creative approach to guest posting, Barbara and Avani. So an apple goes to each of you!

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..How a Bus Stop Helps Prevent Wandering in Alzheimer’s Patients

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Neil – Welcome to the BWAB community. I’m happy to happened on my first “class” with a “substitute teacher” (guest writer). I hope to see you here again. I’m headed over to your site and see what you’ve done.

    Hi Linda – Have a seat. Ms. Mehta stepped out for a minute. I’m guessing she’ll be back soon. I know what you mean, some things we don’t do are more due to our priorities and time constraints. With most of us blogging as a hobby (at this point in time), our other commitments often get in the way.

  26. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    @Linda: Flickr is very easy to use (at least the basic) shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two to get a head start. Whether you are prioritizing or procrastinating .. tough call, I think only you can tell for yourself. When you prioritize you are very clear that you wouldn’t be doing xxx but when procrastination happens, it’s usually postponed for later – “someday”.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..2009 Personal Goals

  27. sharonNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome Avani, it’s nice to know you! Thank you for sharing such a useful lesson, I guess it is time to delegate those tasks which seem to never leave my ‘to do’ list, day in, day out.

    sharon´s last blog post..Scripting: Ask and It Is Given

  28. When I have time in which I’m not posting any immediate posts for a bit, I should use it to actually write posts instead of being overly leisurely.

    That would be helpful.

    Bamboo Forest´s last blog post..7 Reasons Not to Vote in the U.S. Presidential Election

  29. Hi Avani,
    Well, when it comes to blogging related activities, I do not really delegate it to anybody for it has not reached that difficult for me yet. I do procastinate once in a while and skip a day’s post (Otherwise, I post every other day) however, when I am charged up I post continuously for three-four days as well.

    What I need to change though, is to keep two or three scheduled posts (Right now I am keeping drafts alone not fully done posts) so that vacations etc can be dealt with easily…

    Cheers,
    Ajith – Blogging Idol 2 participant!

  30. In my world, there is no such thing as “procrastination” – there is only denial and it’s a river that runs deep and wide!

    Oh, speaking of which , it’s MUCH easier to ignore a to do list if it doesn’t exist! 😉

    As for delegating – as soon as I complete the community college extension course on Vulcan Mind Melding then I’ll be ready to begin delegating duties.

    I too need to “delegate” the social networking part of blogging. My problem is how do you delegate Twittering and Plurking?

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Steps to Starting a Small Business: #2 – The Implementation

  31. I procrastinate over so many things, I’d be writing an essay if I really let fly. But mostly I have talked about making changes to my blog’s appearance for months and months and only recently starting implementing some of these changes. I also put off updating things like my POPULAR POSTS page and there are 62 unfinished blog posts in my dash. need I say more?

    Kelly 🙂

  32. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    @sharon: Yeah, that’s the mantra – do it, delete it or delegate it.

    @Bamboo: You echo my thoughts.

    @Ajith: I too need to create some backup posts. I see you are participating in Blogging Idol 2. All the best for the same. Have subscribed.

    @Kathy: I can’t answer your question since I barely use Twitter or Plurk (can’t figure out how to use them). And yeah, no to do list, no procrastination – I guess I should stop making lists 😉

    @Kelly: Wow, you have 62 unfinished blog posts! I have none 🙂 I usually scramble last min or last day to write a post from scratch. Am working on that. Multi-tasking might be the culprit in your case.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Motivation Hacks – #1

  33. Yay to getting rid of somedays! I love the message and the methodology Avani! Woo hoo!

    As for my own blogging procrastination – it definitely has to be meta-tagging, SEO stuff and guest posts. The first two I don’t get and have made no effort to understand. The third I haven’t got around to doing yet because it means more writing and I do so much of that already.

    The first two I haven’t made any progress on and don’t know when I will – I might have to delegate that when funds come free. The third one I’ve decided to semi-delegate it. My sister (The Urban Panther) and I have decided to co-write guest posts, making us accountable for posts and creating a built in support system.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Destuckifying Your Life: Havi Brooks Interview

  34. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Backup posts are an awesome idea. I prefer the term “post arsenal” and they REALLY come in handy sometimes.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..Do You Use eBay to Grow Your OTHER Businesses?

  35. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Avani, there definitely has to be a balance. I have discovered some great truths and things about myself and life by doing a lot of thinking. It has been really good for me, but yes, if that’s all someone does it can be detrimental. I don’t think that’s me though.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Have You Told Yourself this Lie?

  36. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Avani, Hi Barbara: I was really good this weekend. I found and installed a plug-in that created a backup of my blog and will do so automatically once a week from now on (and I backed up the wp-content folder), I found another plug-in that automatically updates wordperfect to the latest version (I hadn’t updated my version since I started blogging six months ago), and I bought and installed the thesis theme on my blog. I’m so proud of myself 🙂

    Marelisa´s last blog post..10 Snazzy Ideas on Simplicity

  37. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    @Alex: All-in-one-seo plugin makes it easy to add meta tags. They are basically descriptive keywords which search engines look for to understand what your post & site is about. Co-writing guest post sounds like a fun idea.

    @Dennis: ‘Post Arsenal’ 🙂 cool way to describe back up posts. Someone can use this term in their title to make it interesting. And yes, back up posts are life savers.

    @Jennifer: I could make that out from your blog. You think a lot, usually meaningful and you act on what you gain out of your thinking.

    @Marelisa: Kudos to you. You have accomplished quite a lot this weekend. The second plugin that you spoke about – it updates “wordperfect” or “wordpress” to the latest version? If it’s wordpress, I too need it 🙂

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Motivation Hacks – #1

  38. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Yep, saved mine more then once, that I know. It’s not easy preparing them but once you do you have them set.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..Do You Have Good Follow-Through?

  39. […] weeks ago when we had a “substitute teacher” (guest post) by Avani and she taught the “Blogging To Do List – Do It, Delete It or Delegate” lesson? That was a real hit and one I’d like to repeat, so today I’m asking two […]

  40. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Avani, what a great gesture you’ve offered!! The best part is that you offered advice that I should really be looking into. Things have become quite crazy lately that I find myself sitting on a load of tasks. I need an organized way of getting each in my list checked.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Vision Board Tops Amazon’s Bestseller List?

  41. […] Maintain a weekly list of the things you didn’t do. – “I made a list of activities on which I have been procrastinating.  I plan to take one off every week depending upon how much time this would take.  Adding meta-tags, setting correct categories and tagging top the list.  In order to ensure that this procrastination does not happen again, I plan to list out everything that I procrastinate on and add a star to everything that is a repeat in a weekly review.  This way, those activities which are most procrastinated, will stand out and become high priority.” – via Blogging Without A Blog […]