Let me start this post by saying – I love my blog.
I love it a lot.
What I often struggle with however is the tech side of things. It’s the tech side of running my blog that frustrates me the most.
One of the things I struggle with is working with code.
Making design changes to my blog can sometimes be the pinnacle of frustration. Even with a great theme (which I thankfully have) you still end up dealing with code now and then.
Here are some of the ways I’m learning to deal with this particular blogging frustration. I hope they can help you as well.
Learn the basics
I don’t plan on doing an extensive course on writing code. Frankly, I don’t have the time.
What I can do is learn some of the basics. I can learn just enough to get by and allow me to make minor tweaks to my blog, without ripping my hair out.
It’s a bit like visiting a foreign country and not being able to speak the language. Highly frustrating at times.
But learning a few basic words and phrases to communicate with the locals, can go a long way to alleviating some of that frustration. Just for the record, when you are traveling in a foreign country, being an expert at waving your hands around to communicate can help a lot as well. So does smiling. 🙂
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Get help from the experts
I have been getting a lot of help from my wonderful designer at Empty Cabin Media. I would be lost without his assistance.
Yet I do struggle with asking someone for help. It’s that feeling that you want to be able to do it yourself.
You want that sense of accomplishment. More to the point, you don’t want to embarrass yourself by asking something stupid.
While that is all well and good, sometimes we just have to bit the bullet and ask for help.
Sometimes it is simply worth your time and sanity, to throw some money at the problem to get it fixed.
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Understand tasks can take longer than you think
This one particularly drives me nuts.
Suddenly a small problem turns into a large, time consuming one.
I’m sure anyone who has done any handyman work or home renovations is shaking their head in agreement right now.
Sometimes we just have to accept this fact and be patient.
Time management needs to come into play.
The tasks that are frustrating seem to suck us in. We get that mindset where we just have to stick it out, no matter what the price.
If you find yourself in this position, snap yourself out of it.
You need to take into consideration what else you should be doing with your time and energy. Again, this is where delegating or paying someone else to do the work can help.
This also directs us back to point one, learn the basics. You can’t be expected to finish something in record time if you have no idea what you are doing.
With experience, practice and time management my writing times are improving dramatically. It makes sense that with more knowledge and practice – in turn, so will my time spent on blog design.
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Look for other ways around the problem
Last week, I was stuck on a design problem with my blog.
I felt like I was knocking my head against a brick wall, trying to figure out how to get a certain function to work.
No matter what I did and no matter how many hours I spent on the task (and there were a lot of them!) I could not get it to work. I was like a woman possessed.
Then it hit me, there had to be another way.
It wasn’t about getting my first idea to work, it was about finding a completely different way of getting the job done. I’m pleased to say that is exactly what I did.
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Take a break and come back to the task later
Sometimes simply stepping away from a problem or project can help.
If the problem is all you can think about – if you are consumed by it, it’s time to take a break.
A break will help you see the issue more clearly.
I tend to go for a walk when I need to clear my head. A nice cup of tea out in my courtyard can also work wonders.
Whatever your recharging mechanism is – use it to your advantage.
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Know frustration is an opportunity to learn
I know it doesn’t feel like a valuable opportunity at the time. It just feels frustrating!
Like you want to scream at something.
Yet, it is an opportunity to learn and grow.
I will give you an example. Now whenever I have a problem with design work on my blog, I head straight to the WordPress plugin section.
They have a plugin for just about everything a blog needs to do. If I can find a reliable plugin for the function I need, it often eliminates the need to mess with code. Hallelujah!
When you are next faced with a problem or obstacle, think to yourself – how did I get through this last time?
How did I overcome a similar problem in the past?
What did I learn? What plan of attack should I use?
What mistakes do I not want to repeat this time around?
Enjoy your blog and everything it represents even on the frustrating days. Wishing you an un-frustrating day!
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