Six Simple Steps to Increase Your Blogging Productivity
I don't know about you but lately, I've been feeling completely overwhelmed like my to-do list is neverending.
That's the good and bad thing about blogging. As someone who has always had a corporate job, leaving the office was easy for me to turn off my work mode and come home to relax.
Blogging and being an entrepreneur is great, but it also takes a ton of hard work, dedication, and the ability to actually get stuff done.
I recently started to evaluate my schedule and what I'm doing in order to take full advantage of my day and determine how to get the most done every single day. I mean who doesn't love to feel like they've checked off everything on their to-do list, right?
So, I've put together a list of the top six things I've done to get more done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
#1 Evaluate your schedule:
Figure out what you do every single day. Use a Chrome extension such as Rescue Time to track where you are spending the most time. I didn't realize how often I check e-mail throughout the day or even Facebook.
From there you can start to eliminate these distractions. One thing that's also helped me quite a lot is to have only one or two (three max if necessary) tabs open at a time. I literally used to have a dozen or so tabs open at a time which is ridiculous if you think about it.
I now love to use Momentum which is a google Chrome extension that opens up to a beautiful photo with your main focus of the day. This makes you remember exactly what your current focus is whenever you open up a new tab.
#2 Create Your Schedule/Routine
Most people (myself included) work best when there's some type of routine or schedule. Don't get me wrong, the joy and best thing about working from home is the ability to have a flexible schedule. However, you have to be able to focus and set aside personal time only when necessary.
When I first started blogging full-time I would take multiple breaks throughout the day to either workout, go grocery shopping, do e-courses, run errands, you name it I did it. What I realized is that my flexibility was actually hurting my productivity. I did best when I knew I could only allow myself a set amount of time - say an hour a day to either workout, run an errand or even just relax for a bit.
#3 Batch Your Processes
Batching is by far the best time-saving trick in the book. What once was seen as a good thing to be a multi-tasker has actually turned into a negative quality. Remember when we used to all put this as a positive quality on our resumes? Well, think again mister.
Batching which is the process of doing the same thing in chunks of time is a great way to bang out a project or multiple tasks in one go. For example, if you're a personal style blogger, it makes so much more sense to take all of your photos in one day rather than spend a few hours each day setting up your camera, getting the right light, and then uploading all of your pictures.
What I've noticed is that when I batch my processes whether it's social media, writing blog posts or even checking e-mail, I don't go back and forth between tasks as much.
#4 Plan ahead as much as possible.
I know this one is sort of like an obvious piece of advice, but it seriously helps out so much. I use Asana which is a free online site and app in which you can schedule out what you need to do every single day.
If I plan out what my priorities are for the month it makes it much easier to fill out what I need to be doing each week, especially when it comes to making deadlines.
This also works great as an editorial calendar because you can add tasks from your phone.
#5 Set your 90-day Goals and Action Items
Having a goal that should take about 90 days to accomplish is a very possible time frame for completing a project.
Whether you want to grow your e-mail list, grow your traffic, publish an e-book, if you set one big goal every three months or so you will definitely push the needle each day. The idea is to do something every single day to achieve this goal.
You gotta keep your eye on the prize in order to see results. I like to use physical planners to do this. The Passion Planner specifically has some great ideas and ways to complete your goals.
There's something about actually writing out your goals almost like a journal that makes them seem more legitimate and set in stone.
#6 Create a list of EVERYTHING you need to do within each Project or Task.
This may seem a bit counterintuitive and actually creating more work for you, but trust me this is a good one.
When you make a list of all of your tasks and then the tasks that you must do to accomplish each task it helps you actually complete that task.
For example, when you create a blog post, there's obviously a lot of tasks associated with publishing a blog post. So when you write "publish a blog post" on your to-do list you also have to take into account all of the other things involved with that task such as:
1) Outline the post
2) Find photos to accompany post
4) Post to social media
5) Promote with other bloggers
That's five steps to complete one task! If you take this tactic and apply with even bigger projects such as redesigning your site, you can push the needle a bit each day.
The key to beating overwhelm and being the most productive is to take at least one action a day to create some type of system that works for you. So even though I'm giving you these six simple steps that have worked for me, please feel free to tweak according to your own preferences and schedule.
So tell me, what are your favorite productivity hacks and which step resonates with you most? Leave a comment below!
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