Being a blogger and being productive while doing it is not so easy.
Especially in the beginning, since there are no deadlines besides the ones we set for ourselves. There’s no one to tell us: “Hey, shouldn’t you have finished this post like days ago???”.
Having to deal with this, I had to get creative. And today I decided to share with you my top productivity tips for bloggers that want to make the most out of their time.
1. To-Do Lists
Making a to-do list is great for increasing your productivity.
It’s best if you write it the day before. This way, you don’t have to waste energy in the morning to figure out what to do. You can just pick the first thing on your list and start.
Don’t forget: Be careful when planning and don’t overdo it. Be realistic about what you can do in a day. Also, don’t get disappointed if you’re off-schedule the first few days. It’ll take a trial-and-error approach to see what works for you and how many tasks you can do in a day without messing up.
Prioritising is essential if you want to be productive. Choosing the right priorities can make your day from merely busy to highly productive. Deleting a thousand emails is just busy while writing two articles can be highly productive.
Don’t forget that your energy is a finite source, so make sure you spend it on the right things.
Choose the most important thing of your list and make it the first thing you’ll do. The one thing on your list that if you do it, the day can be considered a success. Do this every day when making your to-do list for the day after. When I started using this tip, my productivity went crazy high!
The Eisenhower Matrix
Something that can help you with prioritising is the Eisenhower Matrix.
The Eisenhower matrix is an easy way to prioritise your tasks. Let’s see the categories:
1. If a task is urgent and important, then do it now.
2. If a task isn’t urgent, but it is important, then do it later. But do it!
It’s very easy to neglect these tasks and never start them because they’re not urgent and they’re – usually – difficult to start. It’s easier to spend an hour deleting emails than starting a book or an online business.
But these tasks are the ones that can make you truly happy. They may be difficult, but they’re definitely worth your time and your effort.
3. If a task isn’t urgent, but it is important, then delegate it.
If you can’t delegate it, then try to batch the tasks or do them in a time when you know you won’t be very productive. Keep your more productive hours for the most important tasks.
4. If a task isn’t urgent and it’s not important, then why even bother?
Now, of course, some of the tasks we want to do for fun isn’t important nor urgent. For example, going out for a movie or watching TV shows. I’m not saying to remove them from your life entirely – although, it would be productive. But you can reduce the time you spend on them.
3. Don’t Multitask
There are a few people that are good at multitasking. But for the most of us, it’s not easy and, definitely, not productive.
If I try to do more than one thing at a time, it’s taking more time to do all the tasks on my list than doing them one by one. And all the time that takes to finish them, I feel like I’m working but going nowhere.
Since I don’t complete anything and I can’t scratch it off my list, I don’t get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a task. This feeling gives me the satisfaction I need to keep going and moving to the next thing on my list.
When I’m jumping from one task to another, I lose my focus and I waste time by trying to get in the mood for the new task. But when I’m doing only one thing at a time, then I can solely focus on it.
Don’t take me wrong. I don’t mean that if I have a task, I’ll do it all at once. For example, I’ve never written a post in one sitting. And when I’ve done it, I’ve always come back the next days to fix or add something. I usually think about the posts I’m writing the next days, so I come up with new things to say.
How do I go about it? I split my writing into phases.
- Phase 1: I find the topic and I outline the post. (While doing this, I usually write part of it, as well.)
- Phase 2: I write the post (First Pass). I go through what I’ve written in Phase 1 and I write more about it. In this phase, I don’t worry about mistakes or if it makes total sense. I just write.
- Phase 3: I write the post (Second Pass). During this Phase, I finish my writing. I go through it and add whatever else I need.
- Phase 4: I edit the post and fix whatever mistakes I’ve done (spelling, grammar). I also read it a couple of times to see how it flows.
*I leave at least a day between the phases so that I can have the time to think about the post. Not actively thinking about it, but throughout my day, I’ll get random thoughts about how I can improve my post and what else I can write on it.
That means that it’ll take me at least 4 days to complete a post from start to end. Does that mean that this is all I do these days? No. I’ll do other things, as well. I’ll finish a phase on my to-do list and also other stuff.
This also helps me stop procrastinating. If I start writing a post expecting it to be perfect when I finish with it, then it’s difficult for me to start. But if I say to myself that this is only a phase of it and I can fix it tomorrow, then it’s easier for me to start. Because I don’t expect it to be perfect. I don’t even know if this makes sense, but it’s working for me, so I use it. 😀
4. Remove Distractions
It’s difficult to focus if your phone rings all the time, or you get notifications, or you get ads all around the place while working on your computer. Especially when writing, when all you need is to focus on the content, you can’t afford to lose your attention if you want to write your post fast.
A handy tool I found is Calmly Writer. It’s a free online (you can also use it offline) tool you can use to write distraction-free.
This can work to keep your desktop distractions away, but it’s not enough. Don’t forget to:
- Put your phone on silent mode or turn off the internet on your phone.
- Don’t go to any social media accounts.
5. Batch Tasks
You can batch your blog posts, social media posts, basically any task you do on a daily/weekly basis and it’s not time-sensitive…
Try to write all your posts for the whole month and see how it goes. Not only you are more productive this way, but you also get in the mood and work more than you would if you stop and then start again.
Plus, you have the time to think again about something before you publish it. Maybe you want to add something or remove something. Maybe you want to change something. In any case, you have the time to rethink about what you’ve written this way.
6. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique can save you a lot of time. Using it will help you work more efficiently. You’ll work less time but you’ll be more focused on your tasks.
7. FREE Tools To Make Your Life Easier
Tip no.7: If you can make your life easier, do it! Working smart is hard work. Don’t think that you have to work 12 hours per day to be productive. If you can focus and do the whole day’s work in 5-6 hours, good for you! Don’t you dare feel guilty for it.
So here are some tools you can use to improve your productivity. Not everyone is the same, so check them out and start using the ones that help YOU!
On brain.fm, you can listen to music that improves your productivity, meditation or sleep. I like working with music, so for me, it’s worth giving it a try. Check it out to see how it goes. I think you’ll love it!
Heads up: It needs some minutes to start working, so try it for at least 15 minutes. Personally, it took me a couple of times to see that it does work on me.
Write Or Die
Some people work well under pressure, some don’t. If you want to see in which category you belong, check out Write Or Die.
You can choose the Stimulus mode to help you get going or the Consequence mode to prevent you from stopping. You can even choose the Kamikaze mode in which the text gets deleted one by one letter if you stop writing for a long time! Talk about motivation!
Trello is an online tool you can use to stay organised. You can create projects, tasks and checklists so that you can organise your day effectively. If you like being organised, then this is the tool for you.
It’s also a great tool if you work with a team. You can split the work and everyone will know in which stage the project is, what each person does, when to move on to the next stage, etc.
Grammarly is a great tool for extra proofreading. No matter how well you write, there will always be a few mistakes you’ll make – especially if you write fast. So having a little extra help can do no harm as long as you know how to use it. 😀
8. Take A Break
Take a break every once in a while. You don’t want to burn out and this is pretty easy when you start something you’re passionate about. You work too much and then you don’t feel like doing anything. So don’t forget to schedule breaks throughout the week and throughout the day.
These breaks will be useful for you to calm down and also in case something goes wrong and there’s an emergency you’ll have time in your day to deal with it without “destroying” the whole schedule.
Habits Of Effective People
Here is a great video I found on Pick Up Limes. Check it out!
So this is it! Here are my favourite productivity tips! I hope they’ll help you as much as they have helped me.
Share with us some of your productivity tips and, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer! Any suggestions are always welcome, so tell me about topics you’d like me to write.
And if you liked this, check out how to plan your day better.
See you next time!