The goals of this article are to help you be smart and productive with your blogging life.
1. Write down:
1. All the tasks that need to be completed
2. How long it will take to do each one
3. Prioritize the tasks
4. Their deadlines
The idea of this is for you to be able to visualize which tasks are your priorities. If you can’t fit all the tasks into one day, move them to the next. As long as you are completing the most important tasks first, you are using your time wisely!
2. Make a schedule
Bloggers generally work from home where there are millions of distractions hanging around.
Think about the kind of schedule that works best for you:
a) Fixed Schedule:
This type of schedule is designed for you to complete certain amount of tasks within a certain time.
Just start with the first task and work your way down to the last.
Once 5 o’clock hits…just stop!
How this helps with time management:
Creates a deadline: Having a deadline produces a sense of urgency to complete a task.
Limits your choices: Without a schedule, we tend to overwhelm ourselves with tasks that become impossible to finish between 9-5. With a fixed schedule, we limit the tasks that we can assign ourselves.
Abandons unnecessary tasks: Since a fixed schedule forces you to stop at 5 pm, you will limit yourself to completing the most important tasks.
b) Flexible Schedule:
This type of schedule is designed around ‘attention management’ versus ‘time management.’
If you feel the most productive at 8am, then make sure you’re working at that time.
Starting to feel cloudy around 12pm? Take a break for as long as you need, come back and start at your next peak productive time.
How this helps with time management:
Makes good use of your energy: You can make your schedule so that it revolves around your “peak” productive times.
You don’t have to force yourself: If you don’t work well within constraints and find deadlines counter-productive, a flexible schedule will give you more freedom.
Try writing your schedule down on a whiteboard, use an agenda, or try apps like 24me: a virtual personal assistant that organizes your calendar, to-do lists, and notes.
3. Keep a notebook (or something like it) around
Don’t lose your great ideas! Inspiration (at least for us) comes from hours outside the 9-5, while I’m just living my life.
4. Don’t waste your time on emails or easy-peasy tasks
Useful Tools for When You Get Distracted
Install Kill News Feed: a Google Chrome extension that blocks you from seeing your Facebook Newsfeed.
It even includes a reminder when your instinct to go on Facebook kicks in!
Make a voicemail that explains your working hours and then disown your phone for that time!
Turn off all notifications. You don’t need to know that a Natasha liked your picture on Instagram while you’re working!
5. Create an outline of your task
Like making a schedule for your day, making a schedule for your tasks will help you to visualize what you need to do for the day.
For example, when we’re writing a new article our outline looks something like this:
Introduction: Why do our readers want to read this article?
First Tip: Prioritizing – Why its important
Second Tip: Scheduling – Why its important
Third Tip: Notebooks – Why they’re important
We can play around the order of the tips, add in more parts, etc. but at least we have a general idea of the direction of our article.
Remember, writing an outline will take a smaller amount of time than changing your entire article.
It’s worth it!
6. Focus on one task at a time
It can be difficult to brush your teeth and cook dinner at the same time, right? You might accidentally add toothpaste to your steak.
It’s the same for doing two tasks at once!
Instead of putting half the amount of effort on two tasks, put 100% of your effort into one.
You and your readers will notice the difference in the quality of your work.
7. Take breaks
Scientific studies have proven that taking breaks helps with productivity.
The more we repeat a task over and over, the less our brain registers that it’s important.
Taking breaks helps with creativity. Watching a video or conversing with a friend can inspire new ideas.
Physically moving your body around has also been proven to freshen up the mind as it gets our blood flowing and produces more oxygen to the brain. Try working out over your lunch break or just taking a five-minute walk around the block.
Types of Breaks you should schedule:
Schedule in breaks after tasks: Taking a break after you finish a task is not only a great reward, but also will help with productivity.
Schedule longer breaks for your less productive times
Some bloggers recommend scheduling an hour of “unscheduled time” during your day. Use this time to reset your brain or to just think deeply about the vision of your blog.
8. Take time to reflect
Start your day off with taking at least 5 minutes to think about your day; ask yourself:
· What is my goal for the day?
· Will my tasks that I’ve outlined help me reach my goal?
Then, set your phone to beep every hour to remind yourself to stand up and move around; ask yourself:
· Am I being productive?
· Did I stick to my schedule?
End your day like you started it and reflect on what you did; ask yourself:
· Did I accomplish what I set out to do?
· If not: Think about what you can do differently for tomorrow
· If yes: Great job! Rinse and repeat for tomorrow