Increasing Blog Productivity

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Increasing Blog Productivity

Increasing Blog Productivity

Give Yourself a Change of Scenery

Clean, reorganize, redesign or completely move your work space depending on what you can do at the time. Even if you can’t move your work space somewhere else, cleaning the area and/or making small changes such as different décor, a different arrangement of the parts (computer pieces, notepads, pencil holder etc) or a quick paint job can make a difference. Even just decluttering makes a world of difference.

Use Background Music/Noise

Some people work best in quiet but most of us work better with some kind of background noise, even if it is just white noise. If you find music distracts you because you try to sing along, put on instrumental. Try nature sounds. If what you need to do is typing, try more upbeat music. If you are trying to make phone calls or do planning, try something softer and slower. You’ll find resources for these ideas at the end of the post.

Block Out Distractions

There are all types of distractions that could be hindering your ability to be productive. Some you can control and some you can’t. Noise cancelling headphones might do the trick. We’d all love a separate room that is just our work space and a nanny to watch the kids and a butler to answer the phone and door while we work. If you have all that, consider yourself lucky. Most of us don’t. Do what you can.

  • If you can hire a babysitter or work when kids are at school or sleeping, great. If you can’t, maybe mom or dad’s work time can be when the kids watch a movie or do some fun self-led activity they only get to do when you are working. You may be tempted to not let them do something “big” like playdough, crafts or building a fort but if you take a few moments break and get them set up and started on a bigger activity they don’t do as often, it will hold their attention longer.
  • Turn off your phone’s ringer and put your cell phone farther away from you if that is your biggest distraction.
  • If having tabs open to websites or Social Media that are not relevant to the task at hand is the distraction, close them. Or even open a new browser window so they are still up but out of site. Turn your volume down or turn off notification sounds if you leave them up so you aren’t tempted to click over every time you hear a sound.
  • If you find you get hungry or thirsty often and getting up to get those is the biggest problem, keep snacks and drinks handy or at least get them before you sit down to work.
  • If email is your biggest distraction, don’t keep your email client open and don’t even check email until you’ve been productive for an hour or two first. If you need an email open to refer to while you work, either open up the related emails and close the actual client (if it’s an offline client) or make sure auto send and receive is turned off so new emails won’t keep popping in while you are working.

Group Similar Tasks

If your blog posts often require editing lots of photos, instead of downloading and editing your photos before each blog post you sit down to write, download all recent images at once and designate some work time to editing (cropping, resizing, adding text etc) and saving them.

You can put all photos for one blog post in a separate folder to make it easier to find them when you are working on a post. Do this for other tasks too. Don’t write a post, promote it on Social Media, then write another post, and promote it etc. Get all your writing done and then spend time promoting them (you can schedule some Social Media posts so they are spaced out more.)

Time to Work

Wake Up Early, Stay Up Late or figure out your Circadian Rhythms and work WITH them and not against them.

Use Your Resources Wisely

There are tons of resources out there to help with productivity. Take a look at them and figure out which ones work best for you and then use them!

  • Expand your idea of a to-do list. Be clear with what the plan is. Try these printable to-do lists.
    • Mytomatoes.com is a digital form of the Pomodoro Technique which has you work for 25 minutes uninterrupted using a timer and then break for 5 minutes.
    • Simply Noise – white, pink or brown noise to keep you focused.
    • Coffitivity.com – Ever taken your laptop or tablet to a coffee shop? Why is it that you have no problem concentrating there? It’s not too quiet or too noisy. Get the benefits of coffee shop sounds at home.
    • Nature Sounds For Me – Create your own compilation of the available sounds and customize it so it’s just right for you. You can add up to 4 sounds and customize the volume and percentage included as well as if it goes on continuously or comes and goes throughout the time. Tons of sounds to choose from, not just what you expect for nature sounds.
    • Get Work Done Music – Click play and listen. You can skip a song if you really want to or choose fast or faster but other than that, very simple. Use the faster for house cleaning.
    • Productivity Music – this is a YouTube video and I love the music but it’s only 18 minutes long so not really good unless you just need a few focus moments to get something done.
    • Do Nothing for 2 Minutes  – Great for breaktime, it actually times you and you fail if you touch the keyboard or mouse and the timer resets.
    • Calm.com – Calming music and visual displays for when you need to take a moment and relax.

Which Productivity Tips Do You Think Might Help You?Increasing Blog Productivity | Biannual Blogathon Bash


Kathleen Garber-Bailey

http://www.biannualblogathonbash.com

Kathleen is a blogaholic and social media enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. She is a SAHM of five and a Girl Guide leader in addition to her multiple online endeavours.

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54 thoughts on “Increasing Blog Productivity
  1. momsvictories

    I struggle with productivity especially because I normally blog in my bed after kids are in bed and I am already tired at that point too. Today, I'm going to try blogging during 1-2 hours during the day. Have my son occupied at our dining table (aka Lego table) building Legos while I work (i tweeted a picture of our setup). It is also a change of scenery and has chairs with good back support. I'm also trying to group tasks better. I have a long list of book reviews that I have to update for a plugin and it will require going back and forth to several websites so I've got my list together and ready to go. Dinner is already in the slow cooker too, lemon rosemary chicken with carrots so let's hope for smooth sailing today!

     
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    1. Kathleen Garber

      I used to do tons of blogging late into the night like 1-2am but when I think about it, I worked a lot slower because I was tired and didn't get as much done. I blog more during the day when the older kids are at school. We'll see how things change after baby #4 is born though, but I blogged with a nursling on my lap before so should be the same.

       
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  2. Angela Kinder

    I generally listen to music while I work, because I always found listening to music helpful, even when I was in high school (against my mother's wishes, since she thought it was a distraction). But lately, I haven't been and that is when I notice that my productivity goes down.

    So I would probably listen to music before I begin work, to set the pace, and then listen to it through out.

    I should probably group similar tasks. I am terribly unorganized so when I am scrambling to edit a picture, I feel rushed. If I know I need several pictures, I will most likely edit them the night before so they are ready in the morning.

    It is funny that you mentioned redecorating your space. I was totally thinking that earlier this week! Every day, I look at the same stuff and it can get sort of hum drum. I might change things around this weekend so my space seems more refreshed!

     
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  3. Meagan Paullin

    The idea of batching tasks together is one that I've been meaning to do! Now that I'm finally clearing my schedule more – taking less sponsored work, so I have time to BREATH – I'm ready to find a way to make some new habits. The photo thing was already on my list – I'd love to do the majority of anything that needs photos all in one batch: one day to shoot all of the photos, another to edit them all. I still haven't – crazy I know – started using any type of social media scheduler, but will soon. But you are so right – batching things together is sure to be a big time saver!

    I'm also in the process of finally – FINALLY – putting together an office/craft room/workshop. After blogging full time for 3 years, and this being a real business that is our only family income, I figured it was time to treat it as such, and stop working at the dining room table, lol.

    And for the music one – oh man, I cannot WORK without music! I blast it loud – it drowns out any other sounds in the house, and pumps me up!!

    So, those are my three I'm working on!

     
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  4. Heather McDougle

    I definitely have a problem with productivity. I have a hard time focusing on one task at a time. I'm going to change my scenery because where I usually blog has way too many distractions. It's in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the house. I need a corner or somewhere away from the chaos. I need to keep my phone away from me and snacks and drinks handy. I, also, need to work on having nature sounds in the background because that really helps me focus. And a big thing is I need to start making to-do lists. I need to focus on one thing at a time and spend time doing that 1 thing instead of trying to do everything at once with no real focus.

     
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  5. oldermommystill

    I am very easily distracted and definitely have a productivity problem. I don't have young kids so I can't assign any blame there…lol Music is very distracting to me, but oddly enough, I just thought of this now, but earplugs may work well for me. That way there is no outside stimuli to distract me. I'm going to try this and will pick up a pair later today, when I am at the grocery store.
    I am actually in the process of organizing my "office" aka dining room table. I use a laptop and just need to pick up a baskets to store my agenda, and stationary supplies. I decided on baskets as the laptop and baskets can easily be removed form the table when we need it for it's intended purpose.
    I have also discovered I am a bit of a procrastinator and work best with a bit of deadline looming.

     
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  6. Alison Steward

    Thanks for hosting this challenge – some good tips and some stuff to really think about as far as what I'm doing that may be counterproductive! I think the two things that really stood out for me were cleaning the clutter at my workspace and putting that darn phone away. My "office" is actually my computer desk in the corner of the living room, which is where the family is all usually at too. It's also a very convenient place for everyone to drop mail, papers, books, dog leashes, you name it the corner of my desk is the proverbial catch all. When I finally get around to cleaning it up I always feel much better and want to be at my desk working more — it's just a nicer space — so I think I'm going to make an effort to clean it up daily and make sure it's clear and uncluttered before I ever sit down to work. Also I think putting my cell phone away when I'm working would be very helpful – I find that even when I don't have social media tabs open on my computer, I still grab my phone and check FB and Twitter or what have you every few minutes which obviously breaks my concentration so I need to stop that!

     
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    1. Kathleen Garber

      You need to train your family NOT to use your desk as a free for all. As soon as anyone puts anything on my desk I make them take it right back off. They are learning mostly although the kids are harder to train. I also tend to clutter up my desk myself so at the end of the work day, before bed I pick up a few things and put them away from my desk.

       
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  7. Create With Joy

    Thank you for this challenge Kathleen! I am the queen of doing a thousand things at a time and trying to remain focused on the task at hand is one of the things I am working on in the new year!

    Here are some of the things that I am doing to increase my productivity:

    1) De-cluttering, cleaning up and re-organizing my workspace! I cleaned off my computer area and my desk before the start of the blogathon to minimize distractions. Even something as simple as using an old pencil holder to stash odds and ends such as bookmarks (which I can never find when I need them) has proven to be a huge help!

    2) Trying to minimize the number of windows I have open on my computer at any given time. Ok, I am REALLY bad at this! But – I am working on copying all of those "must read" links into a Word document that I can go back and read at another time!

    3) I am trying to keep extra water bottles and healthy snacks near my computer so – when I am on a roll – I can keep working when my stomach starts growling!

    4) I am working on grouping similar tasks together – like prepping photos and formatting reviews – in advance and I am finding that a HUGE timesaver! I am also starting to (on occasion) pre-schedule posts and I must say – I am loving that too!

    Look forward to checking out some of the resources you've provided (AFTER the blogathon – as I don't want them to be a distraction to me – lol!)

     
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  8. Kim Tobin

    Omigosh the de-clutter of my work area NEEDS to happen. My desk looks like something from Hoarders! It could really be contributing to my lack of productivity. I am also easily distracted so closing social media tabs is something I'm going to have to do. I think I also need to close the door or move to a different room when I'm working if I'm finding it difficult. I obviously can't do that during the day with my son but for some reason my husband just can't leave me in peace for 5 minutes without asking me something, talking to me, or getting me to do something for him AFTER I've said I need an hour to work. Men!

     
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    1. Kathleen Garber

      My desk looked like that until very recently, it REALLY does make it hard to concentrate. As for your husband, mine was like that too until I started bringing in more products and actual money. Now he takes it more seriously and lets me work when I tell him I'm busy.

       
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    2. Megan

      The two tips I will implement are grouping similar tasks and giving the kids a certain toy or movie while I’m working. I do best with silence, which doesn’t work well with three children! A few nights a week I stay up late to work on my blog. I have to sacrifice a little sleep but I’m a lot less stressed when the kids are in bed and I can really focus!

       
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      1. Kathleen Garber

        Agreed with regards to children. They just don't understand how a simple quick question every 10 minutes or less bothers me. They don't understand that every time I'm interrupted it takes me a while to get back in the groove.

         
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  9. theknitwitbyshair

    I turn on NASCAR as background noise…is that weird? LOL Then I use a timer. work on blogging, work on housework, rinse and repeat. i don't schedule anything during my 3yo's nap time b/c that is working time.

     
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  10. Kecia

    I am such a night owl so I'm going work toward being more productive at night. I generally stay up until 1am for my newborn's feeding before sleeping. Since my husband and older son go to bed way before that, I really need to use that time to focus. I'm going to try the white noise from SimplyNoise to keep me focused.

     
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  11. Lisa Marie

    Hire a Nanny. Perfect. Good idea! ;)

    I'm going to try the group like things together (ie. write a bunch of posts all at once), and turn of Facebook (it's my arch nemesis to productivity, in full honesty!)

     
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  12. Margarita Ibbott

    I love this challenge. I think I am going to try to work earlier in the morning. As it is, I have to get my daughter to volleyball on Wednesdays at 6 so we are up at 5:30. I have to admit by the time I get home at 8:30, I have worked pretty intensely for 2 hours (at McDonald – thank goodness for free wifi).

     
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  13. cpkclark

    I love these tips! I'm definitely going to be more aware of my peak times – I am often up working on bloggy stuff late at night, half asleep, and I know that is not the best way to get things done. I worked on a playlist of jams to keep me motivated and mentally energized so I will use that as my background music while blogging. I am also going to (finally) automate my editorial calendar on this great spreadsheet format that I found online.

     
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  14. Barb Garber

    I can't believe I never thought about background music! I LOVE music. What better way to get inspired. I may have to find the correct music, otherwise I'll be singing and be-bopping around. I also like grouping tasks. I need to set aside time to work on graphics for my posts. I tried the Get work Done Music, don't like that. I did enjoy the Productivity music and love the Calm page.

     
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    1. Kathleen Garber

      I wasn't a fan of the Get Work Done Music page either. I created an instrumental playlist on Grooveshark.com as well for concentration music. Like you said, if it's too upbeat and such, you will sing and dance instead of focusing. Instrumental takes that problem away.

       
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  15. @Algonquin_Blog

    Clutter is always my issue…So setting aside the time before sitting down to blog just to delcutter my desk is one thing I'm going to work on. I love music so that's always on in my office…however I'm going to give classical a try and see if it keeps me more on task. The other thing I NEED to work on is to get rid of the background tabs…like facebook lol. I get easily distracted so this is something that I MUST work on if I want this site to continue to be successful!

     
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  16. Karen

    What a great challenge – I have been really struggling this last couple of months because of a new baby, house move and Christmas all bundled together. I am going to work on setting time aside for each task as well as allowing time to do household things. I love the music sites and think that music may be a huge help to me.

    Today I cleared my desk and reorganized my blog closet so I knew exactly where everything was and how to find it.

     
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  17. @PinkMama68

    Productivity is something I really need to work on. TV and housework is my distractions. I might need to go work at a coffee shop. Next week I'll use the timer, to-do list, and really focus. Thanks for the ideas and sites. They will come in handy!

     
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  18. Sarah

    First want to say what a great challenge, thanks for hosting this blogathon. I think not having a desk space to blog from is a struggle. Often I just have my laptop on a table cushion thing I have…and blog on the couch in the living room while watching tv. I think setting up more of an office space by using my kitchen table might help, as well as turning off the tv! It’s not perfect but I will have to make due as getting a real desk isn’t an option for me right now in my living situation.

    Editing my photos right away also helps with my bloggin’ flow…if I procrastinate there…then sometimes I never share the photos in posts! So need to get in a better habit of editing as I go! I need to still finish editing photos from a trip to France 18months ago that I never blogged about. Hoping to get that done in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Thanks again! :) Sarah

     
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  19. Caroline

    I have a laptop table set up in the lounge and often get distracted by the TV/hubby so I might move to the dining room and block out the distractions by chucking in the headphones. NO social media open either otherwise I end up stuffing about on there and not blogging :/
    I love the idea of grouping tasks. Something I might need to give a go!
    Thanks for all the suggestions :D

     
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  20. Robin Davidson

    i am going to clean up my workspace, though most of the time i use my laptop and just travel around the house, lol. then i am going to create something from nature sounds for me–got the tab open now, ha ha. i love that idea because i use an app at night to sleep and love to mix the sounds. i love the idea of grouping similar tasks. i was thinking about that from another mini challenge and half-formulating a plan to work on all the pinnable images for a week's worth of posting at once. it then follows that i should work on the writing for the posts, and then on promoting them.

     
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  21. tiffanyhathorn

    I plan to…
    1. Give yourself a change of scenery. I usually work at home, but there have been times when my internet went out and I had to go to the local university. I typically get more done there, so maybe I should start dooing that more often
    2. Remove distractions. I have a 3 year old and am easily distracted. I need to actively work on staying focused.
    3. Wake up early – I have found that I get more done when I wake up early as opposed to staying up late. When I stay up late, I tend to just watch Netflix as opposed to get anything productive done.

     
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  22. Naila Moon

    I recently changed where I do my work from kitchen table to my actual desk. Can you imagine? However, I keep stacking and cluttering. I will make a concerted effort to keep my space at least sorted and fresh for next days progression.
    I do not always have music on in fact many time it is quiet but I do work better when there is at least white noise of some sort. I have found a video on YouTube that is 3 hours long geared for working purposes. I will use it more.

    I am also going to try out the 2 minute time out. Usually I just keep going and going and never stop. I need to sometimes.
    Thanks for all of these tips!

     
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  23. Darla Kirchner

    Thanks for sharing our Daily Task sheet, I hope it is very helpful and useful! I use the worksheet to stay productive and focused:) I'm going to be checking out the other resources you posted, especially the music sites. Thanks again!

     
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  24. akryworuka

    Working through some older challenges – I need to do better with planning my day and keeping focused. I get distracted easily sometimes. I love the Do Nothing for 2 Minutes site! It was hard not to touch the keyboard or mouse!
    My recent post Blogathon Weekend!

     
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  25. ashleymullen498093242

    Hi! I am checking out the challenges from the last Blogathon since I missed out on it. Social Media is my biggest issue, Facebook sucks me in all day long!
    My recent post Where I Blog

     
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  26. rkaohmuall

    Namastey !!! Kathleen ji…this is Rahul from India
    thanks to you for share great and informative article about blog productivity.

     
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  27. inthebookofthebeholder

    Thank you for those tips and links! They will certainly be of good use in my struggles with productivity and focus.

     
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