The Trick to Productivity is just to actually DO it.
This sounds like a duh but seriously, how many times do you…
read about doing something
think about doing something
plan to do something
write something on your to-do list
try to do something while doing something else
do something else before doing IT
wonder if you should be doing IT
I find I get so much more done when I stop procrastinating and just DO it. It’s hard though! No I don’t need a snack first, or to adjust my music first, or plan a certain day to do it. Just DO IT.
That quote is good except for where it says intelligent planning. I don’t think too much planning is needed for productivity. When I REALLY clean my house or write a post, I don’t plan it. I just do it. When you need to do something and you find yourself thinking about it too much, remember Nike’s slogan of “Just Do It.”
Stay off Facebook and Twitter, stop rearranging your papers, getting a snack or talking to your family for just ONE hour and see how productive you can be.
Did you know that today, June 20 is World Productivity Day?
If you need some more tips on productivity I’ve written about it before including ways of blocking out distractions and tips like that. But even with those tips, ultimately, JUST DO IT!
I’m still learning what works so I’m no pro at this by any means. So instead of focusing on one specific thing, I decided to give you some general time saving tips.
There is nothing worse than when you sit down to write and you get a sentence out and you are starting to get in the groove only to have someone come in the room to ask you a question, the phone rings, someone is knocking on the door or your stomach grumbles. Before you get down to work, tell everyone it’s your work hours and they are not to disturb you. Let them get the phone and door and gave a snack and bathroom break first. Distractions take away time.
Do Like Tasks Together
Instead of doing an activity, taking photos, writing a post, editing photos, finalizing the post and then hitting publish/schedule and then starting all over, do all similar tasks at the same time. When I first heard this tip I didn’t think it mattered but when I actually tried it, I could see that it really did help. Taking all my photos at once meant connecting the cord only once to my computer. Editing all of them at the same time meant opening my photo editing program once. Writing posts all at once meant I kept in my groove and churned them out faster.
This probably sounds like an obvious one but it’s NOT easy, at least for me. I have lost count of all the times I’ve tried a new organization system but as I finally get close to what works for me and fine tune the system, I get closer to taking less time to do tasks. I now have my own office which really helps as I can arrange things in the way that makes sense to me. I have charts beside me with fairly current social media stats so when I’m asked for it, I don’t have to open each site again to find out. Even keeping your desk clean can really increase your productivity as you don’t have to waste time looking for that paper or pen.
Have a Plan
If you have to waste time thinking up blog post ideas when you are sitting down to write, you will be wasting a lot of time. Using an editorial calendar or other type of plan will save you time because you will already know what you are writing when you sit down. There are lots of versions of editorial calendars or blog plans and again you will have to try them out to see which one best suits you but once you have found that format, you will be saving time.
Some bloggers do everything themselves while others have team members or co bloggers who do tasks too. Some bloggers do most of it themselves but hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) to do certain daily or weekly tasks, thereby allowing the blogger to save time for post writing. If you aren’t doing absolutely everything yourself, take time to make sure you are delegating tasks properly. Use your team.
When you decide to make the move from hobby blogging to pro blogging you may find you need to make some changes in how you do things to succeed, especially if you are having trouble succeeding as a home business.
A hobby is an activity you do on the side, for fun. A hobby blog is a blog you work on in your free time. It may or may not generate an income but it’s not a full time job and doesn’t produce a full time income. A hobby blog can be a really well written blog with a large audience if it’s done right but the blogger treats it more as a leisure time activity than a job. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a hobby blog, but if you want to be a professional blogger and either turn your hobby blog into a profession or start a new professional blog, you might find it easier if you make some changes.
How To Succeed as a Pro Blogger
Take It Seriously
What do your friends and family know of and think of your blogging? Some people still don’t really get blogging and might take your interest in it lightly. This isn’t as big of a deal if you have a hobby blog. If you want your blogging to be your business though, you need to take your blogging seriously and help others to take it seriously too.
When the topic of blogging comes up with someone, how do you describe it? How do you describe your blog? Don’t make jokes about blogging to non bloggers. Save those for your fellow bloggers who will understand the joke. Talk about blogging when someone asks what you do for a living. I’m not a stay at home mom who blogs. I’m a work at home mom or I run my own website.
If blogging is your job, than it’s just as important as any other job you may have owned.
Dress for Success
There is no right or wrong type of clothing to blog in but what works for one person might not work for another. Also if you are switching from hobby blogging to pro blogging, what worked as a hobby blogger might not work for your anymore. Some people can get business-like wearing anything, even bunny pajamas, while others need a full business suit to be productive. If you are having trouble succeeding and especially staying focus and on task, try changing what you wear to blog.
Even if you blog in your regular every day wear, you can get yourself in the business frame of mind more by taking the time to freshen up in the bathroom and add shoes. Do your hair, put on makeup if that’s your thing and dress to shoes. You might just find it helps you be more productive. When you are done your work for the day, you can kick off your shoes, let down your hair and then your mind will know work time is done.
After polling 27 bloggers I found that 13 work in everyday attire while 14 work in pajamas/loungewear. No one said they work in business attire. This is just a very small sampling of course.
If you are successfully staying on task while you work and succeeding in your blog business in the clothes you wear now than there is nothing wrong with that. However if you are having trouble with success, perhaps try something new.
Follow a Schedule
A problogger really needs some sort of schedule. What type of schedule you have will be determined by your other commitments in the day and the way you work best. If you do your best work in the morning, schedule your blogging time for the morning. When can you focus more, when the kids are at school or after they all go to bed?
If you find it hard to schedule certain times of the day for things (for example you have to work around a baby that doesn’t have a set schedule yet) than schedule certain days of the week for certain tasks. As an example perhaps you write posts on Mondays and Wednesdays, schedule social media on Thursdays and work on post promo on Tuesdays. You will also want to have an editorial calendar to plan out your content.
The reason to have a schedule is so that you can’t just postpone something because you don’t feel like working. A business is only successful if the employees and the management actually do the work that needs to be done. Without a schedule, it becomes to easy to take a day off which turns into a few days and all of a sudden it’s been a week and then a month since you posted. A professional bloggers needs to post regularly enough that the readership he or she has built up doesn’t forget about them. When you are working on your schedule, don’t forget breaks for meals and down time (TV, reading or playing games.)
This is VERY important. Think of what makes you trust someone else as a friend, a resource, a human. What makes you believe in a person or a business or a blog/website? They are trustworthy because they don’t pretend to be something they are not. They are authentic, they are their true self.
For more great information on blogging, business and working at home, I’m sharing a few ideas from my favorite bloggers:
Setting Blogging Goals and Accomplishing Them by Ellen Blogs
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.)
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?