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!
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?
Bloggers who have been around for a while probably are familiar with some online tools that can be useful with regards to blogging such as Hubspot Marketing Grader (if you aren’t familiar with that, get familiar) or Hootsuite.
Here are 3 Online Tools for Bloggers you might not know about.
Blog Social Analyzer
You can use the Blog Social Analyzer to check your own blog or someone else’s to see a few key facts such as Alexa, Mozrank and Domain Authority but also to see how much social media sharing is going on. Use it to evaluate yourself or to see if shares are common on a blog you are thinking of guest posting on.
NameChk is used when you are planning a new website/blog to see if the name you are thinking of is taken on any social media or not. You will want to brand your site and to do so, you will want your brand’s name on your social media accounts. It checks 158 social media sites although by default it just shows the most popular ones. Just type in your ideal username to see what’s taken. It also suggests some available domain names.
Dark room is pretty much what it sounds like. It calls up a dark room so you can concentrate on your writing without all the distractions. It’s a minimalist text editor that by default is green text on black. You can set it to auto save and then type away to your heart’s content. Focus on adjusting the layout of it and adding images after when you copy and paste it into your usual editor. You can edit the preference to your liking including colour, font and size. the only downside I see is when you install it, it tries to install extras like toolbars and such. So don’t just click install on every window that comes up. Read what it says and choose decline for all of those. When it talks about toolbars, choose advanced setup and unselect the toolbar options to JUST install Dark Room.
*image source – foam 3 puzzle piece photo used for post image is from Kozzi.com. Sign up using my referral link and we both get 10 free premium credits