Every one is always hoping that when they sit down to work, they will instantly fall into that sweet spot of inspiration and productivity. The perfect pairing of brilliance and determination that will bring forth this great content that no one can pass up.
If only it were that simple.
Sure, you may have some days that are like that, but more often than not, you will have your bursts of inspiration at random. If you want to work at coveting that sweet spot everytime you sit down to blog, you need to figure out what span of time you will be most productive, for how long, and schedule your tasks accordingly.
For me, it is in the evening after my monster goes to bed. It is almost like a little weight has been lifted once my “mommying” is done for the day and I can focus on my stuff. Once I open up my laptop, I can almost always get inspired.
I know it’s easy to look at the time you do have and easily dismiss that it is not enough to do anything of value on your blog. Or think that you will use your time wisely by going on Facebook or Pinterest. But trust me, you won’t. You would be much better off doing a brain dump or creating an email for your list. Promotion is very important, but if you don’t have any inspired content to promote, then what is your plan?
Be realistic about how much time you have to work. There is nothing wrong with only having 30 minutes. Make the most of those 30 minutes by choosing two 15 minute tasks. You will still have completed tasks rather than thinking 30 minutes is too short, and not do anything at all. There are several tasks you can complete in 15 minutes. You would be surprised what you can accomplish.
“The way we measure productivity is flawed. People checking their BlackBerry over dinner is not the measure of productivity.” ~ Timothy Ferriss
Here are some great ways to become more productive and purposeful with your blog/biz.
Figure out Your Time Suckers
Set a timer
Keep a schedule
Keep a cheat sheet
See the Big Picture
Figure out Your Time Suckers:
You may not realize how much time you take each day filling it with actions that waste time.
Some tasks can be time suckers in and of itself such as Pinterest, social media, checking your email, life, chores, etc.
While all of these things are very important and they do need to be taken care of, they can also take away from the productivity if we don’t complete those task with purpose.
When we act with purpose, you will understand that what needs to be done doesn’t take as much time and once you are done with what you need to do, then you can fill your extra time with what you want to do. If you take the time to notice how long you spend surfing social media or getting sidetracked online, you will see that the reasons you went on there in the first place wasn’t what was taking up your time, but all the other distractions, and now you don’t have time to do what you set out to do.
How frustrating is that?
Set a Timer:
When you go online with a purpose, set a timer, then you will find that it didn’t take you that long in the first place, so now you have extra time for more tasks or to do something you want to do. Also, you can make it a game, trying to complete your task before the timer goes off.
Now, I am a realist. If you are a parent, you know that there is no real way to eliminate distractions. I mean, come on, your kids do not care what you are doing, if they have a need or thought, it is the most important thing in the world, at that moment. You can ask that they not bother you for a period of time, but that may make them want your attention even more. For me, I wait to work on my blog until after my little one has gone to bed. But that may not work for everyone.
Other distractions may be easier to eliminate. Turn your phone on silent, turn off the TV, close the extra tabs on your computer. You may think you are multitasking, but the distractions are actually pulling your attention away from what you need to work on, and each time you try and get back on track, you are just wasting more time. If you only get away from the distractions for however long you have to work, like 30 minutes, you will be surprised by how much you can accomplish in that time.
Keep a Schedule:
I know it can seem restrictive, the idea of scheduling out your day. However, if you look at it as you are scheduling your needs so that you have time for your wants, maybe it won’t seem so bad.
It’s the whole eating the frog concept. Getting the dreaded tasks out of the way first so that you can do the fun stuff later. It is empowering to know that you are treating your day with purpose.
When I started this, I didn’t realize how little time some tasks took and how long other tasks took. But when I started timing myself, I was ending up with more time in the evening than before. When you don’t realize how long a task takes to complete, it’s easy to underestimate and leave yourself with too little time and don’t get it done.
This isn’t a new concept. There are tons of books and articles written on how to schedule time or be more productive. However, from a blogging standpoint, we are in a much more distractable world than when you are in an office with others who may be holding you accountable.
Working from home or for yourself is a whole different ball game. Those who aren’t used to it may have to fail before they realize that their tactics may need to change.
Take the time to write down everything that you need to do. This can be for the day, the week, whatever, write down all of your tasks. Make a special mark by the ones that are most important. You want to make sure that you do those first. I put a star next to mine.
You can start working on your tasks by most important first, or if you are like me, put in a “fun” task in between the “Important” tasks to break it up and give myself a little treat for completing an “important” task. To start out, time yourself on how long it will take you to complete each task.
You may not realize how long it takes to complete your work, and so you leave yourself short when you are up against a deadline, and you don’t want to do that. That causes unnecessary stress, which can make you not want to do it all.
Then where does that leave you?
Anyway, jot down how long it takes for you to complete each task. Then once you have a realistic idea on how long it takes, you can schedule those tasks accordingly in the future.
Keep a cheat sheet.
This is especially helpful to have up on your computer in the background. Weather you are posting in Facebook groups, creating graphics, logging into a site, it is nice to have a cheat sheet of your usernames/passwords, the branded colors that you use in your graphics or the URLs to your pins and posts. Put them all in a spreadsheet, that way you can copy and paste and be on your way. If you head over to my resource library, I have created a plug and play template for your various link needs.
Tool Tracker: URL, usernames, passwords
Keep track of all the sites for your social media schedulers, social media platform profile links, your blog’s admin URL, and all of the usernames and passwords. Also the links to your various Email lists. This will be helpful for those that are posting in Facebook groups and need to leave a link to their profiles, you can just copy and paste. Also, when you create an opt-in on your blog, you have the link to the email list you would like it to link to so that you can just copy and paste. This is also an excellent tracker for the HEX codes for your brand colors.
Link Tracker: blog URL’s, date it was posted.
This is helpful for you to have all of the links to your blog posts and when you are creating Pins, adding links into blog posts, or promoting in Facebook groups, they are all in one place.
Course Tracker: URL, usernames, passwords.
This is helpful for those who have signed up for several courses. You can keep track of what courses they are, your usernames and passwords, and you can also keep track of which ones you have completed or are currently working on.
Affiliate Tracker: Affiliate link, description, dashboard username, password.
This is helpful for when you are adding affiliate links to blog posts or emails. You can just copy and paste the link so that you don’t have to log into your dashboard each time to try and find the link to include in your posts.
I found it a necessity to create these trackers. I couldn’t believe how much time I was wasting each time I was writing a post or promoting in Facebook groups, by continuously opening new tabs and clicking back and forth. It was such a time saver to be able to go to one spreadsheet and have everything there.
You can access all these helpful trackers in my resource library HERE.
See the Bigger Picture:
Sometimes, the constant writing, creating graphics or marketing can really start to wear on you, especially if it isn’t your favorite part about your blog/biz but if you can see past what you are currently working on and picture what could come of it, that is what is really exciting. I know this can be hard, especially if you haven’t seen any positive results from your blog/biz yet.
Just imagine that the blog post you are currently working on, could make you your first affiliate sale, or that graphic you are creating could make your Pin go viral, or the emails you are working so hard on could create future customers out of your subscribers. You may think of it as getting your hopes up, but that is where the mindset is important. Just for a moment, when you start to get discouraged, think about what you have been spending your time building. Think about the possibilities of growth and what you can bring to your audience.