Before I started blogging, I had no idea how time consuming it would be. After all, how long could writing a couple of posts a week possibly take?
As it turns out, a great deal! Once you factor in posting to social media, responding to blog comments, participating in link-ups, checking your Google Analytics, monetization, and everything else that is involved in running a successful blog, it’s easy to spend several hours a day on just blogging and never feel like you’ve accomplished anything!
Since most of us don’t have the luxury of spending all day working on our blogs and nothing else, this means using the time we do have wisely is absolutely essential. Here are five productivity tips I use to help me get everything done I need to. Hopefully they’ll help you as well!
1. Set Office Hours
As someone who has tried (very successfully!) to squeeze blogging into every spare minute I can find, I can tell you—it doesn’t work! If you want to get things done, you don’t need to spend MORE time; you need to use the time you do have better. Otherwise, you’ll quickly burn out and the time you do spend will be ineffective at best.
Figure out realistically just how much time you really do have and set that time aside just for blogging. Whether you want to wake up a couple of hours before the kids do, work on blogging while the kids nap, or stay up late after they’ve gone to bed, having that dedicated blogging block (and knowing that you have to make the most of it because it’s all the time you have!) will help you prioritize the important things and plan for the less important things!
2. Plan Ahead
With a limited amount of time to work every day, the fact is you aren’t going to get everything done that you want to. What things can wait until tomorrow? If you go into your day with no plan, chances are you’ll get so caught up in the little things that the big, important things will keep getting pushed back.
Instead, you need to plan ahead to make your blogging blocks as productive as possible. Write out a to-do list of all the tasks you’d like to get done and star the ones that MUST get done. Start with the most important tasks first and if the little tasks don’t get done, don’t stress over it.
3. Set Goals (and Review Them Regularly)
Have you taken the time to set goals for your blog? Having goals is a great way to keep yourself on track and ensure the focus remains on the things that matter most. There are a hundred different tasks you could do every day. Which one will bring you closest to your goal? This is a great way to decide which tasks are and are not important and to keep yourself accountable.
4. Remove Distractions
Once you know exactly which tasks will and will not help you reach your goals, you’ll need to be ruthless in removing the tasks that get in your way. For me, Facebook can be a major time suck if I’m not careful. I own and admin a few groups like Christian Blogger Network. However, I turn off Facebook messenger, set time constraints like I do my own children, I use a Chrome filter to block political content that can hurt my feed or suck me in, and sometimes I completely close down Facebook to rid myself of that distraction.
What distractions are you letting get in your way? Do you spend too much time checking your email? Do you spend all day on Facebook? Are you trying to work while your children underfoot? Do you work with the TV on in the background? How can you remove or work around these distractions to help you be as productive as possible?
Simply cutting out unnecessary tasks may not be enough. You’ll also want to make sure the tasks you need to do are accomplished as efficiently as possible as well. If email has become a problem, you could set up canned responses in Gmail to make replying to common questions and media pitches much faster.
The truth is, you’ll never accomplish everything you want to. However, you can accomplish the important tasks by using these five productivity tips!
How many of these 5 productivity tips do you use already? Which do you need to start implementing today?