2019 is a mere six days away and we are all pumped up to start the new year with a bang. We have some great goals and resolutions in place, especially for blogging. But as days the zoom by, you often get overwhelmed by juggling between writing and promoting blog posts. Your muse goes into hiding and your sanity bids you adieu!
It’s my sixth year of blogging and I know that shifting between work, daily chores, walking the dog, hitting that 10k target on my FitBit, reading books, army wife duties and polishing the husband’s shining stars adorning his shoulders takes up all my time. Clearly, 24 hours isn’t enough.
However, a few lifestyle changes and being mindfully organized almost always do the trick though. Here are a few of my favorite things to do to stay productive as a blogger.
7 Tips to Stay Productive as a Blogger
# 1 Wake up early: I am a night owl and come what may, I could never get up early in the morning. Thanks to the furball and his bodily functions, I wake up early every day to his licks and kisses.
Waking up at least ten minutes early helps you to have some time in hand before you run off to do your daily chores. Use this ten minutes to meditate and taking a deep breath.
Jot down your things-to-do in NNN method – Now, Next, Not Yet. No, this isn’t some traditional methodology; I just made that up. It seems to work and I’m one happy puppy!
Divide your tasks according to these three categories. Basically, what you are doing is dividing the tasks based on their priorities. The things you absolutely want to achieve will come under Now, and once you are done with these, you can go for the tasks you put under Next. Not Yet tasks are those that aren’t absolutely essential or which you feel you can take some time to do. For eg: Shooting a food video comes under Now, Editing the video comes under Next and Publishing it can be placed under Not Yet. Making clear categories helps you to focus on the main tasks and not worry about the trivial things that keep popping up in our head.
#2 Have a dedicated workspace: I have used my bed, couch, dining table, kitchen counter top and what not as my work space. While a change in scene gives you a fresh outlook, having a dedicated, clean and organized space is what you should be always aiming for. Here, I stress on the word clean because otherwise, you shall easily get distracted.
I am not asking you to beautify your space and make it Pinterest or Instagram worthy. All you have to do is make it clutter-free. Keep only the things you use every day. The rest can go inside drawers and cabinets. This simple thing will go a long way and your mind will automatically remove the negativity that a messy desk brings.
#3 Lock up your phone: When you sit down to write, do just that. I used to have my phone next to me and get easily distracted when it throws an Instagram like or Twitter tag. Before I know, it’s one hour gone and I need to be in the kitchen preparing lunch! When you take such small breaks- taking a call or browsing social media- in between your main task or work, it kills the enthusiasm with which you began the day.
The same applies to having multiple tabs open on your computer. Again, I am guilty of doing this and I seemed to juggle between writing, reading other’s posts, tweeting and finally landing up on YouTube or Netflix. Talk about productivity killers!
I realized keeping only the WordPress editor page open and tucking away my phone was the best way to go. If you think about it, you’d know that you need to check your emails or Instagram only twice or thrice a day. So, turn those notifications off! Now!
#4 Work Smart: Image Editing tools like Canva and Picmonkey are available for a reason. Use it!
Use Scheduling tools like Buffer and Tailwind for your social media posts. Another tool that I absolutely love is Grammarly which proof-reads my posts. If you are into newsletters, Mailchimp and ConvertKit are some great options for drafting and scheduling.
#5 Be Organized: Use Content Calendars to organize your ideas. Have a notebook or a blogging planner to jot down your post ideas, affiliate info, income and expenditure. When you write them down on a piece of paper, your mind can see things more clearly and you’ll also remember things.
#6 Mind Maps and Vision Boards: I have always believed in having a Word of the Year (WOTY) that can drive and motivate me as the months go by. Pick a word that you can relate to. For eg, I was going through a difficult time in 2015 and I chose the word ‘Embrace’. In the following years, I have picked up words like ‘Focus’, ‘Thrive’ and ‘Savor’. Have a vision board with quotes and pictures, that revolve around your WOTY. Place them at your work desk. Alternatively, draw a mind map.
# 7 Time everything: There may be days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. On such days, pick a simple task, set up a timer and go about doing it. Sometimes, you end up forgetting about the timer and get into the momentum. Now, that’s the goal – fooling your mind and end up being productive.
Which of these tips do you follow when you work? Have you got any additional hacks? Let us know in the comment section below.