As bloggers, we have an infinite amount of tasks to complete in our daily routines. With so much to do, it’s essential that we stay organized and on top of our schedule. Today, I’m sharing how you can be more productive as a blogger in 3 simple steps.
For the longest time, I wasted my time doing busy work as a blogger and leaving the important tasks in the back burner because I just didn’t know where I was going and what I was trying to accomplish.
Planning out what you’re doing is key to making sure that you’re prioritizing the important assignments and taking the ones that don’t really matter out of your schedule… or at least, doing less of them so you can do more of what actually counts.
You know what I mean, right? The work that will actually grow your business and help people transform their lives.
I used to sit down at my desk, open up my laptop and start working with no clue of where I was going with that. I would spend hours and hours on Instagram and other social media and neglect the important things, like writing content or coming up with new FREE resources for my readers.
Anyway, the point is, you have to start from the top and work your way down. What matters the most? What do you want to accomplish? When you have an idea of what you need to get done, then you can start working.
Let’s break this simple 3-step process down into actionable items so you can put it into practice and start being more productive with your time.
3 simple steps that will help you be more productive as a blogger
Like I said, you need to know where you’re going so you can craft a path that will truly lead you there.
In order for you to create an effective plan, you need to know what you’re planning. Here’s your first step:
#1. Make a checklist of things you want to accomplish
For you to create this checklist, you need to ask yourself a simple question:
⇒ How far ahead do I want to plan for?
To give you a better perspective, I will share my own example of what I’m doing right now at Family Life Blog. In about a month, I will be traveling as a volunteer for 2 weeks and won’t have much access to the internet.
My biggest goal is to create and schedule enough content for the current and following months. I also want to create 2 new freebies and change my email service before I leave for this trip.
So in this case, I’m planning everything I need to accomplish in the next two months. When it comes to your own blog, how far in advance do you want to plan for? A month? Two months? Four? Think about that, and once you have it figured out, start writing it down and creating your checklist.
My checklist looks more or less like this:
⇒ Write content, take photos, create beautiful Pinterest images and social media graphics, and schedule posts, x,y, and z.
⇒ Create freebie A.
⇒ Create freebie B.
⇒ Switch email services.
On top of all these main accomplishments, I also have other daily tasks that I need to get done, like promote my posts, post on social media, reply to emails, etc. For these, I have a daily tasks checklist. This checklist looks kind of like this:
⇒ Reply to emails.
⇒ Post on Instagram.
⇒ Reply to blog + social media comments.
⇒ Schedule Pinterest pins.
For full transparency, I didn’t actually copy my exact checklists, but these are pretty much very similar, with items I know from the top of my head that are in both lists.
Once you’re done writing down the things you need to accomplish in the amount of time you have determined, you can move on to the next step.
#2. Plan your schedule
Now you ‘re ready to start planning your actions. You know exactly where you’re going and everything that you need to be doing to get there.
All you have to do is assign these tasks to a specific date. In the beginning, this used to be super hard for me because I never knew if I would really be available on that day or not. What if something came up? But the thing is, in my case, I’m a full-time blogger, so I make my own schedule. I realized that I had to determine this myself and really follow through with the plan, otherwise, nothing would ever get accomplished.
Even if you’re not a full-time blogger, you still know more or less when you’re available. Example: You would know more or less, your kids’ nap times, or their bedtime, or even when your husband is home to watch the kids so you can work. Schedule your tasks for these times.
Unforeseen things happen, but they happen to everybody. You can’t control this! But if it happens, all you have to do is readjust your schedule. Don’t let the fear of not being available prevent you from taking control.
One really useful tip to help you assign your tasks to a date is to split the tasks into batches.
For example, when it comes to creating new blog posts, instead of doing this:
- Write blog post A
- Photograph blog post A
- Create graphics for blog post A
- Write blog post B
- Photograph blog post B
- Create graphics for blog post B
- Write blog post C
- Photograph blog post C
- Create graphics for blog post C
- Write blog posts A, B, and C.
- Photograph blog posts A, B, and C.
- Create graphics for blog posts A, B, and C.
By doing this, you’re saving time by not having to refocus your brain on several different activities in a short amount of time. And you’re also saving time by not having to set up and put away different equipment several times. You might even be able to squeeze in a couple of extra tasks.
To make my schedule even more organized, I color-code each task, using different pens to write them down on my planner. I have an editorial calendar on my computer as a spreadsheet, but I also like to have my daily tasks written down on my paper calendar.
To do this, I use Pentel Pop Gel Pens (Solar, Milky, and Sparkly). By doing this, I have a clear idea of what I’m going to have to do just by taking a quick look at my calendar without actually having to read everything. If I have deadlines with clients, I make sure to use a strong color to make it impossible for me to miss it.
[Side note… These pens are also perfect for cards, drawings, doodles and other designs. I’m planning to make the boys’ birthday party invitation with them since you can write with them even on dark colored papers 🙂 ]
Also, my friends at Pentel shared with us a 50% discount code. Just type 50POPBOX at checkout on your Amazon order and enjoy the discount on these amazing pens.
#3. Block out time for each task
I know one thing for a fact. If I don’t determine a time to start a task and a time to finish it, I will just get distracted by something else that pops up on my computer screen.
Whether it’s a new app that everyone is talking about or an awesomely interesting Facebook thread on a topic I’ve been meaning to research about, I will get distracted. But if I have a specific time to start and to finish my task, I know I can’t get distracted. Because if I do, I won’t finish my task on time.
It’s also important to include a short 10 or 15-minute break in between those tasks so you can go to the bathroom, have some water, or have a snack. There’s only so much you can do without having a break, right?
As a matter of fact, I’m taking a break right now to grab a snack. Then, I will be back to finish this blog post.
I’m back! Woop woop. Definitely feeling refreshed after a snack. So, just to make sure I give you an example of this step like I did to the one above…here’s what my day would look like:
- 9:00 am – Work on changing email providers.
- 9:45 am – Grab a snack.
- 10:00 am – Photographing for posts A, B, and C.
- 12:00 pm – Lunch
And so on…
Well, I really hope these tips make a difference in your life as a blogger because I can tell you that they sure make a difference on mine when I take time to do all these steps. Every time I don’t make a checklist, plan, and block out time for each task, I feel completely lost.
Then, do you know what ends up happening? I have to go back and do them anyway. There’s just no point in working, working, and working, only to find out that you’ve been walking in circles. Right?
Now, would you share with us tips on how you stay productive as a blogger? We’d love to know!