As a blogger, we need to do a lot of things.
From writing a blog post to promoting the post, it requires a lot of time. Not to mention the time we need to do other things to make blog look good and perform good.
But our time is limited. If we want to grow our blog and make more money, we need to be more productive.
When it comes to productivity, there are some hacks and tips that can help us to get more things done. And this is exactly what you are going to discover in this post.
Before going further, I’d like to tell a bit about my story.
I started blogging in 2012 and have been a full-time blogger since 2016. During this journey, I’ve tried a lot of productivity hacks. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t. Here I’ll be sharing the productivity tips that have worked for me and might work for you too.
So let’s get started.
1. Make An Efficient To-Do List
Having a to-do list is important to make sure you are on the right track. Waking up not knowing what to do will waste your time and energy. You will take some time to figure out what you need to do, and then you maybe doing the wrong tasks that won’t move your business forward.
So you may wake up and see that you need to edit your design when you should have published a new post first and then edited the design later.
You need to sort your priorities in advance and have a clear plan of what you want to achieve in the day.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your to-do list:
- Write It The Night Before: It is better to wake up knowing exactly what to do instead of wasting the early morning time figuring out what you need to do.
- Keep It Simple & Realistic: The worst mistake you could do is that you put a lot of tasks and you can’t finish half of it. Instead, keep it more realistic but stretch it a little. Don’t go overboard here, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Prioritize The Most Important Tasks (
MITs): You need to have 1-3 tasks that have the highest priority for the day. No matter what happens, you get those done first, and the other stuff could be done later.
- Put A Time Limit On Each Task: Once you add the tasks, try to assign a time limit for each task. This will help you focus on the task, and not waste more time than you should on these tasks.
- Use A To-Do List App: You could use technology to create your to-do list so you can be more efficient. I am using Todoist. The free version is a great one. It helps you get started, and the advanced features are there if you want to get the most out of your to-do list.
2. Start Your Day With The Important Tasks
Once you have a list of the important tasks (MITs) that you need to accomplish for the day, make sure to get started with these tasks.
This way you’ll get the things done that will move your blog (business) further.
Most of the time, important tasks are the hardest tasks. But not necessariliy all the hard tasks are important tasks.
When you start with a hard task first, it will be a bit easier for you as you have more energy at the beginning of the day.
But if you go with a less important or easy task first, you’ll be depleting your willpower and energy on a thing that matter less. It might give you a good feeling of accomplishment. But it will make important tasks harder for you.
That is why you should never ever start your day checking your emails, checking your analytics, or seeing the latest updates on social media. You’ll deplete your willpower and waste some precious time of your day.
3. Do One Thing At A Time
Multitasking may give you a feeling of busyness on doing so many things. But it actually hampers productivity.
When you do something and switch to another task, the first one will be in your mind for a while, making you less focused on the task at hand. The same thing will happen when you switch again and so on, and your focus will never be 100%.
Your focus will increase when you do one thing at a time and enter the flow stage of the task. Not only it will get you more done faster, but the quality will be higher.
The same applied to writing this post. If I do another task, or even edit while I am writing, my focus won’t be 100% on what I am writing. Once I focus on writing and get going, things become much easier to me.
So how could you avoid multitasking? You could use following tools to help you at the beginning.
- xTab: This is a Chrome extension that helps you limit the number of tabs opened. You can set it to one tab, and you won’t be able to open any social media site.
- Pocket: Did you come across a great post that you want to read but will make you lose focus on your current task? Just click on the save to pocket button, and you can access it later.
- StayFocusd: Stay focused is a great extension that helps you limit the amount of time you are going to waste on certain sites. So you could set a time for Facebook, and then you won’t be able to check it later.
Further Reading: 7 Chrome Extensions That Will Make You Insanely Productive!
4. Use Pomodoro Technique
If you are not familiar with the Pomodoro, the technique is a great way to help you increase your focus by working for a session of 25 mins, take a 5-minute break, repeat for another 3 sessions and then take a bigger break of 15 – 30 minutes.
You can play with the timing as you want, but these are the defaults. It may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is completely worth it.
I am talking about getting 40 hours of work done in 16.7 hours only. That is more than 50% of the time saved. What could you do with these extra hours?
The reason why it worked is that it helps you stop multi tasking since you are only working for 25 minutes. You want to get more done in that short amount, thus increasing your focus.
It seems simple, but it is magical. Try it, and you will know what I mean.
You could do it by having a simple clock, or watching the time on your computer. But there are other apps that could help you by tracking how many pomodoros you do everyday and how many pomodoros you spend each day, and so on.
- Marinara Pomodoro Assistan: It’s a simple chrome extension that lets you use the Pomodoro technique inside your browser.
- Pomodoro Tracking: Want to just open a site and click the start button to start counting? Well, this site helps you do that. You just open the site, a 25-minute timer is present, click start, and you are good to go.
5. Follow the 2-Minute Rule
This comes from the great book, Getting Things Done by David Allen.
The short of this rule (if you don’t know) is that, if you are presented with a task and it takes less than 2 minutes to get it done, then do it now.
“If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.”
For example, if you open your email and then someone tells you about a problem in your blog, if it takes less than 2 minutes, solve it right away. If not, add it to your to-do list.
Once you finish eating and you can clean your dishes in less than 2 minute, why add it as a task later on? Get it done right away.
It is very simple, but it could do wonders instead of just adding to your never ending to-do list.
6. Work in Batches
If you take anything but this tip, beside the pomodoro technique, your productivity will shoot to the roof.
Seriously, it is that powerful.
When you do tasks, try to batch in advance what you need to get done, and do them at once.
Do you need 4 articles for this month to be published on your blog? Why write 1 article each week when you could batch them at the beginning of the month? Then you are free till the end of the month.
What is great about this is that once you start doing a task, it takes less time when you are in the zone to get it done. So, once I am in the mood to write, I keep going, and try to get more articles done.
I even batch edit and research. So, I do research at once for multiple articles. Then I write these articles. Then I edit them.
Try it for the articles you need to get for the next month, and you will notice a huge difference.
And do it with everything related. Once you start with a task, keep doing it.
7. Track Your Time
What is not measured won’t get done. If you don’t track your time and see how much you spend on each task and spend on every website, then you won’t be able to measure if you get more productive or not.
You need clear evident data to know that you are on the right track.
Also, time tracking will help you identify problems you have. For example, you spend so much time on Facebook. You could start solving this problem by spending 30 minutes less every week. After a month or so, you will have more time on your plate by just cutting down on one thing.
You could get started by having a journal to denote how much time you spend on each task and your productivity and focus levels throughout the day. For many people, journaling is the #1 habit that helped them increase their performance.
You can use Rescue Time (the tool I am using) to measure how you spend your time on your laptop. Yes, that minute that you sneak in between to check Facebook is also counted, although we all know how long that will end. :)
You could then see your detailed monthly report about where you spend your time and start comparing it with previous months to see how you improved.
8. Keep Your Body Hydrated
I know it may sound silly, but bear with me for a minute to know why it is huge.
A lot of people are deprived of water and aren’t fully hydrated throughout the day. Without diving deep in science and physiology, this will impair your body’s functions.
When you’re dehydrated, the volume of your blood decreases, which leads to lower blood pressure, and the amount of blood that is delivered to your organs decrease as well, including your brain, decreasing your focus dramatically.
Start your day by drinking 2 cups of water, and make sure that you try to stay hydrated throughout the day. It is that important.
9. Eliminate Distractions
The #1 enemy for productivity is distraction. Get distracted and your work time decreases without you noticing. You need to work on trying to eliminate distractions and increase your focus. Pomodoro technique is a great tip to help you get started. Here are few other tips:
- Have a Dedicated Workspace: Yes, you could blog from anywhere, but once you have a dedicated workspace, you trigger your mind to be in the zone whenever you enter that space. It also keeps you away from distractions at home. Just let them know that when you are in your workspace, you don’t need distractions.
- Keep Your Desk Clean & Organized: Having many things on your desk will take from your focus. Start by cleaning your desk and organizing it before you get started with work. Don’t spend too much time doing it though.
- Get Dressed: Once you are ready to start working, get dressed like if you are going to work. This will help you put your mind in the right zone. Working in your pajamas is okay, but if you get distracted a lot, try this tip.
- Stay Away from Mobile: Once you start working, keep your mobile away from you. It is easy to grab it and spend hours on social media and check updates without you noticing. Instead, keep it away and focus on the task in front of you.
- Limit Your Work Hours: Sometimes it is better to work less. Once you have a clear work time and time for fun, you could schedule all the distractions till the end of the day, and focus the next hour or 2 on the tasks you need to get done.
10. Hire People
You only have 24 hours. No matter how much you optimize, you will only have 24 hours and you will be able to do just limited amount of work.
But you could buy time by hiring others. So if you want to pump more content on your blog, you could hire one more writer, and instantly you have 100% more content to publish.
Sometimes, it is better to hire people because they could get it done faster than you. Start by hiring people for simple tasks like your graphics, doing some design edits, and then hire for bigger tasks like writing content, maintaining your calendar, and so on.
I know it will take some time at the beginning to hire the right candidate, but in the long run, it is completely worth it.
You could get started by using sites like Fiverr for specific tasks, or hire from Upwork. If you want to hire a full-time or part-time person, you could also look for people at onlinejobs.ph.
Start hiring and keep growing. Always do tasks that are worth your hourly rate, all the other tasks delegate them for others, and save time for doing the tasks that is important and that move your business forward.
Getting productive is a marathon. You won’t increase your productivity by 100% tomorrow, but you will see a huge difference over the next month once you start implementing these tips and make them as habits in your life.
But it is completely worth it to get more done in less time, right?
So start applying these tips and see your life change. And tell us below if you have any good tip that increased your productivity.