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If you are a blogger I bet one of your biggest problems is time. Finding the time to accomplish the billions of tasks needed to make your blog successful.
Working from home is hard. Getting things done is absolutely challenging.
I struggled with this for the longest time. Like yours, my to-do list was a never-ending list of stuff to do.
So, I looked for ways to minimise wasted time and become more productive.
In this post, I want to share with you some of the productivity tips that help me reach the end of my working day having actually accomplished something.
Bloggers’ most important asset is definitely time! Click To Tweet
Table of Contents
Have a plan
Your blog is actually your business and you need to treat it like that.
Firstly, get your own working-space and keep it organised.
Working from home doesn’t mean that you can stay in your bed all day. I know it is nice and cosy but it is definitely not productive.
And neither will working around the house boost your productivity. Set a spot in your house that you will use only for working at your blog.
So, every time you sit in that spot your brain realises that it is time to work.
Maybe once a week you can decide to work somewhere else (maybe outside your house like a coffee-shop or a park) to enhance your creativity.
Set your working hours and dedicate that time just to your blog.
You don’t have to work the same amount of time everyday (being able to create your own schedule is the best perk of working for yourself). Your working hours don’t even need to be continuous.
If at 3PM you are going to pick your children up from school, you can stop working and start again once your children are asleep.
But it’s really important that the time that you allocate to your blog is just for your blog. I know that big load of laundry is calling you but just ignore it.
Once you pick your work time let your family know that you are not available during that time frame.
Never sit down without knowing what you are going to do
If you don’t have a detailed plan, you are going to waste your time scrolling through Facebook groups or Pinterest.
What I do to avoid wasting time surfing the web (because I actually don’t know what to do) is setting my goal for the day the night before.
Every night when my blogging day is almost finished my last task is setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal for the next day. If you need help with this you can read How to Set Your Goal the Smart Way.
Of course, I write down my to-do list for the next day but the most important thing is knowing what the result is that I want to obtain. Only once I know that, can I then write a detailed to-do list.
If you don’t have a set goal you will end up putting things off because there are always lots of little tasks that call for your attention.
If you want to have a productive day of blogging have a plan before sitting at your desk.Click To Tweet
You can spend all day working on your blog but if you aren’t focused you won’t accomplish much.
Enter the “zone”
To get the concentration that you need you can start your workday with a short meditation like this
This is what I use (I’m a beginner at meditation) but you can find multiple guided meditations on YouTube.
If you aren’t really into meditation you can look for some music that helps you focus.
I use an app called “Calm” that has a whole section of music for focus.
Turn off all your notifications
There is nothing more detrimental than those little sounds made by new email arriving.
I know, you work with your emails, you work on social media so how can you just ignore them?
Well, I’m not telling you to forget them completely but set a time to interact with them.
Having the notification on will only steal your time and your concentration.
Your brain uses different parts for different kinds of tasks.
The creative part of your brain goes to rest while you are doing admin stuff.
Switching from one task to another all the time will kill your focus.
What I do is not only batching the same task but also try to organise my schedule in a way that if for example, my brain is in the creative mode it can keep going with a different task.
So for example, if I have just finished writing a few blog posts, and I still have time, I look for some other creative task to complete like creating all the pins for those posts.
Use your time wisely
We as bloggers don’t have much time, do we? So, what makes the difference between being busy or productive is how well we use the time that we have.
Don’t start your day by looking at your email
Your email inbox is a time killer! And, most of the time, if you are replying to emails you will find it is to solve someone else’s problem.
Get your stuff sorted before helping other people.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying not to open your email ever again.
But set a specific time to check your emails.
You can decide to check your inbox multiple times a day (lunchtime and before turning off your computer) or just one time a week.
Do what works best for you but don’t check your inbox every time you have a new notification (turn the notifications off!).
Follow the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule also known as the Pareto Principle stated that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.
In other words, to work smarter you must identify the activities that give you the best results and dedicate more time to them.
Probably, dedicating more time to the creation of your own course will bring you better results than scheduling the tailwind queue.
Moreover, if for example, you have an affiliate program in place, find the 20% of people that bring you 80% of your sales and make sure to support and encourage them.
Designating one day of the week to content writing, one to social media scheduling, one to support and emailing and so on, won’t only keep you focused but will save you so much time!
Batching your tasks is the best way to be productive.Click To Tweet
Know what works for you
“Eat that frog” doesn’t work for everyone.
If you are not a morning person probably it is better starting your day with some brainless tasks so as to give your brain time to get working.
Know yourself. Plan the most important tasks for the time of the day that you are more focused.
Shorten your deadline
If you have one day to write a blog post, it will take you one day to create that blog post.
Give yourself a reasonable amount of time for each task you have to complete otherwise you will waste time without even realising it.
Completing a task will take the time that you plan for it.Click To Tweet
Taking breaks will definitely help your productivity. When you go back to your task with a rested brain you will see a spike in your focus.
Lots of people use the Pomodoro Technique. Maybe you want to give it a try.
Facebook group are one of the best tools for a new blogger but they can be also the worst time wasters.
Join only Facebook groups that have more than 5000 members and where the members are actually active.
Use Facebook groups for their threads, but choose only the ones that bring you actual results and are quick to reciprocate.
For example, I would say absolutely no to threads like “follow for follow”. Almost every social media’s algorithm works on the engagement that your followers have with your content. So, getting followers that are not really interested in your topic through a “follow for follow” thread is a way to waste your time and potentially harm your blog.
Also, no to “reciprocate all” threads. They will take so much time to complete and often ruin your social media theme. Think for example about a re-pin thread: if you have to reciprocate to all of them probably you will end up repining some ugly pin or pins that aren’t a good match with your profile.
Look for answers on Facebook groups. But know what you need, don’t scroll through the group wall and read all the tips that the other bloggers exchange. It will waste your whole day! Use the search feature and look for the topic that you are struggling with at that moment.
Answer questions on Facebook groups. This is one of the best ways of networking. But again, use the search feature and select only the questions for which you can actually be helpful.
You can join our Facebook group “Blogging for new bloggers” here
Lots of bloggers wear all the hats in their business. But while this is understandable at the beginning, it’s really detrimental.
Wasting your time on admin stuff or learning all that you need to know about accounting is not really productive.
We at Tinylovebug invested our money on a proofreader, a virtual assistant and an accountant.
I understand that at the beginning you don’t have much money to invest but try to delegate at least a little.
All the time that you waste on an admin task is time that you steal from a task with a bigger ROI.
Start by automating
Try to automate as much as you can.
Use CoSchedule to automate your social media, Use Tailwind for Pinterest (read here how I use Tailwind to boost my traffic) and Tailwind for Instagram (read here the results of Tailwind for Instagram members).
Automate your newsletter and your sales funnel. We use ConvertKit as our email provider and the “Sequences” feature is a lifesaver!
Creating some templates will save you so much time.
You can use templates for your pins so that when you are in a rush you can just pick one of them and create your new pin in a matter of minutes.
Create some email templates: You can have an email template for when you want to ask to join a Pinterest group board, one for when you want to pitch something, one to refuse an offer that you don’t think is a good match with your blog and so on.
You can even have a kind of template for replies to questions on Facebook Groups!
If you are at the beginning of your journey as a blogger, I understand that you don’t have that much money to invest in a supporting team. However, you can still delegate minor tasks using the services that you can find on Fiverr.
Use some “done for you”
If you aren’t a photographer don’t waste your time trying to take your own photos. Get some stock photos from Deposit Photos TheHungryJPEG or Creative Market.
If you aren’t a lawyer get a Privacy Police template already drafted from a lawyer (you can find Lucrezia’s legal templates here).
If you don’t know how to start to create a media kit get one done for you.
In other words, my advice is to get focused on what you can do better and ask for help for those tasks that aren’t your forte but are still really important for your business.
The worst thing you can do is wasting your time on a task and you don’t achieve the result you wished for.
Ask for help
If you are not ready to delegate your blogging tasks, delegate something else.
Ask your partner to take on more work around the house or pay someone to go grocery shopping for you.
The best time management tip is to delegate as much as you can.Click To Tweet
The only way to get stuff done is to make stuff easy. As I have already said having a plan is the best boost to your productivity.
Having everything organized and easy to access will do wonders for your workload.
Start the day before
Every evening before finishing work for the day get ready for the next day.
Identify 3 must-do tasks for the next day and organise everything to make your work easier.
For example, if you need to film a video for your YouTube channel set up your recording gear the night before.
I use Trello to get all my ideas organised, but there are lots of other apps that you can use. For example, we use Asana when we are working on a team project.
Use iCloud Drive or Google drive to save things that you need most often so that you can access them everywhere.
For the same reason, I use Google keep to save notes, websites that I visit often or all the details of my blog. I have a note in Google keep with all my affiliate links so that I can access them easily and at any moment even from my phone.
Create your schedule
Find out which is the method that works better for you and apply it.
You can use a planner, create to-do lists, set reminders or use your calendar to handle your time.
Lots of people swear by calendar blocking, and Amy Landino is definitely a pro on this:
Take care of yourself
Let’s be honest, at least at the beginning, when you have your own business your business is essentially yourself. So, if you want to invest in your business you need to invest in yourself.
Also, I know that when you have your own business you want to give it 100% of your energy but you risk burnout and consequently failure of your business.
Don’t try to do everything at once
The saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” in my view, is absolutely true.
If you try to master all the aspects of blogging at once you won’t reach any good results.
For example, how many social media are there? If you want to win at all of them at the same time you are setting yourself up for failure.
My advice is starting with one and only once you really master that platform, you can then concentrate on the next one.
I would start (as I did) with Pinterest as it’s the best way to get traffic to your blog.
If you need help on getting started with Pinterest the right way you can check out my free course here.
Moreover, before starting to sell your own product try to master affiliate marketing.
Before creating your own course start by creating a freebie, and so on.
Learn something new every day
Set some time apart every day to learn something new.
Read a blog post, listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video. Do something that will teach you something new.
I know that often you are too busy to spend some time on learning but this is a really important part of your business. If you grow, your business will grow too.
Invest in your education
It works like that for everything else in life: if you want to be successful, you need to know what you are doing.
You need to invest in your education! If you want to become a successful lawyer don’t you invest in your education? Yep, the same is true for blogging!
Why I’m talking about this on a “productivity post”? Because lots of new bloggers waste lots of time surfing the web for free information.
Firstly, you won’t find all the information for free, probably only the basic information. Even those would be bits and pieces, probably from different bloggers and sometimes conflicting.
If you need to learn something that will bring your blog to the next level buy a course from someone more experienced than you. You will get a better result and you can use the time saved to work on your blog.
Learn to say no
Remember that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else.
If some company asks to collaborate with you, accept only if it’s the perfect match for your blog. You don’t want to end up using your time to create a blog post that your followers are not interested in.
The same thing – if someone offers you a guest post opportunity before saying yes, check what will be your return on investment. Is that blog close to your blog’s topic? Will it bring you new traffic? What’s that blog’s DA? Will it give you a good backlink?
If you want to be a productive blogger don’t say yes to everything.Click To Tweet
If you burn out your blog will fail!
So, take time for yourself. Be aware that there are always new tasks to accomplish and if you want to finish everything before taking a break you will never get it.
Fix your working hours and turn off the computer when it is time.
Take care of yourself, exercise, eat well and sleep at least 8 hours per night, your productivity will thank you!
There is so much to say about time management and productivity but this blog post is already over 3000 words, so I had better end it here. If you’d like some extra tips, you can check out these 5 effective tips to boost your productivity as a blogger.
Let me know in the comments what your productivity strategies are!
Wow ths is exactly what I needed to read! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed the last few days, thinking I would never get down with all of the things on my to-do list. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and providing such wonderful options!
Loved this Post – On so many levels it’s amazing.
Great Detail, Great layout and fantastic lead magnets!
Keep up the super work 🙂
You have some really amazing tips on here that are so helpful for a beginner like me. Thanks for writing this up, it’s super informative! Great post.
Wow! This post offers a wealth of information! The one that I like most now is to batch; we’ve been doing this with our video/podcast episodes and it has been such a blessing! The tip I want to take advantage of more is to use templates more. I have started doing some of it with our blog posts. I usually duplicate a previous post and then replace blocks of text as necessary, so that I don’t have to re-format it all over again. But I know I can do even better and more often, so I am going to make a more conscious effort to work on this. Thanks for sharing a truly spectacular post! ?
Angela Giles says
Awesome article. I like how you said working from home is hard. Getting things done is absolutely challenging.
I agree on most of your tips especially the following:
1. Your blog is actually your business and you need to treat it like that.
2. Set your working hours and dedicate that time just to your blog.
4. Turn off all your notifications.
5. Ask for HELP.
6. Get organized.
Angela Giles | http://www.angelagiles.com
Wow! I’m so glad I happened to see this today. I’ve been ready to give up on blogging after my first week of doing it full time (I’ve been doing it part-time for about 6 month). These tips are all very helpful and action oriented. Everyone keeps telling me I need a plan, but that just overwhelms me more. I feel like I can actually apply this and am looking forward to starting next week fresh with a plan. Thanks for sharing!