Whether blogging is your full-time job or your full-time job after working a 9-5, you know that some days it feels like there just isn’t enough hours in a day to conquer all blogging tasks. Last night I was up until 1am editing some photos when I have to be up at 5:30 to head to my 9-5; can you say, um…TIRED! Add on having a social life on top of that too. You don’t have to stress your self out every single day, as long as you are productive and have a plan that you stick to… Here are a few tips on how to be more productive as a blogger.
Notebook at All Times
Ideas just come to you, most of the time, pretty randomly; whether it’s while you’re browsing the internet or even laying in bed looking at the ceiling. Have a place to put your thoughts! The basic note app on your phone will do, or even a cute notebook that fits in your purse, or backup, whatever you like to carry around with you.
A major key (queue in DJ Khaled) to being productive is to not hop in and get to work. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll waste time or even forget items you need to get done. So to prevent that from happening, make a to do list that you will actually stick to. I must re-iterate, that you will actually stick to. Don’t tell yourself you are going to finish a million and five tasks when you don’t have a ton of time to complete what you need to get done. If you know a certain day of the week will be super busy for you, try scheduling smaller tasks on that day and the larger tasks on the day you know you’ll be less busy.
Create an Editorial Calendar
This is THE most important thing! The best thing that can be done for your blog and your sanity is to keep an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar should be used to plan which days your posts will go live. If you’re new to blogging, or whether you have been blogging forever, you know that consistency is key, and readers respond well to a set schedule (if you didn’t know, now you know). I love this one, and have repurchased it every years simply because it has a calendar for each month and then pages behind it that has ample amount of space to write whatever you like for each day of the year.
BULK BULK BULK
Complete your tasks in bulk. If you know you need to take some blog photos, shoot them all on the same day etc. Completeing tasks in bulk will help you stay focused and even helps you get more done than if you were to split the tasks up on different days. Staying focused on a set of similar tasks on one day really helps.
Here’s an example of a schedule:
Sun: Write all posts for next week
Mon: Take all photos for next week’s posts
Tues: Edit all photos for next week’s posts
Wed: Interact with the XYZ blogging community on twitter
Thurs: Proofread and schedule next week’s posts
Fri: Create and Schedule social media to promote next week’s posts
Sat: Off Day – Drinks with Friends
Mark out time-slots
This is going to sound a bit crazy, but try planning out your time slots and days. If you’re anything like me, I respond better to completing tasks when I have a deadline, so I give myself deadlines.
7-8: enjoy breakfast and respond to emails
8-9:30: gym and shower
9-11: take photos
11-12: schedule posts for the week
Remove Outside Distractions
Everyone is different, but turn off your internet. Have you ever been working on the task at hand then find yourself taking “breaks” that turn into hours browsing social media, pinning things on your Pinterest boards, liking photos? Yeah Me too. This is pretty simple temporary fix, just disconnect from your wifi or even turn your phone on airplane mode. Save any email responses as drafts, If you need to upload pictures do them at the end. Don’t worry, once you are done completing what you need to, you can have it back.
If things are seemingly hectic consistently, for whatever reason it may be, maybe it’s time for a break. Can’t think of a new post idea? Feeling uninspired? Step away! Even though at first thought it may seem like, okay I have a million things to do, why would I step away? The thing is we all need breaks for our mental health, as that is what needs to come first. When I say, step away, it doesn’t have to be for an extended period of time; it could be a day, a week or even a month.
Don’t beat yourself up over having to take a break. I took what I thought was going to be a quick break last year, which I talked about here and you’ll be surprised how many bloggers take significant time off and pick up where they left off. It’s okay! Make sure you notify your readers you’ll be taking a break, unless you are ahead of the game and already have content posted, then come back when you’re ready. Any other career allows up to two week of vacation, why can’t you take some time off as a blogger? You can, and you should.