One thing I struggle with is time management. I have all of these big ideas in my head. I want to do everything all at once, but then nothing gets done. Focusing on tasks and productivity has been a constant battle for me. I know it’s hard because the work is never done when you’re a blogger.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that if I make small changes and think smaller, I tend to get more done. As a result of my somewhat newfound productivity success, I decided it would be fun to put together a list of my favorite “productivity hacks” that help keep me sane and focused.
Set a timer for tasks. This is the single most important thing that helps me get things done. I write down a list of tasks and then set a timer. I recently discovered the Pomodoro Technique, thanks to Meredith from Cake & Confetti. This is a game changer, y’all. If you struggle with staying on task, this will help you so much. The idea is that you work on one thing at a time for 25 minutes. You cannot do anything else. If the task is not finished in 25 minutes, you take a break and then return to the task for another 25 minutes. Then the process repeats as you go down your list of tasks. I highly recommend getting the Be Focused Pro apps from the App Store that can be used on either your phone or your computer. In fact, I’ve got my timer set right now as I’m writing this post. I cannot let any other distractions pull me away!
As a side note, one other thing I also started to do is set timers for things needing to get done around the house. For example, I set a 10-minute timer and use that to just tidy up around the house – pick up items, put things back where they belong. It’s crazy, but I can tidy almost my entire house in a short 10-minute span.
Bottom line, TIMERS HELP ME! Try it!
Dictate to Siri. If I have an idea, I will tell Siri to dictate a note for me so that I don’t forget. I will then go back later and put the idea into my master list of ideas. I like to keep my master list of blog ideas on my phone, actually, so I can see it anywhere I go. This is my “pre-draft” list – ideas that I will eventually turn into drafts.
Ask Siri to remind you or set alarms. This is my most used command to Siri. I will tell her “Siri, remind me to respond to email at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow,” and lo and behold she does it. I use this for not only blogging related tasks but life tasks.
Focus on fewer posts per week, but better content. I kind of touched on this in my Worst Blog Advice I’ve Heard post, but it’s so much easier to think about fewer blog posts per week but better content. So much more gets done when I’m working on a post that I care about and really want to share with my audience, rather than phoning it in and putting something up for the sake of putting something up.
When you think of a blog post idea, start a draft with bullet points and main ideas. I like to use the WordPress Editorial Calendar to look at my drafts and blog posts I have coming up, rather than seeing a cluttered mess of drafts in a list. It makes me feel more inclined to get a lot of ideas into my blog. Anytime I’m feeling a little uninspired, I will look at those drafts with some main ideas, and usually my creativity gets sparked!
If talking about products, affiliate link before writing the post. Before I start on my beauty favorites (even before I edit videos!) or any other posts where I talk about a lot of products, I’ll first link everything and then write the post. I feel like linking everything is the most tedious part of those kinds of posts, and I like having that out of the way before I go to write the post.
Batch edit photos for upcoming posts and upload before writing. This is a huge time saver when I get down to the wire for deadlines. I don’t like to wait too long and do the photos and writing in one setting. Sometimes it happens that way, but I like to make sure all of the photos are done and in the post before I go back and write. It definitely makes me feel less overwhelmed.
Take a few day’s worth of Instagram photos in an hour. Beauty flat lays and styled photos are a big part of my Instagram. I like to spend some time styling photos and taking as much as I can in a small amount of time. Doesn’t even have to be an hour. I then use the UNUM app (it’s free!) to visually plan my Instagram feed. If I don’t try to plan out at least a few posts per week, I end up feeling overwhelmed about Instagram. Ain’t nobody got time to feel overwhelmed by that!
Make a spreadsheet of popular posts. This is particularly helpful if you want to re-share your content on Facebook or Twitter. I love sharing my archived posts, and having my favorite / most popular posts all in one spreadsheet makes it so easy to copy paste links. I keep mine right in Google Drive so I can access it anywhere, even on my phone!
… and there you have my favorite productivity hacks for blogging. I would also like to point out that I have 1 minute left on my Be Focused timer. Since I already put the photos and my main bullet points in the post, it was a breeze to write when I sat down and set a timer! GO TEAM.