I’m really busy, so being productive when I have time to do things is essential for me. If I’m not being productive, I’m falling behind, and losing income and readers. So, I’ve developed a few strategies for helping me be more productive.
I always read articles about batching tasks, but I never really wanted to try it until recently. I’ve started setting aside days twice a month to write blog posts for each blog, and I’ve noticed that it has significantly increased how much work I get done. Those two days are busy and require really sitting down and getting into it, but then I have blog posts scheduled for a whole month! It makes my life so much easier and so much more productive.
Other than blog posts, I batch other tasks as well. I typically create a bunch of Etsy products at once, create a bunch of images at once, schedule weeks of social media at once and more.
I have a planner and organization obsession. I love to plan every second of every day, but I try and stop myself. I try to create a fairly flexible schedule with built in time for error and unforeseen circumstances. It’s important not to over-plan because you’re ultimately setting yourself up for disappointment and failure if you don’t accomplish everything you planned. In addition, looking at a mile long to-do list zaps the productivity out of you because it can seem never-ending and overwhelming.
Sometimes you really get into the working groove and you look up and three hours have passed, and that’s okay! But most of the time, you should be taking breaks. Even if it’s just to walk around the house or get a glass of water, taking a break and letting your mind rest will help combat burnout, increase retention if you need to remember what you were working on and will increase your productivity.
This has been a serious struggle for me because I tend to look at everything with the same level of importance. But, at the end of the day, the job that’s paying me hourly & has people counting on me is more important than my blog. My blog isn’t earning me a steady income (yet!) so I have to stop prioritizing that over my freelance work or hostess job. But even when it comes to blog tasks, if I only have so much time in the day, I have to decide what’s going to grow my blog or YouTube the most and work on those first. For example, writing a really good, SEO-friendly and helpful blog post is going to be better for my blog than spending an hour tweaking my web design for the eight hundredth time. There may be a free hour one weekend where I can mess with the design, but for now, with limited time in the day, a blog post is my best option.
I’ve realized that once Nate gets home, I have to shut off my computer, hang out with him for an hour and then I can get back to work. If I don’t stop working when he gets off, he wants to talk about his day and of course, I love him, so I want to listen and share my day too, so I end up getting distracted and not fully paying attention to my work or him, which isn’t fair to either. Another thing that distracts the crap out of me is my phone because I’ll get a text or a social media alert and next thing I know I’m forty minutes deep into my Facebook feed.
When I’m setting aside time for just work, I silence my phone, put my apple watch on do not vibrate, and if Nates home, I let him know it’s work time. He’s good about not distracting me if he knows I have to get things done, but he’s too darn cute so I just want to hang out with him most of the time. To combat that, we’ve got our own offices and when we work in the same room, we face away from each other.
Thanks for reading!