I know you don’t like it, but summer is nearly over (at least here in LA), and September is the month of needed adaptations to make the transformation from relax-mode to work-mode easier. Some things are just part of life (good or bad) and we need to accept them, whether we like the events or not.
So, it’s time to get productive! And I know this ain’t easy in today’s ways of communicating and doing business. There are tons of distractions begging and pleasing for our attention which is only getting more narrowed. But because of that in particular, we must be mindful and intentional about planning our time to think and work, as well as stick to the schedule.
In this post we’ll get through the most common distractions at work that bloggers are faced with every day, and list few tools and techniques for each, so you can utilize your time and resources more efficiently. Help your fellow bloggers be more productive as well by sharing your most favorite apps and strategies in the comments below…
Constantly checking your email.
As many studies have confirmed, email is a real productivity killer. Being constantly in the back of our minds, it can drain our focus and concentration like nothing else can. Especially, if you have a habit of checking email early in the morning (guilty 🙂), potentially “wasting” the peak time of your creativity, fresh thoughts and productivity, listing through your inboxes. We need to stop doing this. We can check and answer emails after completing our posts.
If you don’t think you can pull this off, set about 5 minutes to look into the most important and urgent emails, and then get to the more creative and productive part of your blogging work. Gmail users can also use the inbox tabs and category labels to separate their blogging related emails from the personal stuff, and quickly sort and move through important messages.
All sorts of distractions defocus you. Block them.
There are already great strategies that can help you focus better on the work you do and follow a schedule. We mentioned the Pomodoro technique when we talked more on dealing with lack of motivation for writing, and there’s also Timeboxing, a time and project management technique with a separate time box for every planned personal or group activity.
But as we all know, it’s not easy to keep your attention on the task you’re doing, and at the same time be exposed to all of the “dangers” and distractions in the online world. These tools will make sure you’ll make the most of your Pomodoro work periods and time boxes:
- White Noise Lite or any other white noise generator helps you relax during the day, and sleep well during the night, by playing environmental ambient sounds that calm the nerves. Simply by dampening other background noises, tools like this get you focused and more productive at the moment.
- It may be too strict, to block websites so you can’t access them during blogging hours, but it’s quite an effective strategy that can help you get things done. There are tons of apps, extensions and add-ons for this; Stayfocusd and Strict Workflow are two of the most used.
I can’t stop when I’m researching and sourcing content.
If you have this problem, know you’re not the only one. Luckily there’s a great and easy fix to it. Make sure to separate and accordingly time-frame everything that needs to be done around a blog post, including time to research ideas, articles, images, videos, data support. And stick to the set time blocks. If you haven’t found the perfect image for your new blog post after, say, 30 minutes, move on without it; you can’t afford to lose all day on just that one thing. Look into what you’ve picked as a second-best and make your choice.
Following are few Blogger Babes posts and resources to make sourcing content more efficient:
- There are lots of great services that offer thousands of copyright-free photos that you can use, modify, or republish. Some of the most popular include Creative Commons, Flickr, Pixabay, and of course Google Images.
Read where else you can look for free images for your blogs.
- Quotes can really drive in readers to your blogs, especially if you promote the posts with image quotes that people love to share. Search for best quotes on GoodReads, BrainyQuote, or Great Quotes, and save them on a secret Pinterest board, for example.
Share your progress. Tell us what techniques and tools work for you…