Updated: November 24, 2018
I’ve been rather unproductive recently, having just returned from a three-day hiking trip. So what better topic to quiz experts about than productivity tips?
First a productivity tip of my own: if you can, find somebody else to do all that tedious writing stuff for you, so you have time for more important things (like three-day hiking trips.) In other words, write yourself a ‘roundup’ post like this one.
With that idea in mind, I reached out to friends and fellow bloggers and asked them “What are your best tips for improving your productivity?”
I’m happy to say that the response was overwhelming (over 4000 words!), and if you can’t discover some useful productivity tips from the following sage and hard-won advice then you just haven’t been paying attention.
25 Productivity Tips From Experienced Bloggers
Ryan Biddulph | Blogging From Paradise
My #1 productivity tip is to both follow your fun and to dive into your fears. Doing so helped me write and self-publish 126 bite-sized eBooks, publish 600 guest posts on 1 blog alone, and create thousands upon thousands of videos during my online career. All high quality content too 🙂
If you have fun doing something, you’ll keep doing it, boosting blogging productivity. Plus you nudge into deep fears if you genuinely feel passionate about doing something, and hey, only your fears keep you from being productive.
Lisa Sicard | Inspire To Thrive
Break things down into small pieces. If you have one hundred things to do break it down by fives. Start one at a time.
For example, if you have a long post to write just think about one paragraph at a time or start with an outline. As long as you start, that’s the key to getting it done.
And don’t forget to take a break to get refreshed! Breaks also breed new ideas.
Debbie Gartner | The Flooring Girl
Turn off Facebook, don’t have email or Facebook or any notifications on your phone and use a timer to time block activities.
Take many quick breaks (e.g. every 25 mins) when writing and doing more intensive activities. It makes you more productive.
If you go on to Facebook or social media for some of those breaks, use a timer and set it to five minutes and actually get off it after the timer rings.
Janice Wald | Mostly Blogging
Your interview is timely. All bloggers are busy. People get even busier around the holidays.
I couldn’t blog without tools that save me time.
There are tools for everything a blogger could need.
I use Buffer daily. Buffer schedules my posts for me on Twitter and Instagram so I don’t have to be at a computer. The Buffer app has analytics which shortens the time it takes me to do any analysis of my content’s performance. More information about why I love Buffer can be found here.
The IFTTT app connects my WordPress blog with all my social media. This saves me half an hour a day. Let the IFTTT app promote for you and save yourself the time.
The Missinglettr service is phenomenal. I couldn’t blog without them. They write my Twitter promotions for me. They are creative. They write so many, sometimes it takes me two days just to schedule them all.
I actually created a resource full of 137 blogging tools. More information about these tools and all the tools that help me are included in this post.
Ana | thesheapproach.com
As a blogger who is also a student, an online shop owner and a dog mom, being busy is a constant in my life. In fact, I have two major projects in the works now for my blog, alongside university assignments and other admin work.
For me, internal deadlines, project planning and prioritizing are crucial to getting things done in a timely manner. To keep track of all that, I use Asana (it’s free!) to break down my projects per task, assign deadlines and keep on top of everything that needs to get done.
To be more productive and effective with my time, I also try to plan and theme my days, so I can remain focused on big projects when I need to, instead of switching focus from one task to another and then another every couple of hours (this leaves “attention residue” which makes it harder for you to focus).
I highly recommend the book ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport if you want to increase not only your productivity, but also your depth of focus.
Angie Gensler | AngieGensler.com
My top productivity tip is to narrow your social media activity to one channel and use a social media content calendar to quickly create and schedule social media posts.
Many bloggers feel they need to be on every social media channel in order to get traffic and grow their following. In my experience, that just dilutes your focus and results in overwhelm and burnout.
Unless you have a massive team supporting you, it’s not possible to be in “all the places” doing “all the things” and grow a successful blog and profitable business.
Once you’ve narrowed your focus to one social media channel, a content calendar will get your creative juices flowing and significantly speed up your content creation and scheduling process. Plus, it will help you consistently post unique content every single day of the year, which is how you grow a following.
For more details on how to create and use a social media content calendar read this post.
Lucrezia Iapichino | Tinylovebug.com
Blogging involves so many aspects that it can become hectic and overwhelming easily, especially if you’re working on the side, have kids, a busy social life, or other commitments.
But if you stay organized and focused, you can find the time to do a lot even on a tight schedule. While the ability to multitask is definitely a great skill to have, I find it doesn’t always boost your productivity.
On the contrary, I find that batching and staying focused on one task at the time really improves your productivity and efficiency.
For example, designating one day or half a day of the week to content writing, one to social media scheduling, one to support and emailing and so on, does go a long way.
At the same time, it’s important to be able to prioritize well and review your workflow should something urgent or unplanned but important come up.
Additionally, I think it’s a good idea to make a daily to-do list and tackle the most difficult task first. So, even if something happens or plans change and you can’t do much for the rest of the day, you still have achieved quite a bit.
One thing that surely helps with streamlining processes and achieving a lot more in half the time is automation.
Tools such as Tailwind, ESP automation or even planning apps like Asana or Trello have been a lifesaver for me and I couldn’t run my blog without them.
Ronald Segura | Web SEO Marketers
Being a blogger for almost four years and working from home for a little longer than five years, I’ve been able to learn a few things about how to stay productive when you don’t have someone staring at you all the time and making sure your work gets done.
Yes, I used to work in an office for about three or four years, and the main difference between that and working from a home office is that you don’t have the company of other people around you. That can make thing very boring and also be a temptation to get distracted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
However if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must understand the importance of taking full advantage of your time when you are working and keeping yourself productive as much as possible.
Here are my five tips to boost your productivity when working from home:
1. Do not start your day by opening your email.
This could sound a little counterintuitive. Like really?
You might initially think, my clients send me important emails, that’s the first thing I should look at. What if I have a new sale coming in and I miss it?
Well, let me explain this a little better. When opening your email is the first thing you do in the morning, you will quickly find yourself trapped into many things that are maybe not your top priority of the day, and you won’t have time to organize anything.
2. Start your day by reading a few pages of a nice book.
This could help boost your creativity, and also helps you set an appropriate mindset before you start your day.
3. Think about what you did yesterday, and organize your activities for today.
It’s always important to follow your workflow in order to avoid falling behind on important tasks or focusing on things that are not so relevant.
Thinking about what you did yesterday can help you determine if there is something that you’re missing and helps you organize your priorities for each day.
4. Take breaks periodically, at least every two hours.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that we are more productive when we don’t work continuously for many hours, but rather take 15-20 minutes breaks every two hours. This gives you the chance to relax a little bit and come back with a fresher brain.
Sometimes this is difficult for me as well. I tend to get too focused on what I’m doing and forget to take breaks, but when I do give myself those deserved quick breaks, I just sit down with my daughters for a couple of minutes and that also works as a reminder of what motivates me to work harder and harder.
5. Pick a nice place to work outside once a week.
Finding a nice place to work outside at least once a week is a very good practice that helps you avoid getting bored with the same thing every day. This could be a coffee shop, a restaurant, or even a park.
Christine Hope | Take The Leap
Write. your. calendar. down.
Whatever it is you have to do, schedule when you’re gonna do it, and then actually write it down or put it into your phone or computer’s calendar.
Mental to-do lists and schedules are well-intentioned, but the follow through rarely happens.
Plus it feels great to cross or check stuff off.
Alli Trina |MomSmartNotHard.com
When I’m struggling with a post or a task that I don’t really want to do, I check in on some positive aspect of the blog (recent traffic, affiliate sales, etc) to motivate me and remind me that it’s worth it.
In the beginning when positive aspects were hard to come by I looked at a lot of income reports for motivation.
Shawn Findlay | AbundantBlogger.com
I find a quiet place and sit down with pen and paper and plot out my blog post and rough draft. If no quiet place is available, then I’ll put on my headphones with relaxing sounds to allow me to get in the zone and write.
Then there are no distractions from my phone or computer.
If I’m struggling to know what to write, then taking the time to go to the gym first allows me to focus on the task.
Lindsay Ferguson | The Sneaky Genius
I use the Tomato Timer! It helps with the Pomodoro Technique as described by Debbie Gartner. I write about it here.
It took me ages to figure out that I could stop beating myself up about not writing enough (I’m a fiction writer too). It was impossible to write well not because I sucked but because I was always trying to write at night after working my stressful day job all day and after the kids were asleep.
As soon as I switched my routine around to wake up early in the morning to write (as much as I hated it at first), it went soooo much better. So well I have actually been able to finish two novels this way.
And now I love early mornings, go figure!
Audrey Marshall | MommyEnlightened
When it comes to planning out your calendar, don’t fall victim to the “planning fallacy”. We tend to believe that tasks take much less time than they do, and we grossly underestimate the time we have. (This is even seen in professional planners – Boston’s “Big Dog” was estimated to be completed by 1998, it took until 2006).
A way to avoid this is to unpack the tasks you have to complete. Break them down into their separate components and estimate the time it’ll take to do each task.
Give yourself fluff room so that when things don’t go as planned (because it’ll happen) you aren’t scrambling.
The second tip I have is actually from a friend of mine (thanks Debbie Gartner) and it’s been game-changing for me. Although it’s important to get your “priority” done work first, it’s even more important to save the tasks that take considerable brain power for when you are most productive.
I do work for other clients, so I would get all of their somewhat brainless tasks done first then try to write a blog post for me.
By that time, I was mentally exhausted and it took me TWICE as long as it would have if I chose to write the blog post first.
Be strategic with your time, and save those “brainless tasks” for when you don’t have a lot of energy, or if you are going to be around distractions.
Jennifer McCoy Blaske | Three Kids, Three Cats and a Husband
I use Tomato Timer and try to make it a game — if I stay focused and don’t stop to do something else, answer a phone call, etc until the timer goes off — I win!
Then take a short break and do it again.
Dela Zyana | BrownSkinMama
I have found using a written diary helps a lot. As things pop up into my head I make sure I write it down to be completed on a particular day of the week.
If I look at a day and it’s still too filled I move things around a little so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
I have learned that on those days of being overwhelmed I accomplish nothing.
Mrs G | Kombucha & Kale
I set myself up for success–this usually means going to my local coffeehouse, grabbing my favorite cup of jo, organizing my planner, my notepad, my pens, etc and then diving in.
I go with how I feel. If I don’t feel like writing a blog post then I’m going to starting Pinterest pinning or making new pins etc, then once my neurons are revved up it’s writing time!
Most of my blog posts are over 2000 words so they take a lot of energy, but I know it will be good for SEO long term.
Dexter Roona | Infobunny
I save time and boost my productivity by using a great free curation site called Wakelet for curating the research that I do when I write a new article.
Any good blog article needs good research around it.
Research helps you to be clear about what you’re writing and further educates you on your subject.
It also helps to unearth some great articles that you can use as qualifiers for your content.
Your research also offers up ideas as to how you should compose your article. And you’re given a glimpse on Google as to how well your competitors are doing in the search results, with similar articles on the same or similar subject.
All of my research is saved before I write to Wakelet so that everything I need is in one place. I can easily pick up where I left off without the need to go back to Google to find something that I want.
Wakelet really does save me time that I can better use making the content great.
Curating your research in this way then also produces what is quite a useful collection of articles for Google to take notice of.
When I’ve published the article I then share with my research collection.
Your research collection gives credit to everyone that you referenced in your article and so adds value to those ideas and thoughts that you took inspiration from.
Here is a good example of one of my Wakelet Research Collections.
And if you’re interested then here is how the finished article turned out.
McKayla Butcher | Motivation For Mom
I think what helps to be most productive is to first make a plan. For example, making pins on Mondays, writing on Tuesdays etc.
I also always give myself a goal for the day.
If I don’t have a plan or set a goal, I always end up putting it off because there are a million other tasks that need to be done.
I also suggest being strategic in making your plan. For instance, one task I cannot do while at home with my daughter is to write blog posts.
It’s too distracting, and I find that I write the best quality of work if I can write most of the article at once, and go back and edit later.
So in my plan I add in a time that I will be able to be alone for a few hours. Other tasks, like making pins or scheduling them, I don’t mind doing while my daughter is around.
Set a plan, and play around with it until it works.
And don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t! Just get back on track as fast as you can and try to stick to it as best you can.
Keyona Grant | Professional Momma
I devote different days to different tasks. Otherwise, I start to feel overwhelmed.
On Sundays I focus on Pinterest. This is when I set my Tailwind posts for the week.
On Mondays I check out other blogger’s work and make comments.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I write content for my own blog.
Thursdays and Fridays I use to educate myself and get through whatever courses I have signed up for. I’ve found this to be very helpful.
I’m also old fashioned and like to make paper to-do lists so I can physically cross things off.
Lisa Jaspers | A Country Girl’s Life
I’m most productive when I can block out long periods of time without distractions.
The biggest problem for most bloggers (myself included) is finding a productive time to blog.
Most of us have huge responsibilities or distractions pulling on us with kids, kid activities, chores, meals & spouses to balance.
I block out time for doing two posts every week and I block out time to handle all those responsibilities listed above.
Monday and Tuesday are for working on my blog.
Wednesday is for family responsibilities, errands and chores (and it’s a nice mid-week break from writing).
Thursday and Friday are for working again.
Saturday and Sunday are for family activities.
I also block out time within those large time blocks for smaller tasks. I set strict working hours of 6 am to 4 pm.
I turn off all the usual social media distractions while I’m working and close the door to my studio to focus. I tell my family that you should think of me at work, at a normal job just like anyone else!
I also find it super helpful to plan out my posts two months in advance so I know what I’m going to be working on every week, and what I need to prepare for next week and beyond.
Suchot Sunday | The Curious Frugal
For me, the biggest productivity hack has been to let go of perfectionism.
This is a work in progress but I try to remember all those related sayings: “Done is better than perfect”, “Perfect is the enemy of good”, and this Einstein quote “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new”. (I was just thinking that this roundup needed more quotes by Einstein. – Ed.)
It’s in my nature to want to refine, refine, refine, and learn absolutely everything I can before I leap (impossible!), but this holds you back.
At some point you have to let it go and put it out there. Do the best you can, absolutely put out quality work, but let go of trying to be perfect.
Erika Ro | Erika Romero
I use block scheduling and writing to keep on track with my blog posts. I post every other Friday, as I’m currently working on my Ph.D. dissertation and teaching two undergrad courses.
At the beginning of each month, I set aside a full day to draft, revise, format, and schedule my two to three blog posts for the month.
With the posts scheduled to automatically go live on the correct day, I can keep my attention on my other responsibilities throughout the rest of the month, and just spend a bit of time on social media promoting my blog posts as they go live.
Tracie Fobes | TracieFobes.com
I batch my work. So, if I need to take care of a couple of emails, I do them all on a single day. If there are photos to take, I’ll do them all the same day, etc.
I also recommend setting work hours. When you know the time you have to work is limited, you can be much more focused and get more accomplished. If you know you have two hours to work rather than six, you can get more done.
Christina Lindgren | Raising Biracial Babies
I make sure I do one thing every day that will push my business forward.
I have little kids and I work another job from home so I can’t devote hours to my blog. Knowing this, I always make sure I get that one thing done and anything else I can do is awesome.
But if I only get my most important task done that day, it has moved my blog/business forward (which I consider being very productive!)
Drew DuBoff | DrewDuBoff.com
I feel like there are soooo many articles about productivity hacks that it’s just too difficult to limit it down to one. I love waking up early, I love minimizing distractions and interruptions, and I’ll even take my laptop to the bathroom if I’m in a very productive mood.
But, I think my favorite productivity tip for blogging is to be intentional with your time. Let’s face it–most of us started off blogging while working a full-time job and for some of us, that’s still a reality (myself included). So, it’s safe to say that we have limited time.
I find that regardless of the time period I set aside to accomplish my result, (not my task) if I am intentional about what I want to achieve, I will achieve it. That’s the thread that strings along the three things I mentioned earlier.
When you wholly dedicate yourself to a task and are intentional about what you want to accomplish, you are well on your way to getting it.
I had a recent presentation to a bunch of college students and a majority of them said their biggest productivity struggle was procrastination.
I told them that they’re being intentional with when they choose to accomplish it–last minute–and that they’re being productive in the meantime by doing other things that needed to be done.
If you can correct your mindset, you can be the most productive individual in the least amount of time.
Mathias Rin | thejourneyof.me
The best productivity advice I have ever received was about elimination.
Being busy and being productive are two very different things. If you want to be busy, jump straight into the first task you see and don’t think more about whether this is the best way to spend your time.
On the other hand, if you want to be productive you should eliminate more in your life. Eliminate until you are not busy anymore.
Sharon Lopez | Bitlanders.com
I turn off notifications when writing my posts and since I have a day job, I make use of the time in between working.
I even write using my phone while traveling to work or when applying my make-up.
Carolyn Victoria | The Daily Capital
I’ve found that changing my surroundings helps me be more productive and creative.
I get too comfortable staying in the same environment.
What did you think of these productivity tips from experienced bloggers, did you find any of use? Do you have any of your own? Let me know in the comments.
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