. TOP TIPS FOR INCREASING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY WHEN BLOGGING .
After sharing my tips for juggling a career and a blog & tips on keeping organised I thought it was about time I shared my advice on improving productivity, after all being organised is only one half of the story. If you’re not productive then you’re work, blog, life isn’t going anywhere.
Productivity is often something we all wish we were better at, goodness how many hours i’ve wasted procrastinating, not wanting to crack on with the task at hand, whether that be house chores, uni work all those years ago, working on a project at work, or even working on your blog.
Being productive is the key to getting stuff done, and without a sprinkling of productivity in your skill set, keeping organised & making sure you have a good work life balance becomes near impossible.
Running mediamarmalade, working full time & juggling general life demands is seriously challenging, as i’m sure you all know yourself, but mastering organisation and learning how to be productive are two tricks which seriously make things a little more manageable.
. MAKE A TO DO LIST .
First off is a tip i’ve already mentioned in a couple of my other ‘how to’ posts, but a little trick that I couldn’t be without. A to do list. It may seem the most obvious thing to do, but writing a to do list, not just for work deliverables, but life admin, blog tasks and projects, really helps give you a clear picture of what needs doing and by when.
Not only does having a to do list help you to keep organised, when it comes to productivity it’s extremely helpful as it helps clear your mind of all the tasks that are no doubt buzzing around your head stressing you out, so that you can focus on your work. A clear head is crucial in being productive, so before you start your day make yourself a to do list of all the key things you need to get done. And if you’re anything like me the process of ticking on all those you’ve cracked will give you a burst of glee too.
. ORGANISE YOUR DIARY .
Very much linked to having a to-do list to help manage deliverables, having a diary (or using your mobile calendar) to help keep on top of key project dates, meetings, work or blog deliverables, events and of course fun and games with friends and family is also a key tool in increasing productivity.
Knowing when you’re busy or free is key in managing your time more efficiently, and directly related to increasing your productivity. Having a full picture of everything that’s going on will help you keep on top of your diary and also help you schedule time dedicated to getting jobs done.
. DEDICATE TIME TO BLOG .
Once you’ve got your ducks in a row through your to-do list and of course keeping your diary up to date, you can start to dedicate time to getting jobs done. An hour in the evening dedicated to blogging, 2 hours on a Saturday while your boyfriends at football or an entire weekend dedicated to working on features – whatever it might be, however long or short the time you can give, block it out in your diary. Schedule it, and commit to it.
There’s something about having a time marked out in your diary or a day blocked out on your calendar that makes things feel more certain and in turn gives a feeling of commitment, scheduling time to dedicate to your blog & clearing your diary and mind for this time will help you focus and get things done.
. DON’T OVER PROMISE .
Of course you can’t do everything, it’s still something i’m trying to accept now, but sometimes it’s just not possible to do it all and accepting that is very important. I am constantly trying to juggle too much, committing to too many things & pushing myself to do it all, but ultimately this just ends up stressing me out and getting me down. And if there’s one thing that hinders productivity its stress, worry & negativity.
So every now and then say no, don’t’ feel pressure to accept every invitation, to take on every blog collaboration or attend every event you’re invited to. Your time is not limitless and often trying to juggle too much just ends up making things worse in the end.
Lately i’ve been extremely selective with blog projects I take on, events I attend & have been very conscious of not making my diary too jam packed. Sadly that’s meant turning down many projects or events that I just can’t easily juggle with my diary and work / family commitments. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but sometimes it’s the right thing. Don’t dwell on it, if it’s meant to be it’ll be.
. KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR EMAILS .
There’s nothing worse than logging into your email and seeing 400 emails waiting for you, even if half are blog comments and the best emails of all, it’s still a lot to get through. Keeping on top of your mail is critical to keeping organised and as a result productive. I have my emails on every device I won – table, iPhone, laptop – and check them at any possible moment. Now I am all for keeping your mobile devices locked away at the dinner table / bed time / when you’re with friends etc, but the times in between these moments I always like to quickly check my emails & respond to any needing actioning / filing those that need to be dealt with later etc. My favourite time to get on top of my emails is during my morning and evening commutes, with WIFI now available on the underground (hell yes) I now use my full 45 – 60 minute journey each way to check my mail.
Even prioritising this otherwise ‘wasted’ time travelling as an opportunity to do my emails is upping my productivity, and overall helping me to keep on top of things.
. SCHEDULE POSTS TO SAY AHEAD .
Energy, inspiration and time aren’t a combination you have all at once often, so in the moments you do USE IT. Linking directly back to my post on organisation (read it here), maximising those situations when you either have time on your hands, some incredible ideas or even just an opportunity to get images will be the moments when your productivity spikes. If you’re full of ideas then try and make the time to jot them all down, if you’re inspired to write, then do it and if you’re full of energy, channel it into getting stuff done. Even if you don’t need a post for today, but you feel inspired to write or develop blog content, DO IT. And then schedule it.
Mastering productivity is brilliant, but staying ahead of the game is even better.
. HAVE A BREAK .
I’m not sure how long it’s taken me to fully accept that sometimes actually having a break helps. Often when you’re juggling a lot or working on something quite demanding you can start to feel a little overwhelmed, stressed and of course tired. Usually we’ll push ourselves to get things done, the ever looming deadline playing on our minds and the stress preventing us from thinking clearly. This is when the all forgetn break plays a crucial role. Whether it’s a 5 minute break to grab a coffee, an early night in the week, a weekend off to see friends or a week away laying on a beach doing nothing, it doesn’t matter, but giving yourself a break is extremely important.
In the last couple of years I’ve learnt the hard way how important breaks are. As a migraine sufferer I often find myself getting very ill and sick from migraines, usually triggered through stress & not giving myself a proper break.
The funny thing is that keeping yourself revitalised & rested is innately linked to productivity levels & efficiencies. It’s just often we don’t think clearly in our moments of stress or business to think logically & accept that a break in the long run will actually help your productivity.
One of my biggest tips, and mantras, is about managing your work life balance & keeping check of your wellbeing. Time out is absolutely key, so make sure you give yourself a break to help keep any stress at bay and boost your overall ability to be productive.
Whether it’s a 5 minute coffee break, making sure your in bed by 10pm or booking yourself a little time off, make sure you think about ‘me time’ as much as you do ‘work’ or ‘blog’ time.
. KEEP POSITIVE .
And of course the most important thing of all is keeping positive. Positive mind, positive vibe, positive life. The more optimistic, positive and calm you keep your self, the more able you’ll be to handle life, demands, deliverables and jobs to be done. The more productive you will be, the less time you’ll spend stressing, flapping and panicking, and the more time you’ll spend focussing on doing, acting and delivering.
If you read my post about well-being here, you’ll know that I was utterly inspired after meeting Arriana Huffington and hearing her point of view on achieving wellbeing and how it’s an absolutely critical element of success and how it affects productivity particularly in the workplace. Arriana (founder of the Huffington Post) dedicated an entire book to the topic (Thrive) and having listened to her story during a conference recently and related to thing’s she talked about regarding juggle a career & all else that life throws at you, I felt totally relieved to hear an influencer talk about how important positivity, work life balance, wellness and general rest is to life success, productivity & happiness.
As per the usual caveats, there’s of course no right and wrong, but for me I think these 8 factors really help drive overall productivity and really help me keep on top of my blog, my work, and my social life. Productivity is a huge drive in success and so trying to master your own productivity is well worth a go.
I’d love to know if you agree with my tips or if you have any other tips that really help you’re productivity?