I have a secret. I’m fairly lazy and a procrastinator. Whew, it felt good to get that one off my chest! Do you know what feels better? I know that I’m not alone.
I know that there are other lazy bloggers out there (UNITE!) who are struggling to find the elusive work-blog-business-life-family balance. So, pull up a chair while we tackle The Lazy Blogger’s Survival Guide to Better Blogging.
Here are my tips for kicking your productivity into high gear, with minimal effort, and blogging better.
Start the Day Right
Start your day by completing your most challenging task first. Naturally, you’re going to want to push this to the back burner but seriously, fight the urge. Just get it done! If you keep this pesky task at the end of your to-do list then it can keep rolling over and piling up to the next day, and the next, then the next. DO. IT. FIRST.
Make a Tomorrow List (Keep It Short)
At the end of the day I bust out my sidekick, my smart phone (seriously, what did we do without this amazing technology!?) and I make my “tomorrow list”. Generally I start with 3 of my most challenging and urgent tasks. Followed by one or two of other items I need to research or I might be able to get to. I find that when I use this approach I wake up in the morning in a different mood. My day has direction, my tasks are fresh in my mind and I have a launch point for my productivity.
Throughout my day I’ll jot down other tasks and ideas on pages of my blog planner. Then, when I’m searching for content ideas or different tasks I can do I can refer back to my planner.
I’m sure you might feel conflicted about this one, especially if you’re a mom like me. As a mom I can multitask with the best of them and while sometimes it’s a necessity when it comes to blogging, this is a no-go.
The secret of being highly productive is to focus on doing one task at a time and kick ass at it. When you complete a blogging task from start to finish the feeling of accomplishment is going to feel way more awesome than having about five-ten things that are either half done or just a mess. Plus, you get to check it off your list and release some of that feel good juice, dopamine.
Set Limits and Time Blocks
We all have crazy different schedules and set in stone appointments or tasks, like, driving your kids to school, work, etc. Set time blocks within your schedule that are during times that you know you are most productive. Keep the time blocks to a limit of when you can get the most done and don’t start slacking.
A good way to discover this is to start a stop watch at the beginning of a time block. When you find yourself spacing out, slacking off, or getting off task stop the watch. Do this a few times over the course of a week to find your optimal time block times and length.
Set yourself a limit then for any given task. Say, for social media (the biggest time suck known to man) you set a limit of 1 hour a day. Each day split up your social media into different time blocks spread throughout the day. Say, 15 minutes at 7am, 15 minutes at 12pm, 20 minutes at 6pm and 10 minutes at 9pm. Or, 20 minutes at 7am, 20 minutes at 12pm and 20 minutes at 8pm. Do what works for you, your schedule, and your productivity.
Restart Your Day
I just love this post on Real Simple about starting your day over at 2pm. The idea is that at 2pm take time to assess what you’ve accomplished, what you still have pending, what is critical to complete that day and what you can move to tomorrow. It also helps you identify and realize how much time you have to complete any other critical tasks that may have come up that day.
Get Enough Sleep
Nothing squanders creativity and productivity more than fatigue and sleepiness. Getting a good night sleep is the ultimate lazy butt buster. Plus, getting enough sleep every night (they suggest 7-9 hours for us adults) helps reduce stress, helps you avoid burn out, increases mental clarity, and gives your memory a boost.
(Get better sleep tips and ideas at Greatist.com)
Get Up, Get Dressed and Do the Work
Set a time each day to get your butt out of bed, in the shower, dressed and get your work on. While it’s fine and dandy to want to work all day with your PJ’s on, from a productivity and laziness standpoint, it’s not. By holding yourself accountable for getting up at a decent time, spending time on your personal care and hygiene you’re going to feel better about yourself, less lazy and more productive. Try it.
By doing these things day in and day out I’ve really become so much more productive and less lazy without a huge amount of effort. I just feel more productive because I set myself up to succeed.