It seems to be a common topic that surfaces often when first getting started as a blog writer.
You sit down to write a blog post; and you plan you have it done in about 2 hours. Six and a half hours later you finally tap on the publish button.
Or even worse, you only get about half the article written (if that much).
“LOL… that clock must certainly be wrong.”
“What is that rumbling in my stomach? Did I forget to eat lunch?”
“How many cups of coffee did I actually drink?”
“I can’t remember…did I shower today?”
It happens all the time. It happened to me when I first got started. And if I’m not careful, it will still happen. Not staying productive is a common struggle for new bloggers and veterans alike.
An Ongoing Process
Honestly, I STILL have to be intentional about balancing my time between all the distractions that lead me away from writing and working on content for my site.
Oh…and then there is the rest of life…. family, friends, eating, cleaning, personal hygiene. LOL
So here are 3 of my tips for anyone else that might be struggling in this area.
1. Turn OFF The Notifications
When I sit down to either train or work on my site, I turn off all the notifications for all my devices (except for phone calls in case of emergencies).
When I see that email notification for a blog I follow, I am far too tempted to check it out. And then I HAVE to comment or reply. And then I HAVE to read the other responses. And then… “oooooo look at this post! this looks interesting!”
The same goes for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platforms. Notifications are sounding off non-stop.
“Hey look! Tommy and his wife are in Cancun. Sweet!”
“Did my brother get a new puppy?? Awwwwwww <3”
“Ooooo… this video of HUGE motorcycle jumps is awesome!”
Forty-five minutes later…. “What was I doing again? Oh yeah…”
Now i’m exaggerating some, but in the connected world we live in, notifications and reminders are coming at us unceasingly sometimes.
Obviously, don’t neglect your responsibilities or emergencies. Everyone in my inner circle knows that if they really need me, they can call me. If I have my phone on ‘do not disturb,’ they know to call twice and it will ring through.
Practically speaking, If it is out of sight, it is out of mind. Save those notifications for later.
2. A Daily Schedule
Another method I use to mitigate what I call “squirrel syndrome” is a schedule. I write down exactly what I plan to do and at what time. Personally I schedule “blocks” of time for different tasks throughout the day.
Not only do I do this for my online business, but I also include my non-business activities as well. (ie: working out, grocery shopping, kids’ activities, etc)
At first, I was very rigid with sticking to exact times. For me this was necessary to get into a routine that was more productive. I had to break some old habits; procrastination being one of the worst of them.
(I could write an entire post just about that; but I'll spare you).
Over time, I have learned how to be flexible with the aforementioned schedule and still be productive.
Be realistic when creating your schedule. Intentionally overestimate the time it will take for each task. If you get done with a task sooner, then great! More time for the next task!
Be sure to schedule in a buffer for breaks, which I will talk more about in just a bit.
Schedules are unique to each individual and their personality. Experiment and find what works for you.
To keep the squirrels at bay, schedule your day. 😉
3. Get Up and Walk Away
Yep…you heard me correctly. You’ve got to give your brain a break now and then.
Schedule yourself a block to go do something completely unrelated. When you come back, it’s like looking at your post with completely different eyes.
If I’m ever having writer's block, I just stop my writing session and move my next task up in time. Then when that task is done, I’ll go back and read through my post. Usually that will free my mind up to move on with my writing.
Just like any other skills, productivity habits take practice. You won’t get it perfect on the first try, so go easy on yourself.
Do something every day to change a habit. Evaluate and adjust.
- Free yourself from distractions – turn off the notifications
- Get into a daily routine or on a schedule
- Make sure to schedule in free time to give your brain a break
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That’s a Wrap!
Those are just a couple ideas that I have for finding balance.
I would love to hear your tips or ideas on finding balance between your online business and all the other aspects of your life?
What tips can you give ME on staying productive?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time… always be helping others.