10 pro bloggers share their best productivity tips for getting work done in a sea of distractions and overwhelming to-do lists.
When you transition your blog from a hobby to a full-time business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in overwhelm from all the tasks you have to accomplish. Social media scheduling, writing blog posts, ebooks, and e-courses, creating images and freebies, setting up email funnels, and this list goes on and on.
Then there are the distractions…
Facebook and Pinterest beckon from open tabs that loiter at the top of your computer screen. Blinking notifications on your phone beg to be checked.
It’s no wonder that you feel like you never get anything done!
Your head is spinning with things you need to do PLUS when you work from home, all your other responsibilities are just there staring you in the face!
Related reading: Coffee Shops & Other Haunts For Bloggers Tired Of Writing At Home
But people do it all the time, right? Manage a full-time blogging career and a full-time life.
So how do they do it?
I asked some of my blogging friends to give me their best productivity tips for getting work done when you can’t even think straight!
I mean who knows better than other pro bloggers?
Use a form plugin to save time
“Using a form plugin saves me time and effort on a regular basis, whether I’m booking a guest for my podcast or accepting guest blog content. I set up a form with Formidable Pro and my guest can submit their content, bio, links & photos – all stored in my blog, ready for me to insert into a post. If you think about the snips of content you’re often asking for, it’s easy to set up these forms and cut your admin time down.”
Kelly McCausey is an Instigator of Content & Community at Love People Make Money 🙂
Don’t be afraid to spend money on productivity tools
“Don’t be afraid to spend money if it adds value and frees your time for strategy. Like any business, you have to spend money to make money, and eventually you can’t do it all. Spending a little on automation tools and outsourcing tasks can make a huge difference. Just make sure you evaluate the return of any expenses to make sure they are adding value to your business, not just the person providing the service for you.”
Maya is the founder of Wholesome Yum, a website focused on natural, gluten-free low carb recipes. Wholesome Yum is viewed by millions each month.
Find your golden hour
“Identify and Work in your Golden Hour – there are times in my day when I’m more productive than others – my Golden Hours. Knowing when these are and scheduling important core tasks in these times is crucial for me to get things done. Schedule other less important tasks for ‘dead time’.”
Elizabeth Plumb is the Founder of The Homemakers Journal. She loves to write about DIY, Recipes, Activities, parenting, and travel.
Close down social media and get to work
“Close down Skype, Facebook (all social media), Slack, YouTube, etc and get to work. Distractions are productivity killers. If you cannot close down all the distractions willingly, install a timer extension (Chrome or Firefox) that will shut them down for you at XX minutes.”
Ann Smith owner and writer at Ann’s Entitled Life
Work ahead when you can
“Work ahead whenever and wherever you can to alleviate the stress of impending deadlines and last-minute schedule changes. One of the best ways to do this is often to bundle tasks in batches. Maybe do a bunch of recipe testing one day, a lot of social media scheduling another. If your creative spark is aglow, embrace the moment and get a chunk of writing done. It’s so freeing to feel that you’ve got things under control and aren’t always stuck in the stressful land of procrastination! Plus, it allows you to do really great-quality work, not just be forced to pump out whatever you’re able, simply because you’re on deadline.”
Shelley Fulton is the owner of Two Healthy Kitchens, which focuses on helping busy families find easy, healthy recipes … from OUR healthy kitchen to THEIRS.
Work in bulk
“Work in bulk! I have 3 days devoted to editing and office work, one day plus weekends for testing and cooking, and one day to photos. At the beginning of the week, I figure out what I need to get done that week and work backward. I make a spreadsheet to show what needs to be shot on Friday, which means I need to prep certain things on Thursday, which means I need to buy certain things on Wednesday, and I slot in all the other things (writing, editing, posting, non-blog work, etc) on Monday-Wednesday.”
Nora Schlesinger runs A Clean Bake, which is a better-for-you baking blog, and she also has a black belt in multitasking 😉
Related reading: 8 Tips To Be More Productive When You Work From Home
Get your distractions in check
“Get your distractions in check! It is way too easy to slip into distraction with the many things vying for our attention. The way I get productive is to first remove the things that are pulling on my time that really do not need to be. Ask yourself if the things you are doing are really your top priority and, if not, don’t do them until last or stop doing them completely if they’re just time-wasters.”
Angela Wills is the head Laptop Lifer and active blogger at Laptop Lifestyle Business Club
Take seasonal photos this year to get a jump on the season next year
“My posts are about home and garden decor, and I’ve torn a page out of the home decor magazines’ playbook by taking photographs that I can use in posts the following year. For example, if I design a beautiful fall front porch in October 2017, complete with colorful fall leaves, I’ll photograph it so I can share it September 2018 – before the leaves are actually turning – but when readers become interested in fall decor. I store these photos in a file on my computer and put a reminder on my calendar so I don’t forget to use them next year. This relieves the stress of having develop posts on a short timeline or post them when it’s already too late in the season.”
Heidi is the founder of My Sweet Cottage, a home and garden design blog that puts beauty and happiness before trends.
Use time blocking to stay organized
“Running a farm business while raising three small children can be very busy and are jobs all on their own! I really like time blocking to help stay organized and productive so that I can add in some blogging time each day. It helps me stay focused on specific tasks that need to be accomplished without added overwhelm.”
Mary Woita is an aspiring retro housewife living and blogging about the country life at Boots and Hooves Homestead. Read how time blocking is her sanity saver!
Use batching and blinders
“There are so many strategies for productivity out there. I have unknowingly combined different things to be able to get lots done. The two most important things I do is to batch activities and put blinders on to stay away from distractions. For years, I’ve worked full time, raised kids, participated in their events, worked out and gone to school for degrees and certifications. It’s a matter of prioritizing because you just can’t do everything. “
Heidi writes at Healing Harvest Homestead and Fermentools. She is a midlife homesteader and writer with a husband and over 40 animals. She is an aspiring herbalist and loves sharing traditional ways. Read Heidi’s productivity tips here.
What are your best productivity tips for bloggers?
Leave me a comment below!