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How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block

How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block

    So, you have finally found what you are passionate about, you blog about it regularly, you love to write and come up with new ideas, but nobody ever told you all the other bits that were involved in blogging. The guest posts, the commenting on other blogs, the social media requirements, the eBooks, the eCourses and that’s not including the other job you may be holding down.

    So how can anyone become a productive blogger with all these tasks to perform daily?

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    • The Writing
    • The Reading
    • The Commenting
    • The Marketing
    • The Stats Checking

    The Writing

    The cornerstone of what blogging is; writing. Bloggers have different schedules, some like to post once a week some more often but even if you just post once a week, we know that’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing. Bloggers need to guest post, others regularly contribute to fabulous sites like Lifehack. Bloggers also regularly write free reports, eBooks and eCourses to help their readers fulfill their dreams and passions.

    The Reading

    Bloggers regularly read large amounts daily, they read content from other blogs, they research the latest trends in how blogging is progressing and they openly read what the competition are writing.

    The Commenting

    They also read lots of blogs so they can comment on these blogs and spread their wonderful opinions around the blogosphere. Or rather they look for blogs with similar topics and comment regularly. When blogs use plugins like CommentLuv this helps drive traffic to their site as the last post will show up at the bottom of the comment.

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    The Marketing

    Online and offline. Social Media helps to build connections and create relationships. Engaging readers in conversation can help to create a following necessary to grow a blog. Offline marketing can also help to drive traffic from other sources that you wouldn’t normally have access to online.

    The Stats Checking

    A killer habit in the first year of blogging. It’s so motivating to see that people are actually reading and even better subscribing to your blog, but how much time are you spending watching their actions? Yes, it’s good to know which posts are popular, but it’s also important to breathe and let it go.

    80/20 Rule

    Now we know some of the tasks we should all be doing as a blogger but the question remains, “how do we fit them all in?”

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    I know you know the answer to this one. Yes, you guessed it: we pull out the calendar and schedule time for all these tasks. But before we do that, let us look at the 80/20 rule and see how much time you are currently spending on these tasks and which ones are actually helping you grow a successful blog.

    List out all of your daily blogging tasks and write down (honestly) how much time you spend on each one. Now look at all the tasks and critically assess which tasks are growing your blog. Which ones actually get you followers and subscribers? Which ones suck your time like a nasty time vampire? Could your work week in fact be reduced to a Four Hour Work Week?

    Focus on the Writing

    Leo Babauta of Zen Habits would tell you to ditch the things that aren’t important, to focus on the writing, and that if you produce good quality content the traffic will come. While that may be true it’s important to note that when Leo started he wasn’t just writing one good quality post a week he was writing 10 of them. Although I do believe with Leo’s tactics, I also believe that a little of the other factors can help the rest of us carve out a space for our blogs on the internet. So if you want to follow Leo’s tactics of focusing solely on your writing you want to check out this post which will tell you how you can write lots of content in short periods of time.

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    Focus on Your Passion

    What keeps most bloggers motivated and productive is the reminder of why they are doing what they are doing. Most of us started out with a mission. A vision to share our skills, knowledge or experiences with the world in the hope that they can make a difference in the lives of others. Reconnect with that passion daily, write it up over your desk if necessary and when you realize you have gone off track look up and get back to writing that good content that will make not just the most productive but the best blogger on the block.

    (Photo credit: the word blog written with old typewriter via Shutterstock)

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    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

    7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

    The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

    Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

    However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

    The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

    Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

    1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

    According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

    From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

    This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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    Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

    2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

    We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

    Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

    When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

    Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

    Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

    You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

    What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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    3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

    This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

    First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

    Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

    Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

    4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

    One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

    “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

    If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

    Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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    Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

    When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

    5. Learn to Say “No”

    I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

    Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

    Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

    Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

    By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

    6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

    This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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    Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

    The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

    Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

    7. Be Intentional

    The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

    There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

    It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

    The Bottom Line

    The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

    Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

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    Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

    Reference

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