Do you find yourself wasting time reading social bookmarking sites? Do you compulsively check your email every 20 mins? Are you an expert procrastinator? – If so, there are several things you can do to increase your productivity and become a prolific blogger.
1. Set Goals
If you have 1 hour or 2 hours per day, have a clear goal for what you would like to achieve in that time. This goal may be to complete 2 blog posts and/or promoting your articles in some way.
2. Be aware of how much time you are Surfing.
It is easy to spend time searching through various sites and links on the net. However, we may be surprised at how long we can spend in these unproductive tasks. For a day or two, try to monitor how much time you spend in productive tasks and unproductive tasks. You may be unpleasantly surprised.
3. Go Straight to Useful Tasks.
Often when I switch on the computer I feel obliged to check various things first; 5 email accounts, 3 statistics programs, RSS feeds e.t.c. These are activities which are generally passive and need little effort. However, if you turn on the computer 3 or 4 times a day, it means you can be spending over an hour per day in doing these preliminary things, which are not actually productive. If you have already checked your email once, the second time you turn on your computer go straight to your task. Don’t even look at your inbox or stats or RSS feed. If you do, you will get distracted.
4. Turn off Internet for Writing.
Writing is a skill which requires concentration and one pointed focus. If you have several internet windows open you will be tempted to get distracted from writing. I like writing in a place with no internet connection at all. If necessary, I will save an internet page that is useful for the article. Also, after writing the article I will sometimes go back and add a few quotes from internet sources.
5. Set realistic Goals.
If the idea of writing a 1000 long post is daunting, start off with a simple task. Write a short review of something, this will help get in the mood for creativity and writing. If your target is easy to achieve, it will encourage you to start. Take one step at a time. If your goal is “completely revamp website, both design and content” you will forever be put it off, – because it is too daunting. Start off with the goal “Make minor improvements to home page” and “add one simple Page”
- See how to make successful short posts
6. Productivity generates its own momentum
At times we can spend two hours and achieve nothing, at other times we can get into a flow of creativity and inspiration, and we really feel we are being productive. The key is to get started and be focused. This is why I advise the benefits of writing short posts and setting realistic goals. Once you have written a short post, you may get inspiration for a longer post.
7. Keep Focused.
I have various blogs, which include topics on spirituality, mortgages, economics, SEO, UK housing market, cycling, e.t.c. I sometimes try to work on several at once. I now find it is best to stick to one site per work session. Once I get into the intricacies of the UK financial markets, it is hard to be thinking of spirituality at the same time (and vice versa)
8. Be Careful of 10 minute time slots.
Quite often we have 10-20 mins for internet. We feel that in this time we do not have the opportunity to do anything meaningful, so we just waste those 20 minutes. Either do something useful – write a short post, or don’t even bother to turn on computer. (You could even speak to real humans and remember what real life is like.
9. Don’t spend too much time Researching
If you want to find inspiration for an article, it is good to read a couple of others; however, don’t feel the necessity of reading everything, ever written on the subject. If you read too much of other people’s articles, you may lose your own voice. The best articles are often those where you can write entirely from your own perspective. Nevertheless, it is good to get 1 or 2 quotes / links, – but be focused in getting these.
10. Keep Commenting / Networking in perspective.
Good comments and networking has its role to play in developing your blog, but don’t forget the importance of adding to your own blog, rather than others (BTW I am always grateful to receive comments)
11. Is this Design Change Necessary?
Sometimes on a whim, I will want to change some CSS / design issue. It doesn’t quite work as I intended, and after 2 hours I haven’t anything worthwhile to show. CSS improvements should be given a low priority. Don’t spend hours repeatedly changing the colours of your blog. There is nothing wrong with a clean, simple design based on a popular template. Design can always be tweaked later, when your blog hits A-List (sometime in AD 2156…)
12. Take a Break From Computer.
We sometimes equate time to output. However, there are times when we are not in the mood for working on internet. There is no harm in taking breaks from the computer, come back when you are feeling refreshed.
13. Take short Hourly Breaks.
It is good sometimes to step away from the computer for 5 mins. Review what you have done in the past hour, and what you are going to do in the next hour.
see also: how to achieve more on internet in less time