Running a blog is a one-person show – and even though I have a small team helping me today, it’s so easy to get pulled in different directions. Since my blog is my business, I’m constantly having to juggle between strategy, creative direction, and brand collaborations all the while being present on social media. And I’ll be the first to tell you that it is no easy task! In the past, my days would start super early and end extremely late, but by the next morning, it’d somehow seem like I had more to do. I learned quick that this was a fast track to burn out. Since then, I’ve put a new routine in place to help me get more done in less time. If distraction is your enemy, click through to get my top productivity hacks.
Keep Reading Productivity Hacks for Getting Things Done
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1. Start the day grounded
I like to start my day with a little freedom. Although this may sound counterproductive, I’ve found that it’s super helpful to get my brain kickstarted, especially for someone like me who is not a morning person naturally. I’ll set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to do whatever I want first thing in the morning, which may be enjoying a cup of coffee while reading my News app, or scrolling through online new arrivals. The one thing I do NOT do is open the Instagram app. I have really been trying to follow a “create before consume” mindset. I’ve found that when I start my day in this kind of space, it helps me stay focused on what I need to do instead of getting distracted by what everyone else is doing.
2. Create to-do lists
Next, I go over my to-do list/daily schedule to re-familiarize myself with each main priority for the day. As cliche as this might sound, having a daily schedule typed out ensures that I tackle pressing issues in the right order. In the Notes app, I keep a running schedule for every day of the week and check it off as things get completed. (I mentioned in this post how Notes and Reminders are two of my favorite apps for staying on task.) I list EVERYTHING I need to do that day with a time out to the side. For me personally, whenever I’m not using this system with the times attached, I get off track MUCH easier. Since there are so many deadlines in blogging, my lists help ensure I meet all of them on time. Even when I’m not working on a deadline, it helps me develop a sense of direction and urgency for what’s happening next.
3. Block out chunks of time & remove distractions
If I’ve learned only one thing in my years of blogging, it’s that multi-tasking can actually be the root of not getting things done. Priorities are constantly changing, so it’s more important that I’m checking things off my list one at a time. To do this more efficiently, I block out chunks of time throughout the week to focus on certain activities. For example, I know to look at the weather forecast and block off times to take photos for blog content at least twice a week. On mornings with great light, I need to block off time to take any mirror selfies or content inside my house for IG Stories. Blocking time out is especially crucial for writing blog posts! After scheduling those major items, I schedule time for emails, invoicing, social media etc outside of those times.
4. Delegate where you can
There comes a time when it is no longer realistic to do everything on your own. If you’re constantly flustered and stressed, it may be time to seek external help, and that means hiring out. I struggled with this for a while because my blog has always been so personal to me – and I did everything on my own for the longest time. Hiring a team has been one of the best decisions I ever made. By having less trivial to-do’s on my list, I could focus more on the vision and direction of my business. (Read this post for more on how to delegate better.)
5. If all else fails, try a physical reset
If you’ve tried all the above and you’re still distracted, uninspired – and not getting things done, it may be time for a physical reset. As a blogger, many of us work in the comfort of our bedroom or at-home office. Though it sounds like a dream, it can work heavily against us in the productivity department. (It’s pretty normal for me to get distracted by laundry – or mosts case Swiffering the floor – in the middle of the work day.) One thing that has helped me refocus is changing up my scenery. This can be as simple as moving to the kitchen table by a big open window or working out of my favorite coffee shop for a few hours. A new location can help me get back on track when I’m finding it hard to focus.
How do you remove distractions and stay productive?
Photos by Lainey Reed