25 productivity hacks + cheat sheet for busy bloggers
I’m sitting at my desk next to a gorgeous big window, the whole day is stretched out in front of me. I start to plan my day, wondering which projects I should complete today. I sip my tea, as I stare out of the window, lost in my ideas……
Then I woke up…. Life’s not often like that is it? We grab time in between looking after our families, and often we are juggling so many balls, that the act of actually thinking seems like just one more thing to do.
We all want more time don’t we? Chances are though that is just pie in the sky. In reality ‘more time’ never comes and so the next best thing is to make more out of the time we do have and be productive.
Even with a lack of perfect days stretched out in front of me, I still get A LOT of stuff done each day, so I am sharing 25 of my best tricks and productivity hacks for bloggers.
25 of the best productivity hacks
You might think time to plan is time you don’t have. However, the best thing you can do with your time is to plan your day. Planning means that when you have pockets of time to work, you know exactly what you are going to do and can waste no time. The more small action steps you can break tasks down into, the easier it will be to get through your work and the more motivated you will be. There’s nothing like ticking things off a todo list!
Using dictation on my iPhone and Mac has been a revelation to me. You can dictate comment on social media, emails, text messages and even entire blog posts. I often use it when doing another task, such as tidying up, getting dressed or making a meal.
Alfred is my new best friend. I have only just tapped the surface of it’s capabilities, but I couldn’t do without it even now. Alfred is a programme/system that you can download for free. You can then pay for a power pack (£19) to enable it to do more functional things. It’s a one off fee too. So far my favourite things Alfred allows me to do are; open set websites via a hot key, have lots of scripts saved into my clipboard, which means I can just select the appropriate one and paste it in. Also I have templates of text scripts saved on hot keys. I haven’t even got into the workflow automations yet!
Zapier is like having a virtual assistance tidying up after you. Zapier connects many different apps and programmes together in almost whatever way you can imagine. You can browse through the ready made ‘zaps’ or create your own with various functions and filters. I adore Zapier, it totally blows my mind how clever it is.
Trello is my organisational home. I truly believe that Trello could help even the most disorganised person become organised (as long as they use it!). It has such much functionality that you really can set up in any way that works for you. I have previously outlined exactly how I use it (and gave you 5 of my boards absolutely free)- How to exploit Trello: Killing it as a blogger.
These are super quick to set up and can save serious time. You set up a trigger of a couple of letters which when typed explained to more text. So, for example, if you type your address a million times a day, why not set up a shortcut, I have! (if you don’t know how to do this. Go to System preferences – Keyboard – Text – +. The type in the short version on the left and the expanded version on the right.
Focusing on one thing is a truly powerful tool. Batching just means doing all of the same tasks in one time block. For example, you might take all of your photos for the month in one go. Batching means you are focused, not context switching and you are already set up and in the zone. You can batch any tasks you do, social media update scheduling, photography, image creation, post writing, email responses, the list goes on.
Scheduling social media
Scheduling your social media takes the pressure off. You can also plan your content better and ensure you have a good content spread out on each platform if you schedule.
It’s tough to be productive if you don’t know where you’re headed. Having clear goals gives you focus and means you feel like you are achieving and moving towards your desired end point.
Timer – Pomodoro
Work in 25 minute blocks with a 5 min break. Then repeat. Small bursts of focused work followed by a short break is a super productive way to work.
Change where you work
If you are feeling stuck changing your environment can be a great solution. Take your laptop and work in the local coffee shop, having people around can really boost your work rate.
Take imperfect action
Stop procrastinating. Stop trying to get everything perfect, just get it out into the world. Your fab content isn’t going to help anyone if it remains unpublished.
One tab/tab zolo
Limit the distractions around you. One tab and Tab Zolo can minimise all of your other tabs, so you’re not distracted by incoming emails or Facebook notifications.
Plan your days in details the night before
Take 5-10 minutes before you finish for the day to plan in detail the following days work. This will really set you up for the day and you can start work in a very focused way the following day.
Use Lastpass to save your wasting time trying to remember
How often do you forget your passwords and then spend valuable time trying to get into your programs? Using LastPass means this situation will be a thing of the past, as it remembers them all for you and autofills it for you. It comes in really useful if you need to share your password with anyone, as you can add them to a specific password and they will be able to access the system/programme without ever actually knowing what it is.
Only open emails twice a day
Email is a huge time suck, so try only opening it twice a day, so you don’t get sucked in. If you are waiting for a certain email, you can always set up a ‘zap’ to notify you by text when that email arrives.
Give yourself a deadline – Parkinson’s Law
Giving yourself a deadline is one of the most powerful thing you can do. ‘A task expands as if to fill the time given for its completion’. If you give yourself a day, it will take a day. If you give yourself an hour, you will get it done in that hour. So give yourself deadline for each task you have to do on your list.
Outsource what you can
Outsourcing need not be expensive or scary. There comes a time when we can’t do it all on our own if we want to grow our businesses and stay sane. You can outsource regularly to a Virtual Assistant, or you can outsource add-hoc projects. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are great places to start.
Duplicate Post plugin
If you write a feature or any other regular post, maybe on a weekly one, the Duplicate Post plugin is so useful. The post is duplicated so you can then drag it onto the next date the feature is due to run.
This plugin makes it easy to cross-link your content with target keyword phrases. It’s great for reader engagement, SEO & usability.
Sign up to unrol me
I don’t know about you but I get a serious amount of emails every day. Often they are from things I didn’t even realise I’d signed up for. Unrol me, gives you a central place to unsubscribe from and you can roll-up selected email senders into a daily or weekly digest, so you’re not bothered by all of the interruptions as they arrive into your inbox.
Use Templates – email, pinterest, IG
Setting up templates can save you stacks of time. The possibilities are endless. email templates, Graphics temple for Pinterest. Facebook and Twitter.
Focus on one thing – context switching
Context switching is what happens when you switch from one task to another. We have to readjust to our new task and in this readjustment we lose 20% of our time and focus in the ‘switch’. Each time you add another task you also lose another 20%. So if you try to do three tasks at once you have lost 40% in ‘switching’, meaning you only have 20% time and focus on each
Organise your files
Don’t waste time looking for a certain file or picture. Use Google Drive or a similar system and put in place a system of folders to make sure you know exactly where everything is when you need it. Then stick to it and do your housekeeping!
Create a FAQ page
You might spend a lot of time answering the same questions on a weekly or even daily basis. If so, you could consider creating a frequently asked questions post of page, that you can direct people to. That way people get the information and answers to their questions and you don’t have to repeat yourself time and time again.
BONUS tip – Join over 300 other bloggers on my FREE ecourse PROJECT PRODUCTIVITY and nail your productivity once and for all.
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