If you want to know just how productive you can be, think back to the day before you left on your last vacation or some other trip. I’m willing to bet you managed to get a ton of things done before you left, right? This is something that’s true for nearly everyone.
As a blogger and online business owner, when those trips are coming up, you know there are certain business tasks you need to take care of before you leave. Things such as prewriting and scheduling your blog posts to be published on time, or preparing an automatic marketing campaign that will run while you’re traveling.
You know you won’t have the time (or desire) to do these things during your trip, and you don’t want to move the trip up the calendar, so you get everything done before you leave. You somehow find the inspiration and the energy to finish a variety of business-related tasks that need to be done within that time.
Furthermore, you don’t waste countless hours thinking about things, questioning, or tweaking (and tweaking, and tweaking) to try and achieve perfection. You know an important deadline is coming, and you simply stop screwing around, take action, get the task done, and you move on!
So what’s the takeaway here?
When you have limited time to get things done, you become incredibly efficient!
That’s something that you as a blogger or online marketer can leverage to get things done and move your business forward.
Limiting the time you have to work on stuff helps you to focus on just the main things that absolutely MUST get done to keep your business going. By concentrating on the minimum viable product, and doing only what needs to be done, you’re able to actually make it DONE.
If you’re thinking that maybe things will suffer because you’re pumping out things of lower quality – that’s not the case at all. When you work under those conditions, you’re super focused, your intuition takes over, and most of the ideas you run with are going to be the best ones since you don’t give yourself a chance to second-guess yourself.
But it’s not every day that you go on vacations or take trips, so the big question here is:
- How you can make every day just as productive?
- Is there some way of channeling that hyper-productive pre-trip zest to help you consistently maintain the level of efficiency necessary for success in your business?
The answer is yes, there is a way: Simply give yourself less time to work with! Listed below are 10 of the easiest ways of getting more done habitually:
1. Set Deadlines
If you’re in the habit of giving yourself infinite time for getting things done, you need to stop that. Set deadlines. Put the task in your calendar. If you need the deadline to be less flexible, schedule something else immediately afterward so you really don’t have a choice but to get it done.
While doing your work daily, use a timer for setting deadlines for the smaller tasks that you perform within your day. And stop thinking. Just DO! As counterintuitive as that sounds, that’s one of the best ways to get more done because most people spend more time thinking about what they’re supposed to do than actually getting it done.
2. Set New Patterns
The faster we’re used to doing things, the faster everything gets done. In your life, set a pattern of doing things quickly. Have a pace and rhythm that is in alignment with your desire to get more things done in less time, and when you get used to it, everything will become easier to do quickly.
Does that make sense? It’s fine if you don’t really get how it works – just know that it does, and make use of it (it’s kinda like how you probably couldn’t explain what electricity really is but you can still flip a switch and use it, right?)
3. Do More Things
Don’t ever shed a project because you think you ‘don’t have the time’. When it comes to your business, always do the opposite (even if that doesn’t seem to make sense to your right now). Do more things. It’s not that you don’t have the time, but it’s your viewpoint that needs to change.
When you stop to think about it, what may be overwhelming to you is likely child’s play to someone else. The biggest difference is their viewpoint and the habits they set for themselves. So change yours right now by taking on more projects and getting used to doing more.
In the beginning, you may not realize what taking on more things has to do with becoming more productive, but if you keep at it, you’ll soon have yourself conditioned to doing a lot of things better, faster, and more effectively. This ultimately makes it easier for you to do more things in less time (and with less effort).
4. Do Important Things during Peak Hours
Focus on the most important tasks during your peak hours. For most people, their peak happens during the first part of the day. Between the hours of 7 am to 12 pm, there are 3 to 4 hours where they get the most things done. Whether you work from home or in an office, make those hours count.
But even if you experience your peak later on in the day, you can still get the most done by limiting email, turning off Skype, ignoring your phone, and so on. You’ll find that you’re probably able to get more done in those three or four hours than the rest of the hours remaining in your day.
As a blogger, content is what pushes your business and earns you revenue so you might want to focus those hours on creating and publishing content for your site. After that spate of productivity dies down, that’s when you can now start returning calls, emails, and handling other admin or personal stuff – basically, this is the time you spend on all those secondary tasks.
5. Don’t Strive for Perfection
If you’re not a rocket scientist or a heart surgeon, then striving for perfection is merely a giant waste of time. Unlike these other professions that require perfection (and to be honest, even they fall short sometimes…), blogging actually allows you to circle back to make your content better at a later time.
Of course, I’m not saying you should publish rubbish on your website, but just find the balance where you know what you’re doing at the moment is the best thing to do that will move you closer to your goal.
Those are my top 5 (hard-learned) productivity tips!
I’m not perfect when it comes to productivity, but over time, I’ve managed to get to a point where I’m getting more done in one day now than I’ve ever been able to.
I’ve honed my blogging and marketing systems, gained an in-depth understanding of my peak working hours, and can now maintain a laser focus on specific online business activities that bring in revenue – and I get more time off than ever before!
But, there are other, more ‘blogging-focused’ tips and tricks that you can implement in your work life to get yourself into the habit of being more productive. So let’s carry on:
6. Create systems and automate as much as possible
As I previously mentioned, I’ve created systems in my own business that allow me to get more done quicker and more efficiently. You need to do the same in all the different aspects of your business. For instance, you can create a system that you follow when writing, editing, and publishing your blog posts to make it easier to publish more content faster.
Or, if you use a VA, you can get them to do the same daily tasks every day to train them into becoming good and fast at completing the tasks. When you can get your blog tasks done without even having to put much thought into them, everything becomes a lot easier.
You also need to automate as much of your processes as possible. Just remember, software can be a double-edged sword. While you can use it to save countless hours of work, it can also prove to be a massive time suck! Make sure you only use software that saves you time and energy. Don’t use any software that takes up even more of your time instead.
7. Outsource whenever you can
If you can outsource it within budget, do so. Having VAs could mean the difference between you working 12 hour days or 4-hour weeks. Of course, you don’t have to run out and hire a team of VA’s right now. Start small.
If you can invest even just $100 a month on a VA, do it, and then take the time to train them to do the work you need done, how you want it done. This way you’re able to focus on other, more important business tasks instead of spending your time in a hectic (and often futile) attempt to juggle all the tasks on your own.
8. Focus only on the best sources of traffic
One of the biggest time-wasters for a lot of bloggers is trying to be everywhere online. It’s just not possible to do that effectively. Test everything and only go with the channels that actually deliver traffic.
For instance, rather than being on all social media platforms, find out which ones work best and bring in the most traffic for your business, and then focus only on those. You’re better off creating an awesome page on one platform than having multiple lukewarm profiles.
9. Have ongoing article topic and keyword lists
Be proactive when it comes to keyword research. Always have a list of ‘to-do’ articles handy. This will save you a huge amount of time when creating content or dealing with guest-posters, and it will also help to ensure that you don’t experience a content production stoppage.
If keyword research is something you enjoy, then this should be easy. You’ll be able to sporadically add words to your list throughout the day or week, and keep adding to your list as time goes. If that’s not something you enjoy, you can still make a bit of time at least once a week to sit down and research important keywords.
Once every month, or every quarter, you can do a major keyword research session to ensure you always have a nice long list available
10. Focus on strategies, not tactics
And finally, focus on strategies, and not tactics. Strategy is long-term thinking that involves the creation and implementation of systems to get to your goal. On the other hand, tactics are ‘shortcuts’ that often turn out to be time-consuming distractions that don’t always yield the desired results.
If you’ve succumbed to such tactics in your business before, then you know that they distracted you from your strategy. If you want permanent, sustainable growth in your business, then focus on strategies that can be readily systematized.
Resist the urge to take those shortcuts (that we all love so much) and focus on your long-term approach.
I’m not advocating that everyone lives a life of constant production. I believe play is extremely important, too. You definitely need your downtime in order to function productively.
But, as a business owner, it’s important to realize that your success is in your hands. And if you adopt the right attitude toward your online business and personal life (i.e. Work Hard, Play Hard), then you’ll be able to get more done and make more money so you can enjoy even more downtime and schedule more vacations!
The fact is that we all have the same number of hours to work with each day, week, month, or year.
Even the most productive person you know (you know, that blogger who’s able to do so many things that you wonder how they could possibly do it all…) – that person has exactly the same number of hours in the week as you do.
That’s a LOT of time you’ve got to work with.
So get started right now, and use the tips in this article to help you make the best use of your time to get your business where it needs to be. Set the pace for what you’re going to accomplish with your time each week. Get more things done. Achieve the things you’ve always wanted in your business. Or you can spend the hours binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix… Your choice!
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