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Working full time as well as running this blog, I’m always on the lookout for tricks and tips to help me be productive.
So, I decided to ask my fellow bloggers to let me have their top advice on the subject of productivity. Here is a round-up of what they told me. I hope you will find it useful. (PS their advice applies to everyone, blogger or not!)
The first thing that struck me was that pretty much everyone mentioned making a to-do list as a way to be productive!
I’m a huge fan of the to-do list so this would be something I would also definitely recommend. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about this.
Alaina from the Passive100.com has written a number of blog posts on the subject of how to be productive. She points out that to-do lists can become a problem if they are filled with too many tasks. She recommends simplifying your to-do list.
Victoria at Lylia Rose suggests writing a manageable list based on much you can feasibly fit into the day.
Deborah Hunter Kells recommends including dynamic ‘to-dos’ on your list. These are things that you enjoy doing. Mix them in with the things that you don’t enjoy quite as much!
And of course, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing things off your to-do list. Sarah from sarahclarke.biz loves to do this using a black Crayola marker!
Another tip many of the bloggers give in order to be productive is to set goals. Deborah Hunter Kells points out the importance of writing them down. According to Deborah, research shows that we are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if it’s written down.
Alex compares tasks to guests on a VIP guest list. She advises to only include your very important tasks (VITs) on the list. The rest you can leave out in the cold for now!! She also suggests grouping tasks together, like guests on the same table. I love this party analogy!!
Victoria at Lylia Rose advises getting tricky tasks out of the way first, then prioritising deadlines and things with high value. Alaina from the Passive100.com is another fan of tackling the most difficult tasks first.
Batching involves focusing on similar tasks in one go and allows the brain to focus on one type of task at a time. Examples include responding to email, social media, cleaning, making phone calls and cooking meals for the week.
One Queen One King works like me with a blog on the side. This post gives some quick and easy tricks for staying focused at work. Especially useful when your brain is so full of, and excited by, all the new ‘side hustle’ stuff!
The first tip centres around one of my favourite methods – mindfulness. For example, concentrate on every word your colleague says and read every word in the email you just received.
Other tips to be productive include working to a timeline, give yourself incentives and rewards and, of course, the good old to do list!
DCPR of mystoryofi.com talks about different ways of splitting your days in order to be productive.
One way is to schedule blocks of 1.5 hours. DCPR says it is long enough to keep focus without becoming bored. And it builds in time for a little 5-minute daydream!!
If you have one task to concentrate on, DCPR suggests setting aside a full day. An example of this which springs to mind for me is setting a full day aside for clearing out your closet or painting a room. Do that one task and nothing else.
If you have a number of tasks that are repetitive but not necessarily fast, then try setting aside half a day.
Sophie at sophie-elise.co.uk concentrates on one task every Friday – cleaning up. Sophie also talks about the importance of having a routine, for example getting up at the same time each day.
Ruth at Melanin Talks also suggests splitting your days. She says that it’s OK to focus on something different in the afternoon than you did in the morning.
Kirsten at Obtaining Bliss recommends trying the Pomodoro Technique. Use a timer and then work flat out on your task for 25 minutes. Then take a 5 min break followed by another 25 minutes of work.
Do this 3 or 4 times and then take a longer break. Just make sure you don’t use your breaks for checking Facebook! Take some gentle exercise or make a snack instead.
Jo at A Rose Tinted World is another a fan of the Pomodoro Technique, recommending it to overcome procrastination.
Tione at beautythatwalks.com suggests making small changes to remove clutter from your home. For example, clear your desk daily and create storage spaces. Tione also talks about a couple of environmental issues to consider – the air quality in your workspace and also the impact of colour on your mood. Find out more here