If you are your own boss and work from home writing your blog, productivity might be a common issue in your life. Not that it doesn’t affect people with a 9-to-5 job.
But if your bed isn’t that far, and there isn’t anyone in your case, it is easier to lose track of what you are doing. Then your day is over and very little has been accomplished.
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with it, from online tools and resources to hacks and tips that will keep you on your toes all day long. And they won’t cost you much (most of them are 100% free), neither will require you to chance your life.
So have a look at this selection that you can find below, and make the most of each minute of your shift from now on.
Define a Routine
The first thing that you will need to define in order to be productive is a routine. If you just work when you feel like doing it, rest assured that it will never happen.
What you need is a right time to start and finish working, plus established breaks. This way, you won’t stop every 5 minutes for a cup of coffee or tea.
Instead, define periods where you take breaks regularly. Perhaps it’s the last 10 minutes of every hour where you might play a quick game of solitaire or eat a snack. This also has the benefit of keeping you mentally fresh to stay productive throughout the day.
Of course, you will enjoy the luxury of having a routine that is very different from the typical “9-to-5.”
Maybe you are more productive late in the night. Maybe your feel better working over the weekend and taking days off during the week.
It doesn’t matter really, as long you choose what suits you better and stick to it.
Define Your Working Area
You will also want to have a particular area where you will work every day. And not having a spare room to transform into an office isn’t an excuse. It can be your dining table or your dressing table if necessary, even if you have to put all your stuff away at the end of the day.
The point here is to focus on getting into the right mood by moving yourself to the right place – as you aren’t going to leave the house or apartment, you will have to trick your brain somehow.
Of course, because of it, you should know that your bed and your sofa aren’t suitable working places – and if you insist, your back will let you know how wrong you were very soon.
Define Your Goals
As a blogger, you should have your blog and personal goals clear in your mind. And it goes for the short, medium, and long term.
But don’t just write them down. Make sure that you decide how you are going to make them happen and that you will check which resources you will need.
For instance, create a calendar based on a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish each one of your tasks – in case you don’t know how to do it, look into some SMART goals techniques. It will give you the big picture that you need to understand what is important and what is urgent in your schedule so that you can always be moving forward.
Pretend You Are Going To Work
Despite the usual myth about working from home and working in your pajamas as being synonyms (which might be true to some people), it isn’t a very wise approach. The way that you dress can get you more or less into work mood, making a big difference at the end of the day.
So even if you aren’t going to be on cam frequently, try to dress as if you were going to have an online meeting, to say the least. Of course, nobody will force you to be wearing high heels or tight ties all the time – you’re are a blogger, not a lawyer. However, dressing something that looks professional is highly advisable.
Exercise and Eat Healthily
Exercising regularly will make you feel more energized, especially if you do it early in the morning. It will improve your mood and get you ready for any challenges that you might have to face.
You will also feel less stressed, and your brain will be sharp when you start to need it. Also take care of your diet and drink plenty of water – sometimes, your lack of productivity is being caused by bad nutrition, pure and simple.
Keep All Distractions Away
When there is nobody watching, it can be very easy to get distracted. Especially if you are doing some research on your blog, there will be many links to top websites to click and interesting things that you will come across on social media.
To avoid getting off the rails repeatedly, the first thing that you will have to remember is your daily schedule. Keep it in mind, so you will know that you just don’t have the time to spare.
For extra help, try one of the apps available in the market: Anti-Social (that will keep you away from social media), StayFocusd (that will block your entire internet for a while), or Focus (only for Mac users).
Organize Your Schedule
You need to have the big picture, but you also need to have the small picture of your day. It means that you will find very useful start your day by organizing what you have to do instead of going straight to the first task.
If you find it hard, you can try creating your daily schedule on the day before, just before you finish work. But it is crucial that you know how much you can and should deal per day, so as not to feel overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all.
Start With the Big Tasks
You probably have tasks that you enjoy more, and others that you would hope they wouldn’t exist.
If that sounds familiar to you, make a point of starting your day dealing with the most difficult ones. This way, you will feel a sense of accomplishment at early hours instead of having to deal with that when you are already tired and less creative.
Work in Public Places
Another good trick to keep you working: leave the comfort of your house and go to a public place. It can be a coffee shop, your local library, or a co-working space.
The thing is that, with people around you, you are less likely to pretend that you are working, even if you don’t know them. And staying by yourself day after day might be great for a while but it will have negative effects in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Being productive all the day is not easy and might not even be necessary. You will also need a break from time to time.
But, to make sure that you end your shift with your priorities done is crucial that you keep your mind rested and sharp. Always know what your priorities are each moment.
Besides all of that, make the most of the tricks and hacks that you found on this post. Test each one of them and see what works for you best. You will be surprised how small changes to your life might be all that you need to achieve your goals.
Featured Image provided by the author under her own license.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.