Have you got a black belt 5th dan in procrastination? Yeah, me too. I am the master at doing anything BUT the thing I actually need to be doing. If I had to put a skill on my CV that I was an expert in, ‘procrastination’ would be top of the list.
I need to work hard before I can even sit down at my PC/iPad and begin to write. I can spend hours getting lost in a YouTube black hole. I’ve even ended up watching video reviews of people opening microwave lasagnes. Yeah, I know.
But I’ve found a way to be more productive. Tell a lie, I’ve found 11 ways (!!) to be more productive and I’m going to share them with you.
1. Only check your social media every 3 hours
We’re all programmed to check our social media. In fact, people spend nearly 2 hours on social media every day (source). Social media is an awesome way to promote your blog and your posts. But it’s also a massive distraction.
We’ve all found ourselves scrolling through Facebook, reading posts, becoming annoyed and then having our own little mini rant about some status a guy we haven’t seen for years has posted.
But what about this; instead of posting your mini rant, why not incorporate it into a post? Shut down Facebook and open up your blog.
Social media has it’s uses but when you need to sit down and work, just work.
2. Take advantage of when you feel motivated
If you’re ever sat there and you’re fit for a movie-montage training regime, make the most of it.
Crack your knuckles and type, type, type. If it’s one completed blog post or 30 drafts, you’re writing. So make sure you maximise your current productivity.
For a lot of us, wanting to work comes in peaks and troughs. The sooner you realise that, the better. It’s about using the peaks to prepare for the troughs.
When you’re in a super productive mood you could plan your next 30 blog posts. So the next time you’re feeling ‘bleh’, it’ll be easier for you to write because you already have a topic and a great starting place.
3. Get inspired
Sometimes the biggest block to actually writing is not knowing what you’re going to put down on the page. When the cursor silently mocks you in its uniquely-blinking way, it can lead to whole load of frustration. And when you’re frustrated, nothing good will come of it. It’s at this point you need to take a step back and actually channel some of that procrastination.
What? You mean use procrastination to beat procrastination? Damn right. You need to get out of your own head, and there are a couple of great ways you can do that;
- Read something, anything, to do with blogging.
- Watch some videos related to your blog.
- Listen to some music or some blog-related podcasts.
Reading, watching, and listening are all great ways to get inspired. Just make sure they’re related to you’re writing or you’ll enter the dreaded black hole.
By looking at other things, no matter the format, you’re still using your brain for good. You might not always be aware of it, but your brain stores a lot of information that you see. This could be the key to finding that one piece of inspiration you needed to write the most awesome blog post, like, ever!
4. Put some background music on
Back in the day, when I used to study for exams or when I was writing essays, I always had a go-to playlist. It contained a mix of sounds, from chill (Damien Rice) to heavier stuff like SOAD.
I found that a mix of sounds in the background allowed me to properly concentrate on the task at hand. And I still do it now. As I’m sat writing this post, I’ve got Brett Young playing away, just loud enough to hear but not too loud as to distract me.
Don’t believe me? Check out this journal article by Simone M. Ritter. You need to have music on that you actually like, otherwise all you’re going to do is throw your radio off the wall. Some might call that productive I suppose….
5. Don’t think, DO!
There are those who think, and those who do. Which one are you? Sometimes when procrastination hits, it’s time for action. Have you ever tried sitting down and writing, well, anything and everything that comes into your head? No? Try it. You might just be surprised with what you’ve got rattling around in that brain of yours.
There is never a ‘perfect’ time to start writing blog post, all times are good, so just do it. Remember; 99.9% of first drafts are rough as hell, that’s fine. At least you’ve got something written in front of you. You can work with that and mould it into a great blog post.
6. Get into a routine
Routines can be difficult to get into, but once you do, you’re flying! Have a look at the times you typically blog. Whether you blog during the day, after work, or in the dark of night, routines can help you to become more productive.
Getting into a routine makes you more efficient because we know what tasks we have to do each day and at any specific time. When you complete one task, you know what you need to do next. There’s no decisions to make and no room left for procrastination.
Setting solid routines is a great way of creating good habits. Why create good habits? Because they provide the foundations for success. And we all want to be successful at whatever it is we decide to do.
7. Be a smart juggler
Trying to concentrate on multiple tasks at any one time can be a sure fire way of getting lost. If you’ve planned ahead of time, and you’re into a routine, there’s no reason why you should be doing more than one thing at once.
By giving your full attention to one single task, you have a better chance of completing it to a higher level. Imagine your juggling 1 ball, easy right? Now add another, it’s a little harder. Add 3 more into that, now it’s nigh on impossible. Your chances of dropping 1 ball are very slim, your chances of dropping them all when you have 5 on the go; it’s a certainty.
Think of your tasks as a juggling act and I’m pretty sure you’ll only want to catch the 1 ball instead of dropping all of them.
8. Less mess, less stress
Studies show that if you work in a tidy environment, you’re much more productive. Mess causes stress. Very Well Mind discuss the stress that can be caused by living in mess;
Having guests over becomes an embarrassment or an event that takes all-day preparation.
Each room carries visual reminders of all the work that needs to be done in the way of cleaning.
Using your home for activities like scrapbooking or yoga becomes difficult or impossible without taking significant time to clear the space.
According to the principles of feng shui, clutter drains you of your positive energy—you can actually feel it!
A cluttered home, rather than a haven from stress, is a big stressor in itself and intensifies the frustration and exhaustion that an already-stressed person feels.
It is definitely worth cleaning your work space of anything you won’t need for the particular task you’re working on. Trying to find a document under a stack of papers can be a nightmare. It also wastes your precious time. How many words can you type per minute? Now imagine you’ve lost 7 minutes trying to find the note you wrote the day before. That’s quality writing time you’ve just lost.
9. Little and often
Breaking down your tasks can be a great way of being productive. Think of it like this; no ones climbs Mount Everest in one go. They set a base camp, and stop strategically every so often. They sleep, recuperate, and carry on.
Think of your tasks like they’re a mini mountain. Set your base camp, start your work and stop every so often. One way to do this is by setting mini goals. It could be that you’ll have a ten minute break every time you reach 500 words. Or it could be a 5 minute break every hour. Whatever works for you.
By breaking your task down and setting mini goals, you’ll constantly be hitting targets. This not only gives you a continuous boost of confidence, it also helps you to move closer and closer to completing your tasks.
10. Keep your eyes on the prize
One thing to always keep in mind when you’re struggling to actually sit and write something is this; your goals. Keeping your goals in mind will spur you on to write more, to write better, hell, just to write anything.
Remember your mini goals? Good, now meet them, beat them and move on to the next one. Do you know what all successful people have in common? They set their goals and they strive to achieve them. You can, and should, do the same. There are lots of barriers to hurdle on your way to success, don’t let yourself be one of them.
11. Don’t forget to drink (water, that is)
Did you know the body is made up of up to 60% water? That’s how important it is. When you’re dehydrated, you’re body becomes lethargic. What can you achieve when you feel ‘floppy’? Not very much, that’s what.
By drinking water regularly during the day, you’re giving your body enough energy to keep up with your mind. Your body is like any other machine, it needs fuel to move. When you’re body is telling you it needs refuelling, do it.
And there you have 11 super easy ways to boost your productivity. I hope you found these tips helpful. If you liked the article, please consider pinning the image below and share the post on your chosen social media channel.
Where next? Struggling for blog posts? I created 42 awesome post ideas here.
Thanks for reading.