As a self-employed professional, your livelihood depends on your ability to consistently remain productive.
However, it’s all too common for a work session to turn into social media browsing or a YouTube video marathon. These distractions cut into your bottom line by decreasing your output exponentially.
If you have trouble staying on task for a long period of time, start applying the tips below to skyrocket your productivity.
10 Productivity Tips for Bloggers
1. Keep social networking to a minimum
Avoid checking your accounts several times per hour. Social media marketing can be valuable to your blog and business, but checking your Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks too often can often result in wasted hours throughout the day.
Limit the number of times you allow yourself to check social media during the work day. Check for new messages in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening before bedtime. That way, social networking keeps its proper place in your business, instead of stealing opportunities.
2. Maintain a tidy work space
A cluttered work space can produce mental blocks that can last several hours. Ensure that your work surface is clutter free, and that any unnecessary paperwork is tucked away. Make use of file cabinets, storage boxes, and bookcases.
Before wrapping up your work day each evening, take a few minutes to clear any clutter from your work area. Just five minutes of maintenance each day can make a big difference in the peace you feel as you begin each new work day.
3. Define your “visiting hours”
When you work at home, you’re likely familiar with the frustration of family members popping in and out of your office to chat. Make it clear that when you’re working, trivial interruptions must wait until your scheduled break time.
Hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door to keep interruptions at bay.
If your workspace is set up in a highly trafficked area, try noise-blocking headphones to eliminate distractions around you. Separate your workspace with a curtain or a bookshelf to maximize your privacy.
4. Clear all distractions
When you’re working on your blog, it’s easy to let your mind wander. Use software to block websites that are known to cause lulls in your productivity. Ignore phone calls that are not related to your business while in the office.
As long as you’re prompt in returning calls, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a call to voicemail. In fact, save time by offering email as your main point of contact. Often, a 45-minute conversation could be reduced to one or two very short emails back and forth.
5. Make your health a priority
To keep your mind strong and maintain an appropriate workflow, make wise choices and take care of your body. When you do, you’ll have more energy to tackle your to-do list and more will get done.
Stay away from heavy foods. Exercise on a regular basis and make sure you receive a good amount of sleep each night.
For best results, exercise in the early morning before starting work. It’ll give you an energy jolt that’s better than coffee, and boosts your mood with no crash later.
6. Work in time blocks
Most independent professionals find it best to work in blocks of 15 to 45 minutes. Work through this time without any bathroom breaks, phone calls, or time wasting Web surfing.
After completing your block, take a short five to ten minute break and begin working on your next block of uninterrupted work time.
7. Take regular breaks
Once you get started on a project, it can be easy to lose track of time and forget about breaks. However, short, regular breaks are essential to the effectiveness of your work and your overall health.
Take a five minute break every hour in order to reap the highest rewards.
You’ll also want to step away from the computer on a regular basis to prevent repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel, backaches, and eyestrain.
8. Work according to your own schedule
You’re no longer part of the rat race. Therefore, if you aren’t reaching your productivity peak during the typical 9-to-5 schedules, change it up a bit.
Many freelancers find that they’re most productive in the early morning hours of 5 am to 12 pm. Or, if you’re a night owl, turn those sleepless nights into money making hours by cranking out some work.
9. Create a comfortable work area
If you have to hunch your back to reach your short desk, back pain and discomfort will hinder your effectiveness. Furnish your office with a desk and chair that are the right height for you.
Stay away from bright wall colors that distract you from your work. Cooler tones are ideal wall colors for an office area. They promote effective thinking and soothe your eyes.
10. Visualize your reward
Motivate yourself to increase your productivity by imagining how great you’ll feel once the project is done. Imagine the financial rewards. Feel the pride you experience when your work is praised. Imagine how your family will benefit.
For many people, money is the biggest motivator. Create a wish list on your favorite shopping website, and buy an item on the list each time you complete a big project or achieve a challenging business goal.
What productivity tips can you share?
I’d love for you to tell me about them in a comment below!