Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of your computer, your hands on your keyboard, but you just aren't getting anything done? Well, here are some productivity hacks to help push you through those times.
Whether you are just starting a blog, or are an experienced blogger, there are going to be times when you just can't seem to find any words to type.
Sometimes, even though you feel stuck, you need to push yourself to produce something to meet your goals.
However, changing things up, either by changing your environment or habits or stepping away for a bit, can be just what you need to make yourself more productive.
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Work Environment Productivity Hacks
Sometimes just changing how you work is enough to break you out of a rut. Here are a few ways to get yourself to be more productive with your work.
A lot of the time, when you find yourself staring at your computer not getting anything done, it is because you didn't plan effectively for the work you are trying to accomplish.
Having a plan, both long-term and short-term, for what you want to accomplish goes a long way in making you successful, and I find it to be an excellent productivity hack.
For the long-term, you should have a good content and promotion plan set up. It is much easier to have future posts planned out than to come up with them on the fly.
It is also much more strategic and can help the layout of your site. A logical site layout can also improve the search engine optimization of your website by having a good site structure.
For the short-term plan, I find it is helpful to write down what I want to accomplish each day of the upcoming week.
Having specific goals for each day helps me get things done more efficiently and helps me stick to my schedule.
Now, planning ahead doesn't mean I never find myself in a slump. But it does prevent it from happening as much as it did before I created short and long-term goals for myself.
Automating or Outsourcing Routine Tasks
As a blogger, you are running your own business.
As you become more experienced, you will become more efficient in the tasks required to keep your business moving forward.
However, as you grow, so will the volume of tasks.
Some of these tasks include content creation, editing, moderating and responding to comments, social media campaigns, managing affiliate strategy, web design, and more.
All of these tasks can bog you down and hurt your productivity.
For many of them, you can consider hiring someone on Fiverr or Upwork to accomplish those tasks. In addition to those services, there are several others focused on creating content for bloggers.
A great tool for automating your social media campaigns is Tailwind. It is great for Pinterest and can be used for Instagram as well.
Tailwind lets you schedule your pins out in the future so you can remain active on the site without actually having to be on it all the time.
Turn Off Distractions to Improve Productivity
It seems like the world is set up for us to fail at times.
There are more distractions than ever.
Watching Netflix, browsing social media, playing games, texts, emails, etc.
The list goes on and on.
Even just sitting at my desk in my office when I turn all of those other things off, there are distractions.
I have a window in front of my desk. Now, I couldn't imagine working without being able to see outside, or I might as well go back to my old cubicle life.
However, occasionally I'll find myself paying too much attention to something outside than on my work.
Or my dog will come and stare at me, wanting to play with him. He usually wins that battle:-)
But a majority of the distractions can be dealt with by eliminating them.
When I need to focus, I turn off the TV, put my phone on do not disturb and leave it in a different room, turn off notifications on my computer, and only open the programs I need to get my work done.
I also find that having a clean desk helps me stay focused on my work.
It is incredible how a little distraction can get you sidetracked for significant periods of time.
But it is also amazing what you can accomplish once you remove those distractions.
Bonus Decluttering and Self-Improvement Tip
Do you have a stack of books or a bookshelf full of books on how to improve in different areas in your life?
I know I do.
From ways to improve your career to entrepreneurship to personal development (and much, much more), you had great intentions when you bought them, but you never had the time to read them.
Have you heard of Blinkist?
It is a service that breaks down bestselling nonfiction books into short reads (around 15 minutes) to give you the big ideas without reading the entire book. You can also listen to audio versions.
So instead of buying more books you'll never read, you should give Blinkist a try. It's free for 7 days.
Sometimes when I'm not getting work done at my desk or find myself unable to be creative, I find that changing my location can help.
I may go and work in a different room in my house or work outside.
Or I might go to the library, a coffee shop, a park, or even a brewery to put myself in a different environment.
A new location alone can help spark new ideas or help me focus on what I need to do. It is also helpful to get out and have some social interaction if you mostly work by yourself at home.
However, when you do get out and work somewhere else, it can introduce new distractions as well.
Stepping Away Productivity Hacks
The productivity hacks above will help you improve your productivity when working. However, sometimes it is crucial to get away from your work for a bit altogether.
Get Up and Stretch
After you've been sitting at your desk, hunched over your computer for a while, you really should get up for a bit.
Getting up and stretching is a good idea, even if you are productive.
Walk around and stretch a little.
Short breaks like this will make your body feel better. It will also give your mind a little relief before getting back to work.
Sometimes you just need to zone out for a bit.
Either staring off into the distance or just sitting with your eyes closed daydreaming can provide a welcome break to your mind.
Typically if you are trying to get something done and nothing is working, thinking about it more isn't going to help. So allow yourself to take your mind off of it for a bit.
Exercise to Improve Productivity
I think this is one of the most important things in helping to improve productivity.
Along with planning my work for the week, I like to plan workouts into my days as well.
Staying physically active helps my mind work better.
I am not a morning person. My peak work hours are typically mid to late afternoon.
However, if I workout first thing in the morning, I don't feel like I have a good exercise session.
I like to plan to work out at least three times a week. And I typically do it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
I work for two or three hours in the morning, workout, and then get back to work after lunch.
After a good workout, I feel more prepared to accomplish my work and am always more productive.
Take a Walk
Walking is something that I did a lot when I had a real job.
I worked in Uptown Charlotte, and every day during lunch, I would go for a long walk.
It was a great way to recharge. And on the days when I wasn't able to walk, either because of bad weather or meetings, my afternoons were not as productive.
Now, whenever the weather is nice, and even sometimes when it isn't, I like to take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood or on the greenways nearby.
It is a great way to get some time in nature and get away from work.
Other times, it gets me away from my desk to think, work through issues in my mind, and come up with new ideas.
I've had numerous walks that were more productive than most meetings I've ever had in my life.
Do Some Chores Around the House
While the first thing you might not think to do when you want to get away from work for a bit isn't working around the house, it can be a productive way to get away from your work.
Along with my exercise routine, I like to fit chores around the house into my workday.
It gives me a break to get my mind off of work while still being productive.
And getting chores knocked out during that time allows me to spend more time with my friends and family during my downtime.
Similar to walking, I can use that time to get my mind off of work stuff. Or to think about ideas while getting something done instead of sitting in front of my computer accomplishing nothing.
I actually come up with a lot of new ideas when I'm mowing the lawn. For me, it is the perfect task to do that doesn't take much thought. And I can work a lot out in my head during that time.
Take a Nap
Whether you have a terrible night of sleep, or you are just worn out, taking a nap can be the perfect way to recharge and be more productive.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 40-minute nap improves performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
I can't think of a better productivity hack than sleeping!
Have a Drink
For a lot of people, having a drink or two makes them more talkative.
Similarly, you may find writing flows a bit easier after imbibing a bit.
I don't recommend publishing your posts when you're tipsy.
But if it works for you, it can help get a lot of ideas out of your head.
Then go back later and edit your work before you publish it.
Take a Day Off to be More Productive
If you've been working hard for an extended time and you are finding that you are not as productive as usual, it may be time for a more extended break.
Whether it is a day or a week or longer, taking a day off or a vacation can help give your mind a rest.
It may also give you new ideas for your blog.
Sometimes changing your work environment may be enough to improve your productivity. Other times, you just need to give yourself a break and get away from your work for a while.
While I wrote this with blogging in mind, these productivity hacks can work anytime your stuck in a rut with what you are trying to accomplish.
Have you tried any of the ideas I discussed? What did you think of them? Do you have other productivity hacks that work for you? Please share in the comments below.