You’ve surely heard the phrase “the days are long, but the years are short“. It’s a fallacy many of us indulge in. We tend to overestimate all the tasks that we can fit in a day yet underestimate all that we can accomplish in a year.
As it turns out, we feel compelled to be productive and complete as many chores and assignments in the shortest amount of time often at the cost of winding up with a severe case of burnout.
Sure, you have to work for your dreams and simply wishing for something to happen isn’t enough on its own. But having a strategy in place won’t hurt.
I wrote about how to boost your productivity as a blogger before. I also talked about the importance of designing a home office that stimulates creativity and keeps you focused.
Productivity in the entrepreneurial world is not all about doing more without allowing yourself to catch your breath. It rather involves quite a bit of planning, clarity, and self-discipline.
So today I’ve enlisted the help of 21 bloggers and women entrepreneurs and asked them to share their #1 productivity tip. We have a great deal to learn from each other and the more we share our knowledge, the wiser we become.
So grab a glass of wine – it surely is wine o’clock somewhere – and let’s soak up some inspiration!
Try task blocking your month into weeks
“I’ve tried almost every productivity tip and trick and by far the one that helps me get more done in less time is time blocking and batching my tasks.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this before, but what I do is take this concept to the next level by “task blocking” my month into weeks.
So, one week I’ll be focusing on content creation for the entire month (scheduling new blog posts, replying to guest post requests and scheduling Pinterest). Then, week 2 and 3 is dedicated solely to product creation (filming videos for my course, designing new printables and updating sales pages). Lastly, week 4 is usually for tweaking my funnel (purge my email list, play around with opt-in forms and maybe write a new sequence).
You focus better when you’re working on one thing or type of task at a time. I take the same approach to my months and quarters, dedicating seasons to certain projects or phases of my blog and business.”
~ Nadalie Bardo of It’s All You Boo
Embrace a change of scenery
When you are feeling like you just aren’t getting enough done, it’s time to switch gears.
A lot of us that work from home get too comfortable even in our ‘office space’. So get up, move around, go for a walk or better yet explore your neighborhood and find a good coffee shop.
A change of scenery can do your mind so much good. You will find your focus shift from what you are having for dinner and the laundry pile, to your to-do list!
~ Jocelyn Kopac of Jocelyn Kopac Consulting
Use a bullet journal
“My number 1 productivity tip? Planning!
I use a bullet journal to plan my day-to-day life AND my blog tasks. I use this method to really focus on what’s important.
The day before, I sit down with my bullet journal and write down what I want and need to do the next day. Then, I check off each task as I do it! Planning is everything!
Plus, the time I use to set up my bullet journal is time for myself I really enjoy. It makes me stop for a few minutes and log off all electronics and social media, which is something we need more of these days.”
~ Mélanie Dufour of Petite Melanie
Don’t waste those precious pockets of time
“If you are a work from home mom, don’t waste small pockets of time that come up.
Create ‘busy bags’ or ‘busy boxes’ filled with independent play activities, books, and toys – only give these items to your toddler whenever you need to get a little bit of work done.
On top of that, be sure to have a to-do list ready to go so you don’t waste precious work time trying to figure out what to tackle next.
Better yet, have the list sorted into 3 categories by how much time the tasks will take. With tasks divided into 5, 10, or 15 minutes to accomplish, you’ll be able to quickly decide which item to work on depending on how long the kids will be occupied.
Then watch your productivity soar.”
~ Kristi Dee of Kristi Dee Writer
Plan your day the night before
“I used to waste a lot of time each day wondering what to do but a few tweaks made a huge difference to my productivity.
The biggest difference came when I started to plan my days the night before. It takes minutes to do, but it means I start the day with intention and quickly get into the ‘flow’ of my work.
I write my overall goal at the top of my To Do list. This reminds me what I’m working towards, giving me added motivation and focus.
I set a maximum of three tasks that I WILL get done and I have a list of things to do ‘tomorrow’, so I can move on to these if I have time.
Every 50 minutes I have a 10-minute break to keep my energy and focus high and I celebrate everything I complete, so I can switch off at the end of the day feeling accomplished and happy.”
~ Melitta Campbell of Melitta Campbell
Stop for a minute to just breathe
“Taking breaks fuels my productivity like nothing else. I can give my stories a fresher edit, find inspiration for new content and take a minute to make my 8-month-old giggle from his belly.
I may not remember to do the laundry as I had planned, but I’ll never forget the sound of my child laughing.
Staying connected to him and my other family members is not only an essential part of what I do as a mom blogger – it’s the whole point.
Stopping for a minute to just breathe helps me to remember that and gives me greater focus.”
~ Lauren Floyd of Honeycomb Moms
Divide and conquer
“My #1 productivity tip is to divide and conquer while always having the end result in mind. You are the most productive if you don’t succumb to overwhelm.
Any task would seem huge if you look at it as a whole. But everything can be done if you break it up into manageable tasks and complete a little at a time.
If a task seems to take a long time and requires many steps, then make a written plan and write down each step, no matter how small. As you get each task done, check them off.
This will give you the satisfaction that you are getting closer to the end goal and you’ll feel more confident that the task that once seemed impossible is actually getting done.
Also as women with many priorities, always have a semi-flexible schedule where you have room for unforeseen circumstances like that extra ball game, or a sick kid to tend to.
Remember that you are doing this to be there when they need you. Therefore don’t feel guilty when that happens. Tend to your other responsibilities and come back once the situation is under control.”
~ Aysha Iqbal of Unlimited Income Now
Set short and long-term goals
“Living in such a high-tech, fast-paced society often causes distractions to arise quickly. At any given time, I can have five different blog ideas in my mind, seven posts currently in multiple stages of progress, and an overwhelming amount of notifications from fourteen different social media sites.
One way I balance this so as not to lose track of the essentials (like quality and consistency) is by setting short and long-term goals.
Each month, I make a tentative schedule of what I wish to accomplish. Then, I break it down by what needs the most focus per week and per day (and, sometimes, per hour!).
Throughout the month, each time I work on my blog, I refer to the schedule. This helps me to keep on track and eliminate distractions, all while maintaining above-average quality and consistent work on and for my blog.”
~ Lexis Rose Hershey of Lexis Rose
Use the Pomodoro technique
“I’d say my number one productivity helper/tool is the Pomodoro technique.
It’s a means of getting me focused on long-term projects by tricking my brain! I’ll explain – you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break and then you keep that cycle till all the work you need to do is done!
It’s been a lifesaver for days when I need to write multiple blog posts and work on my social media too!”
~ Sofiyat Ibrahim of The Odditty
Get those creative juices flowing
“As a blogger focusing on creative women, I believe that creativity stimulates productivity. For me, this means having at least 15 minutes of peace and quiet every morning.
In this time, I brainstorm ideas, find creative ways to solve problems, imagine and explore possibilities, and write down any thoughts I have.
When I’m done, I usually take another 5 minutes to express what I am grateful for and reaffirm one of my goals.
Without breaks of creative thinking, work can become repetitive and stagnant, thus stunting productivity.”
~ Sheereen Charles of Cups of Coco
Get a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning
“I run our business from home, as we have a 3-month-old.
I plan out our week every Sunday and list three simple, mindless tasks to do each morning, like vacuuming the office, clearing business social media notifications (I leave the messages until later as they generally need more thought) or putting on a load of laundry.
Once they’re done, I cross them off. Crossing off the small tasks first allows me to feel like I’ve accomplished something already, before carrying on with the bigger tasks.
~ Keryn Fabricius of Floetic Seafarer
Turn off the internet or use firewalls
“When I start my day with offline tasks first or use a browser blocking app to limit my internet usage, I do more in less time.
How much more? Over 2k high-quality words per day (research, editing and all)! This is SO important when you are just getting started.
It’s true being a mom and entrepreneur at the same time is super hard, but if you are able to do the most important tasks before your kids wake up, it goes a long way.
Following this strategy helped me put in the work needed to start making money from my 2nd-week blogging. I also had 2 companies approach me for collaboration that first month!
You’ll be surprised at the amount of time you spend doing needless ‘research’ and scrolling FB.
My next best tip would be settling for less than perfect. Everywhere! It can be better tomorrow, today it needs to be done.”
~ Lily Ugbaja of Finding Balance
Break down larger tasks into actionable steps
“My #1 productivity tip for blogging is breaking down large tasks into smaller tasks.
This is especially useful for tasks that you feel are boring, tedious or challenging. There is a tendency to procrastinate on doing such tasks.
Breaking a large task into more manageable tasks helps me to plan what’s involved. Having smaller, actionable steps also helps to keep me motivated as these will seem more achievable than one big task.
For example, if I want to create an opt-in freebie and deliver it, I will split this task into the following: (1) create an opt-in freebie, (2) edit it, (3) design social media graphics to promote it, (4) set up freebie delivery via email automation, (5) promote it.
If I find it a chore to do all of these in one go, I will spread these tasks over a day or week and do other work in between.”
~ Michelle of Michelle Muses
Work while commuting
“Check if you can leave your car in the garage and choose the train/subway instead.
Luckily for me, I live in a country with a great public transportation system. I recently started working on a project pretty far away from home. I was not very happy at first, but I quickly noticed that not only the train was faster, but I was also gaining two times 45 minutes extra during my day!
A couple of my best posts were actually written on a train, and I loved it. Me, my laptop, my music, a delicious coffee to-go and no distractions – simply perfect.
My second tip is to leave that inbox alone. Focus – stop constantly checking your e-mails and messages. It seems like it is taking only a minute, but in reality, all the unimportant e-mails and messages distract you from what you were actually busy with.
So if you are not expecting any urgent e-mails, just log off. It will be perfectly acceptable to respond to your e-mails once you are done.”
~ Edyta of Say Yes to Madeira
Make Google Calendar your friend
“In order to run my company and manage my side hustle, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by all the things I could be doing, as the list seems infinite.
In those moments of overwhelm, I rely on a combination of time blocking and to-do lists to stay on track.
I write down all the tasks I need to complete, then break them down into what I’ll do today, and designate the rest for later in a weekly to-do list.
Once I have my daily to-do list, I will use my Google Calendar to block time to complete each task. By blocking time, I know whether it’s really possible to complete my list in one day.
If I have too many tasks for the time allotted, I move them onto my weekly list.”
~ Emily Muhoberac of Rude Philosophy
Don’t be afraid to delegate and automate your tasks
“Many of us believe that we can do everything ourselves, but try not to get caught in that circle. Delegating tasks and investing in the right tools can reduce your burden heavily and skyrocket your productivity.
I am a freelance writer and a blogger who struggled a lot with productivity initially. I did prospecting, emailing, follow-ups, writing, editing etc all by myself.
But then I forced myself to hire an editor and invest in automated emailing software even though it took away a fair share of the profits. I never regretted that decision though – I could cold email 2x faster, land more clients in the long run and concentrate on my writing (not editing).
Not only did it increase my productivity, but it also allowed me to have free time and an increase in income. So I would recommend you to figure out tasks that can either be delegated or automated using an online tool.”
~ Chhavi Agarwal of Mrs. Daaku Studio
Trick your brain into getting started
“I would have to say that my secret to productivity as a blogger is making myself write one sentence a day. I tell myself that it’s all I’m required to do. Since it’s barely commitment, I usually do it.
The beautiful twist is, I almost always end writing another sentence. Then another. And then another. Pretty soon I’ll have a good chunk of a blog post or email written!
The hardest part of being productive is making myself start. Tricking your brain into making it less painless can make a huge impact on getting some good writing time in!”
~ Brittany Dickey of The State of Awake
Work in batches
“My #1 productivity tip is to work in batches. I have started a food blog in April this year parallel to working a full-time job and this tip really helps me stay on top of things.
I like to cook and shoot the recipes that I want to post over the next month in one weekend. This way I only need to set up my camera equipment once.
Then I try to edit all of the pictures in one go and write up the blog posts one after the other. Eventually, I do all the editing and reviewing. This also helps me to look at the written posts from a different perspective and I might see mistakes I didn’t see before.
I feel that I work a lot faster when I finish similar tasks all at once instead of going back and forth between different activities.
It also helps a lot with consistency in layout and design. I have a specific template for my Pinterest posts so designing several at once helps me keep a consistent theme.”
~ Sarah Mordelt of Sarah Vegan Guide
Make a to-do list for EVERYTHING
“My best advice for staying productive as a blogger is simple: make to-do lists for EVERYTHING.
There are so many ins and outs to blogging, it can be difficult to keep up. To-do lists keep you organized and provide insurance, if you will, for forgetfulness.
There are countless moving parts to running a successful blog, and monetizing it, and you want to hit every point you can. Getting organized and focused on your goals can transform everything.”
~ Heather Marie Ditmars of She Goes Global
Stop trying to make it perfect
“When you use your valuable time trying to perfect something, you ultimately waste more time.
Plus most of the time you are the only one who can see those imperfections.
If you find yourself too fixated on perfecting what you are working on you could do any of the following: set a timer to “fix” imperfections; walk away and work on something else for a bit then come back to it with fresh eyes; or accept that the imperfections are in your head and move on and use that energy on a new project.”
~ Megan Salerno of Little Miss List Maker
Have a good evening routine
“Each night before you go to bed take five minutes to get organized for the following day.
For me, this involves taking my day by day diary and writing down everything that I want to accomplish. This applies to both blogging and personal tasks.
Once I have everything written down I then divide it up into time sections being realistic about what I can do before work and then after. Usually, I try to update my social platforms before or during work and then work on my actual blog content after work when I have more time to sit down and concentrate.
After this, I usually make sure my laptop and phone are fully charged so that I don’t get caught out in the middle of the day when I’m trying to meet deadlines.
That’s pretty much it – I settle down with a cuppa tea and try to relax before morning arrives. Having an evening routine definitely helps me to achieve a lot more throughout the day and by the end of the week, you have loads done and don’t even need to stress!
~ Katherine Devlin of Love Kat
Hey girl hey! I’m a writer, designer and the creator of I Am Unstoppable: A Journal For Winning At Life. I’m on a mission to inspire and empower women to simplify their blogs and business so they can show up for their dreams in a sustainable way. I also love to travel, play with kitties and decorate my home.