For bloggers and other fields that allow for home office bases, self-discipline is a necessity. There are tons of books and articles that will give you tips and tricks for how to streamline your work day and become more efficient with your time. I’ve read a couple of them, and they can be helpful. But they often give very broad ways in which you can organize your time.
For bloggers in particular, I’ve found that there is a unique combination of research and concentration (writing) time needed in order to complete their tasks. Organizing your day around these specific needs can be a matter of trial and error. An while I’m no expert, I do have a few things I’ve learned from personal experience that may be of help to other bloggers.
Select article topics the night prior.
This would be akin to picking out your outfit the night before. While your home office may keep you from having to get ready quickly in the morning, the concept of having a clear mind is still important for the process of starting your work day. Instead of stressing over what you’re going to write about for the day, you’ll wake up to a few ideas that you can work with. This not only saves you time, but it minimizes the level of stress you may encounter with having to initiate the process of beginning your work every day.
If you’d rather have the “day off” approach, try writing your articles the night prior as well. Both of these prep options may be dependent on the type of blogging you do, but any non-time sensitive content you can do ahead of time will make your regular work that much easier to do.
Download mobile apps…
…and learn how to use them without being rude around others. Mobile apps can help you to stay at work without being in an office or at home. These mobile apps, from feed readers to blogging platforms, can do pretty much everything you need these days. The biggest benefit of these types of mobile apps is that you always have the opportunity to get some work done, freeing up at least some of your time to have a more flexible day.
But getting carried away with mobile apps can sometimes make you less efficient over all. If a mobile app is cumbersome or falls victim to slower download times over a 3G network, you may be better off saving that task for later when you’re back at the computer. Additionally, staying on your phone the entire time you’re out and about defeats the purpose of leaving your work desk all together. Utilize apps with push notifications, automated features and email integration to ensure that some of your time away from the office will remain untethered to your phone.
Schedule tasks around your favorite TV show.
I don’t mean that you should get all of your work done before your favorite television is scheduled to come on. I mean that some tasks can be accomplished with the television on. Responding to comments on your blog articles, for instance, is likely something you can handle while watching TV.
Associating certain work tasks with an activity you enjoy gives you something to look forward to on any given day, and will make you more likely to accomplish all of your tasks. Instead of moaning and groaning about those little things you have left to do, pull up that DVR’d episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and get your multitask on.