Structure Your Work Day for Maximum Productivity
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like no matter what you do you just aren’t being productive?
It’s so frustrating because you are sitting there looking at your long to-do list of tasks that need to be completed, but just feel unmotivated or unproductive.
I literally used to feel that way every single time I sat down to work on my blog.
Even though I would put in a couple of hours, it just didn’t seem like I was ever making progress because I was unsure of what I even needed to be working on.
Then, I would get distracted and find myself wasting time on something that wasn’t even important like scrolling through my Instagram feed.
It can be really tough when you are a blogger or entrepreneur because you make your own hours and create your own schedule.
Since I only put in about 15 - 20 hours per week I need to make sure that I am not wasting time when I sit down to work on my business.
With such a limited amount of hours to work on my blog, it is important that when I have time I am working on tasks that will grow my business.
I’ve learned over the years a few techniques on how to structure your day for maximum productivity.
It is pretty rare that I have consecutive uninterrupted work hours, so my days are a bit different than most bloggers.
My schedule normally consists of getting up before my boys, working during nap-time and even putting in an hour or two once they are in bed.
Since my days are already broken up, I don’t need to schedule in breaks or ever forget to eat lunch (how does that happen anyway?!?), so I am going to share with you a few tips and tricks that have worked for me to maximize my productivity.
Be sure to download a copy of my workbook, How to Market Your Blog in 1 Hour Per Day to be more productive!
#1 - Plan ahead
I know this seems pretty obvious, but when you don’t have a plan to follow you will find yourself staring at your computer screen or getting overwhelmed when you peek inside of your planner.
I have found that when I have a weekly plan to follow and take a few minutes to structure my day the night before I am way more productive.
Instead of just waking up and thinking about what I should work on that day, I have a detailed plan of what needs to get done to get the results I want to accomplish.
If you want to read more about how I plan my blog 90-days at a time and then break it up into 2-week sprints you can check out my 90-Day Blog Plan to Achieve Your Goals here .
Once I have my weekly plan I break up the tasks that need to be done for each day. This literally allows me to sit down at my computer and know exactly what I need to work on.
What I like to do is take five minutes the night before and go over my task list so that I am prepared.
Oftentimes, I get ahead of my work schedule and may need to move some things around, so those five minutes allow me to organize my plan for the next day and check to make sure that I am staying on track.
I always make sure my tasks are in order of what needs to be done first, second and third for the day (which brings us to my next tip!).
#2 - Prioritize your tasks
I used to waste so much of my time on busywork. I always felt like I was being productive, but in reality, I was just keeping myself busy.
The items I was marking off my to-do list were things that I got into a habit of doing but weren’t helping me to make progress or grow my blog.
At any given time, there were a million different tasks or projects I could be working on for my blog, so I came up with a way to help me sift through all of those tasks to figure out which items are going to make the biggest impact.
For example, I may need to…
Schedule social media
Reply back to emails
Create new content
Edit a video
Design new graphics
Update my bookkeeping
Finish a new online course
Create a lead magnet
Host a workshop for my students
This list could literally go on and on forever.
What I used to do was find the easiest tasks on this list and then work on those items so that I could check them off of my to-do list and feel productive.
But, I found that my days were full of meaningless tasks that weren’t helping me to reach my goals.
I would find myself pushing back the items on the list that I knew would grow my business, but felt like I never had time to complete them.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and my blog would stay the same because I wasn’t working on the things that were actually important.
With such a limited amount of time, I knew I needed to stop reacting in my business and become proactive with how I spent my time.
I needed to stop working in my business and start working on it instead.
This meant I needed to prioritize my to-do list in order to maximize my productivity each day.
I no longer picked the easiest items on my to-do list but started to work on the tasks that would have the biggest impact.
This meant, the majority of my time needed to be on activities that would either grow my audience or grow my revenue.
To do this, I would look at my task list and prioritize the items but what would have the biggest impact.
Then, I would devote all of my time and energy to that task or project because it was my highest priority and needed to be done first.
Instead of choosing the easiest items on the list, I would prioritize it by importance. My days would then have up to three tasks that needed to be done. I no longer made a huge to-do list, but a short priority list.
Not only did this help me to actually be productive, but I was able to stay focused on what was going to help me grow my business.
If you need help prioritizing, check out my post on how to prioritize your business goals to start making progress with your blog.
#3 - High-impact activities first
Once you know what your top priority is for the day, you need to make sure you are scheduling a time to complete that activity BEFORE doing anything else.
As a blogger or online entrepreneur, there are always so many distractions that can instantly pull us away from our work.
When you are structuring your workday you want to plan your activities in order of importance.
This is especially true if you are a solopreneur and don’t have a team of people helping you because there are always other items on your to-do list that need to be completed.
For example, if you have identified that creating a digital product is the top priority you want to make sure that you are devoting the majority of your working day to that task until it is completed.
You would make this the FIRST thing that you work on for the day.
Then, if you have extra time you can work on other less important tasks like emails in your inbox.
Doing this will ensure that you are being productive and working on what is going to have the biggest impact.
If not, you would find yourself wasting time on all of the less important tasks and then running out of time when it comes to working on what is going to make an impact on your blog.
If your days are full of trivial activities then check out a cool trick that I use to identify how to be more productive with your time.
In order to structure your day for maximum productivity, you want to plan ahead the night before, prioritize your daily tasks and work on the impact activities first each day.
Following these three techniques will help you to stay on track and have a more productive workday.