32 Productivity Tips From Bloggers And Entrepreneurs

Best productivity tips from bloggers and entrepreneurs

productivity-tips-infographicWe all have blank page syndromes and productivity issues every once in a while.

A while ago I listened to the legendary Dave Dee and Dan Kennedy, as they were launching their program. In one of the webinars Dave was giving practical advise on how to schedule your day, starting from the tasks that need to be done, not the fun ones and so on. His personal secret is napping, by the way. So I decided to ask this question

“What is your best productivity tip?”

from other bloggers all over the internet (actually posted it to some forums I’m a member of) and here are the answers I got:

1. Listen to your body clock. If you’re a natural night owl and do your best work after hours, then create a routine around that. There’s no point in following the widely accepted advice of waking up early. It works for people who do their best work then.

If that’s not you, productivity will elude you no matter how hard you try. Take it from a night owl who spent years trying to conform to the norm. It doesn’t work. Now I work from 11 pm – 3 am and sleep in till 10 am after sending the kids to school.
Samar Owais, FreelanceFlyer.com

2. I end my workday (may be as late at 2:00 am) by making a list of the first 6 things I wlll do in the morning.
Sylvia Runkle, SylviaRunkle.com

3. My business changed when I learned to set aside special time slots of ‘business development only’ time. For me that is half a day, every 2 weeks.

This is my ‘insurance policy’ to get myself closer to my bigger goals, to actually FEEL productive and to keep feeling good about myself, because our work as entrepreneurs is never finished.
Lianne Ebbinkhuijsen, Easy-Influence.com

4. Book 3 to 5 one hour slots in your calendar each week to work on your business. This time should be treated as a top priority, as important as meeting your best client.

During that time turn off ALL devices and alerts, put up a “do not disturb” sign if you need to and focus on 1 critical task to move your business forward. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll get accomplished and the difference it will make for your business.
Heather Cameron, IgniteYourMarket.com

5. Unsubscribe! Once you get on a list you’ll start to receive dozens of emails every day with offers for plug-ins, information products, and “free” webinars. Sifting through them can be time-consuming and it’s very easy to go down the rabbit hole of information overload.

Particularly when you’re just getting started, focus your energies on growing your business and stick to a few trusted sources that you know from experience offer great value.
Mary Trump, TrumpCoaching.com

6. Here are my tips: to keep blog updated, set time away from distractions to work.
Marcie, MarciesCaringHands.weebly.com

7. Learn to use Photoshop. It will save you hours of posting (and waiting on) tiny graphics projects on outsourcing sites and move your projects along more quickly.
Elizabeth Jamieson, GenesisClub.com

8. Take notes, review and expand them on a regular basis, know your desired outcomes, lay them out in a calendar, and stay focused on them while being open to taking time to have experiences outside of your normal habit or routine.
Wyatt Christman, LittleGuyWebdesigns.com

9. Taking time off to play – I recently took up skateboarding again.
Marlene Hielema, ImageMaven.com

10. Get to work. Dive In. No distractions allowed. No Facebook, no email, no Twitter, no food, no drink. For three hours. Try it – you’ll discover you can do in three hours what normally took you eight. I’m best in the morning.
Rick, GetMcKinney.com

11. Stay focused. You keep in the cloud mind where you are going. Work to proceed on that path. Until a wall suddenly appears. Then pivot to circumvent it to get on track. Stay focused. If you can’t, do something else.
Richard Canfield, YourPrinceton.com

12. Unplugging from technology. Many people have said this, but it is astounding how much more I accomplish on the days I actually remember to close email, ignore all non-emergency emails and calls, and even unplug from my Internet connection completely for a couple hours at a time.
Brynn, AllergyBytes.com

productivity-tips2

13. My best productivity tip is actually two, but they might not work for everyone, so please let me explain a bit.

I work for a ghostblogging company, and manage 17 blogs (though some weeks more, and some weeks less), all of which require 2 posts a week, and one requires three. I write and post everything myself, and the way I was doing it was to research, write, source photos and extras, post and publish. I did this one by one for each blog.

I knew there had to be a better way, and I found two.

The first: Do the work in stages. I’m writing at least six posts a day, whether it’s a day for the ghostblogging job or not, so instead of going back and forth as I was wasting time, here what I do:

  • First, I research everything, and leave relevant tabs open for easy access as needed to copy links and cite sources.
  • Second, I write everything – only going back to the research as I need to.
  • Third, I source all the photos and other extras I need.
  • Last, I post everything, and publish (or schedule), one after another until finished.

Using this strategy instead of the old one has allowed me to turn eight-hour days into a more manageable six hour block, which leaves me time to market my services and other business related stuff.

My next tip goes with the first one, though I imagine these would help others, and not just those who work on volume writing projects. I installed three plug ins to Firefox, Direct Link, Mass Copy URL, and Tab Group Manager.

Direct Link allows you to copy a URL that’s not an active hyperlink and – depending on the options selected after installing it – open it in a new tab or new window, without having to copy and paste. For instance, highlight a link that’s not active like: http://www.example.com. Then, right click, chose the direct link option, and it will open either in a new tab or window.

This also works for “malformed” URLs without the www. or the http part. For example, highlight and right click text with: example.com and it will open in a new tab/window.

Multi Link plugin allows you to select specific tabs, or all tabs, and copy the URL of the tabs all at once so that when you paste them, they form a list. You know, to be honest, I’d have to say that if I had to choose a single productivity tip, it would be to use Firefox. Alternatively, if you have a 64-bit system, use a 64-bit variant – (and make sure you use 64-bit software at that). They are all faster, and have unlimited add on abilities so if these plug ins don’t work for your situation, you’ll no doubt find some that will.
Jessica (JC) Zuzierla-Torpey, virtual-copy.com

15. I like the Pomadoro method. Set a timer to work on 1 thing for 25-30 minutes. Take a 5 minute break…repeat. It’s simple, but it works.
Clara Mathews, freelancerslifestyle.com

16. Going out for a walk before starting work. Allowing myself breaks has been key to improving productivity when I’m working. An (online) kitchen timer can be useful for this.
Henneke, enchantingmarketing.com

17. My productivity tip is to ask myself this question: ‘…will this generate revenue for my business?’ If the answer is ‘Yes’, then I work on it. It the answer is ‘No’, then I keep looking through my list until I find revenue generating activities.
Jenny Spring, springintosales.com

18. Always have a pad and pen around to write down your ideas and your to-do list. I keep at pad at the entry way and on my nightstand. I also have a pad in my purse and in my car. You never know when you will come up with $1,000,000 idea.
Michelle Arbore, savvysocialmedia4u.com

19. Have a routine! Doing the same things everyday will become habit making it easier to focus on the tasks that need to get done. If you have to, write yourself a weekly schedule until the routine becomes second nature.
Jen Marie, jenloveslife.com

20. Can’t settle on a decision? Thoughts spinning? Chasing your tail? Don’t rely only on thinking to resolve your challenges. Do a semi-organized brain dump of all your issues and thoughts (like on a white board).

That will allow your thoughts to settle down because it’s all right there in front of you. As you move around, coming, going etc., notice the brain dump. Let it remind you but not drag you back into spinning. After a while — hours, days or weeks — the answers will come – efficiently, clearly and confidently.
Jim Clark, issaquah360.com

21. Having a dedicated work space in a quiet room or space in the house does wonders for getting lots of work done!
Nadine Herring, Virtually Nadine

22. Regular naps.
– Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger.com

23. Sleep, 8 hours
Mike, Stickfiguresimple.com

24. A spreadsheet with monthly goals, that get placed into weekly goals that get placed into today’s to-do list.
Pete Renzulli, smallbusinessformulas.com

25. Get stuff off your plate and on to someone else’s. When you’re trying to move so much stuff forward, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of each step, only to find you are clogging up the progress.

What if you took 30 minutes a day to get things “off your plate” and into the hands of someone who can move it forward. Treat it almost like a race, replying quickly to emails, returning calls and writing directional briefs for a solid 30 minutes. It puts the ball back in the court of the players (rather than with you, the coach) so that something can actually get done.
Brett Duncan, marketinginprogress.com

26. Learn to say NO. Use TimeOut.
– Eve Koivula, NeatHomeBusiness.com

27. Block out time in your diary to complete larger tasks rather than simply adding the task to an action list and not getting to it!
Alisoun MacKenzie

28. Take a short break every hour that will take you out of the work environment physically and mentally. Note: bathroom breaks don’t count. :-)
Lori Dean

29. Break things into time chunks, ie dedicate a block of time for one thing and do it. Do not use this time for checking emails, FB etc just focus on this one thing in this specific timeframe, set a timer for yourself too.
Colette

30. My number one tip for productivity is to have a to-do list, ordered from highest priority projects to lowest! I find if I don’t have a list, I waste a lot of time deciding what needs my attention next and things fall through the cracks.
Molly Baker

31. Having clear mental clarity to focus on one task at a time. Which I believe is achieved through optimal health with good nutrition as the foundation.
Sheridan Harvey

32. Turn off things such as Facebook and email as they are time killers. If your smart phone distracts you, put it somewhere else.
Sharon

Now it’s your turn: what’s your No #1 Productivity tip? Please share it in the comment box below!

productivity-tips-infographicPS. You can share the infographic by copy-pasting this code in your blog or elsewhere:

<a href=”http://www.neathomebusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/productivity-tips-infographic.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-502 size-large” src=”http://www.neathomebusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/productivity-tips-infographic-650×1024.jpg” alt=”productivity-tips-infographic” width=”650″ height=”1024″ /></a> Update –

Great tips also in this post: http://www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/20-awesome-productivity-tricks-anyone-can-use

35 Comments

  • Paul Graham

    Reply Reply May 19, 2014

    I use several of the productivity methods outlined above but rather than replicate I will add one . Schedule a certain amount of time each day for unforeseen matters requiring immediate attention. If they arise you will not fall behind on other items as a result of them. If they do not the time can be used to get ahead of tomorrows schedule or to recharge.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 20, 2014

      That’s a good one!

  • Lenie

    Reply Reply May 19, 2014

    I love informative posta and this was certainly one. I use 5, 7, 11, and 30 to keep on track. One thing I sometimes forget is to take me time. I need to schedule it too.
    Lenie

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 20, 2014

      One must never forget Me-time!

  • Tim

    Reply Reply May 19, 2014

    A very impressive list of productivity tips Eveliina. I would say I use the majority and am especially fond of the To Do list. Have always done that in business and personal life. Seems to streamline things. When faced with a larger task or project I always go for the low hanging fruit. Get some successes under your belt even if they are just little ones.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 20, 2014

      Thanks Tim!
      Small bites can actually form a big portion of your project and then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of those first. Before you know it, you’re like a half way there or something :)

  • Kumar Gauraw

    Reply Reply May 19, 2014

    Hi Eveliina,

    This is a very comprehensive list of productivity tips and that makes your post very resourceful. I can only imagine, it must have taken a lot of your time to put this list together. Thank you for doing that.

    However, I wouldn’t do the point #32, ever as long as I can because the world has changed. This old advice can (and it does) hurt businesses because expectations have changed. Today, your customers want instant response, your followers expect you to respond reasonably. If I switch off my phone and put it away, I may lose a lot of business, and who wants that to happen, right? :-)

    Other than that, I agree to everything else :-)

    Thanks,
    Kumar

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 20, 2014

      Luckily I had so much help from other bloggers around the world.
      And what you say about the phone… I believe it should be enough if you have an answering machine and then you call back. Or maybe a 24/7 support hotline if that’s what your business requires. But everyone must be able to switch off the phone, too.

  • Donna Janke

    Reply Reply May 20, 2014

    There are a lot of good tips here. Lists and the creation of high-level schedules is important to me. Turning off social media distractions to focus a block of time on something is one I need to do more often.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 20, 2014

      Social media indeed can be a terrible time sucker!

  • Jeri

    Reply Reply May 22, 2014

    I’ve really been working on listening to my body clock. I used to teach for years and thought I had become a morning person. The transition to freelancing and a couple of cross country moves has put me back in my natural rhythm. I don’t start to really feel productive until 10 am.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 22, 2014

      I would imagine, that can be tough sometimes, especially if you need to collaborate with early birds.

  • Carl

    Reply Reply May 22, 2014

    Thank you for this list. 2 & 5 really speak to me while 8 is my favorite, of course. Paul’s addition of allotting time for unforeseens would make a great addition, but this list is really solid on its own.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 22, 2014

      Thanks Carl!

  • Tanya

    Reply Reply May 22, 2014

    These are AMAZING tips! As a mom, blogger, and full-time employee, I struggle constantly with finding time to dedicate to my own personal well-being. As I’m getting older, I’m learning more about how to prioritize and understand that I can’t do everything at one…..A “Superwoman” Complex, I suppose…lol

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 23, 2014

      Tanya, most women probably have that same complex, so you’re ot alone… LOL

  • Jason B

    Reply Reply May 23, 2014

    This list will help anyone who reads it. My personal favorite on here is unplugging from technology. We all need a break from technology so that we can recharge.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 23, 2014

      For a very long time we had a rule, that on Friday nights once we’ve sat down at the dinner table, we will not touch any tech device. It was awesome, and I really miss those days…

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply May 23, 2014

    This is a great list!

    As mentioned I like to make a list of what I need to do in order of priority. One additional thing I do is write a ‘next step’ next to items in my list that are ongoing or that I am waiting to hear back from someone on so that when I do get back to that list item I don’t have to review anything, I just know what to do next.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 24, 2014

      That’s a really great tip Lisa!

  • Laurie Hurley

    Reply Reply May 24, 2014

    I use a timer – 35 minutes once or twice a day on my own social media efforts – set on a real kitchen timer so I have to get up and walk across the room to turn it off. Then, back to work. I am also a big napper – 30 minutes in the afternoon recharges me and keeps me extremely productive! I like the list you posted!

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply May 24, 2014

      Walking accross the room, I love it! Have to use that myself, too!

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      Thank you! You can get the updates in your email but I don’t have a feed.

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