Productivity is something that I embrace and a topic I enjoy writing about. I realize that I can’t “teach” you how I am productive because being productive needs to be an individualized way of life. I could tell you to use the Smart Circa Planner because it’s the best and it is what helps me stay on top of things. However, you may not like the Circa Planner and using a Google calendar may be the only way for you to stay productive. It’s not the particular tool that you use that matters; what matters is the destination of productivity, not the road you travel to get there.
This will not be your usual, “write everything on a to-do list” or it won’t get done blog post. Nor is it a, “set a timer and dive into your most difficult tasks” post. This is a horse of a different color for productivity tips for pet bloggers.
How can you become a more productive pet blogger? Here are my thoughts.
Flex your writing muscles.
Keep your mind agile, and you’ll find that you write faster and always have ideas. If you are a once-a-week blogger, I’m not saying you have to blog seven days a week. I am saying you need to WRITE seven days a week. Take time before you go to bed to jot down something you’re grateful for that happened during the day. Make a note of successes you had. Jot down items that angered you and see if you can write down solutions.
You can write every day on your computer or in a notebook designed for capturing your daily thoughts. Choose a time of day that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you’d prefer to write in the morning, before or with your morning coffee or tea. Perhaps writing at lunchtime is more to your liking.
It doesn’t matter when, it just matters that you do.
Get into a routine.
I mentioned above that it doesn’t matter when you write and I stick by that. Why? For me, the morning is when I tackle my most mentally challenging tasks. I am bright and fresh and raring to go. I use the afternoon to tackle mundane tasks or take on phone calls. I know myself well enough to know when I am most productive and when I will get the most done, and I schedule tasks to coincide with those productive times.
When you get into a routine (they say it takes 21 days to get into a routine, but I believe it takes longer) you will look forward to your daily tasks. Chances are if you get into a writing or a workout routine, you will miss it if you skip a day. Try it out and let me know.
Additionally, a routine not only trains your physical self to do a specific task at a specific time, it also trains your brain to expect that a particular task or activity will take place at the appointed time. Take, for example, my morning coffee. It is such part of my routine that I don’t have to think about it. I get up, turn the Keurig on, brew my coffee, read the paper and start my day. It’s a routine that is comforting in its sameness, and it also helps me get ready for the day because the routine has eased me into it.
If you’re a blogger you should have a “swipe file”
A swipe file is where you house your ideas for blog posts and topics you want to cover. If you are ever stumped for what to write, turn to your swipe file and chances are you will have a few “aha” moments and your next blog post idea will flow from your brain into your fingertips.
A swipe file is an idea warehouse, and with a swipe file you should never be faced with writer’s block, nor will you have an excuse to not write. My swipe file is both electronic and paper. I save links of articles I want to reference. I jot down words or phrases that sparked my imagination and will keep them for future blog posts. If I find an article in a newspaper or magazine that I may be able to turn into a blog post, I clip it and put it in a folder. I am not saying that you literally “swipe” the words of others. You’re using the ideas you’ve gathered to write your own, non-plagerized content.
Ideas are everywhere. If I walked into a room and asked everyone to write “what you did on your summer vacation,” no one would have the same story. However, someone might write about their trip and their thought could prompt you to write a blog post based on that, but with your own slant. For example, someone “went to France on their summer vacation.” You could blog about tips for traveling internationally with your dog. Voilà–you have jumped off of their story with your own slant.
Take a day off
Get away from the computer and your electronics to let your mind have a day off. Ironically, I was in an Unplugged Facebook group. In the group, we would check in and say, “I’ll be offline for the next 10 hours or for the weekend, or whatever length of time.” The point was to state it publically then do it.
Take your dog for a walk. Curl up on the couch with your kitties. Get on your horse and ride. Read a book. Learn to cook your favorite food. Crochet or knit something. The point is to simply unplug and rejuvenate yourself.
What do you do to become a more productive pet blogger?
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking on Time Management Tips For The Blogger at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter and is the Media Manager for Big Barker, maker of premium beds for big dogs.