Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
As I prepare for my trip to Oregon to speak at the Women in the Pet Industry Network event I am finding myself a bit behind the eight-ball — ironic since I will be speaking on time management and conquering the overwhelm! It doesn’t help that my internet has been sporadic at best despite purchasing a brand new router, making three trips to my internet provider to return a modem and waiting around for a cable repair person to arrive at the high. Gack! Really!
Anywho… As I sit here without internet I decided to write some productivity tips for pet bloggers because since I can’t get online I can be productive with my blogging tasks, yes? Here are ten tips for your consideration:
- Turn off email and social media alerts. Yes, I realized I am being “forced” to at this point, but I could still get them on my phone if I had to. If you know that your email will not be popping up a message that a new missive came in you will be better able to concentrate on the task at hand. Set a timer and only check your email every hour or two. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done if you’re not subconsciously waiting for an email ping.
- Don’t multitask. Contrary to popular belief, multitaskers do not get more done than the rest of us average humans. When you multitask you aren’t giving 100% of your attention to any one project. It’s better to concentrate on a single project for a specific amount of time.
- Use templates or style guides. Knowing how you always write a post (with commas between words in a series and before the and — or not) or if you always initial cap the first letter after a colon or even if you use numbers or bullets for your lists will help you speed up the process. Also, using a template for your blog posts may help you write more posts. A blog post template could be one that breaks down the steps for a How-To or an Expert Piece or an Interview With A Pet Industry Professional. It could also be the place where you note how large photos will be and how many outbound links you will use and what keywords you want to focus on. Having this will make blogging a breeze!
- I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You need an editorial calendar. The time you spend, upfront, putting this together will be a life-and time saver when you sit down to write a blog post or post a social media update or write a press release about you and your business.
- Batch your activities. If you manage multiple social media platforms, do them all at once. Better yet, automate them by using a platform like Hootsuite. Since you’re batching the activity, you’re not multitasking and therefore you can concentrate on that specific task at hand and rattle it off in no time.
- Do you find yourself responding to emails that are similar? If so, come up with a canned response that you can simply copy and paste and then hit send. You will want to at least personalize the “Hello Susie… ” or whatever greeting, but not having to type the same message multiple times will save you time.
- Need an idea for a blog post? Again, if you have an editorial calendar you will have an idea warehouse, but if you’re out and about or in a networking meeting or at a puppy play group and an idea strikes you what do you do with it? Where do you write it down so you can retrieve it later? Does your desk look like a disaster with scraps of paper or sticky notes hanging around with your ideas noted? How about having an Idea Notebook (if you like writing on paper) or use a program like Evernote to capture your ideas. Scrambling for notes and thoughts and thumbing through multiple locations is a time waster.
- Speaking of time wasters… set up a filing system for both your physical and your virtual paperwork. There is nothing worse than someone calling and asking you if you’ve finished XYZ Project and you simply don’t remember what you named it, or in which virtual file you placed it or even if you have it still stored in an email. Gack! Use a template to come up with how you will name your documents then stick with it. The same goes for paper files. Clear off your desk and put paperwork into file folders. A clean desk just might make you productive!
- If you have brainstorming sessions with pet loving colleagues, batch your calls the same way you’d batch your other activities. Knowing that you will only be on the phone one day a week rather than several times throughout the week may make you more productive because your days will not be broken up by interruptions.
- Set goals for yourself. This, perhaps, should have been item number 1. If you set goals you can manage the tasks that go along with the goals. It is much easier to manage a task than it is to manage time. Time keeps ticking away no matter what we do, but a task can be made smaller simply by working on it a chunk at a time. To-do lists are also your friends.
What productivity tips or programs or apps do you use? I’d love to hear!
(Photo: Shutterstock: Hamster and clock)