Nov 27, 2019
Productivity is something I am always thinking about and trying
to learn more about because I know that it is crucial to growing my
business. So in this episode, we're talking about how to find new
productivity hacks for yourself.
But let’s be honest, sometimes
we, as bloggers, get bogged down in the weeds instead of doing the
things that will take us to that next level.
That’s why I invited my friend
and MiloTree community manager Paula Rollo back on the podcast, where we are talking all
We’re sharing what works for us,
the things that don’t work, and where we are winging it in our own
Before we jump into our
discussion though, I have to say that I have been having loads of
fun over in my
I am in there all the time, chatting, going live, and helping you
build your business. And the group is full of other bloggers,
encouraging each other and answering
If you haven’t joined us yet
what are you waiting for? Come on over today and introduce
yourself. We’re all waiting on you in the MiloTree Mastermind
Okay, are you ready to be more
productive? Let’s jump right into my discussion with
Balance Is a Myth
One of the biggest issues with
productivity is the old comparison trap.
We think that everybody else is
more productive than we are. But it’s not true.
We all struggle with the number
of things on our plates, and I’ve never met a blogger who was
satisfied that everything was getting done.
My own mom reminds me frequently
that balance is not a state that you achieve; rather it’s something
you move in and out of.
There will be days when you plow
through your to-do list like a ninja, and days where it feels like
you are walking through molasses.
So, don’t get too hung up on
trying to find that elusive balance. Let’s shoot for productivity
When Are You Most Productive?
So, rather than comparing myself
to Susie Blogger over there, I need to look at my own life and how
my days are structured.
When am I at my best? When do I
accomplish the most?
And I’ll be honest, I am at my
best from 3:30-5:30 p.m. If I have some deep work that needs doing,
that is the time when I can really dig deep and focus.
So, pay attention to your own
rhythms. You will notice the time of day when things come easier to
If you are trying to get stuff
done and you feel that you aren’t doing your best work, move on to
something you can do easily. Save the heavy lifting for when you
are in the right mindset, even if that’s late at night.
Another tip is to do those easy
mindless tasks when you aren’t at your best. This will give you a
boost because you’re accomplishing a goal, instead of just wasting
that time on social media.
Using the Pomodoro Technique
One of the tricks I use to
increase my own productivity is called the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is simply
a system where you work without stopping for 25 minutes and then
you take a 5-minute break. I use the online timer at
You repeat the 30-minute cycle 4
times and at the end of the third or fourth round, you take a
(Tomato-timer allows you to set the length of your short and
long breaks, as well as the length of your focused work
If you say that you are going to
work for several hours straight, you may goof off for a lot of the
time. You may get distracted, you may feel bad about how little
work you’re doing, and you may only actually work for 25 minutes of
that 2-3 hours.
But, if you can set that goal of
25 minutes and really focus, you will get more work done in those
25 minutes than you will sitting at your desk for 2 hours but
wasting the majority of it.
Be Intentional About Breaks
Breaks are necessary when you
work online. Your eyes need time away from staring at the computer
The trick is to use that break
time to actually do something away from the computer. If you use
your break time to scroll through Facebook or Instagram, it won’t
feel like much of a break when you switch tabs to get back to your
During your break, use that time
to walk around, get a drink of water, step outside for fresh air,
or talk to a friend or family member. Stop to smell the roses every
so often and you will find yourself more productive when you sit
back down to the screen.
Breaks aren’t optional; you will
be more productive with well-timed and regular breaks than you will
if you sit there and try to press through for
Scheduling Software and Paper
As someone who runs several
businesses, you would think that I am the most organized person on
the planet, that my planner is scheduled to the half-hour every
And I’ll admit, a good schedule
is not optional when you are a business owner. We also
use Trello in our business and we love
However, I want to be completely
transparent and let you know that I am just like most of you and I
wing it a lot.
The system that I actually use
more than any is Post-Its. My desk is covered with
I love that they are something
tangible that I can write on, and then see in front of me as I
accomplish my goals.
Paula works for several clients
and uses both Trello and BaseCamp. But personally, she can’t live without
her Erin Condren paper planner.
Working In Advance
One of the best ways to increase
your productivity is to work in advance.
My assistant and I use a
calendar to schedule our posts for Catch My
Party. We write out what
the posts will be about and we schedule those a couple of months in
We post on that site 3 times a
week as follows:
content, usually focused on a trend we are noticing
highlight of our 4 favorite parties of the week
As you know, because you are
reading this post, I also release a blog post every week based on
the podcast for those who would rather read than
This blog post also allows us to
rank for SEO and it provides a place for listeners to grab any
links we mention in the podcast.
One thing to notice is that you
may be more scheduled and more productive than you think you are.
Going through this exercise showed me ways that I am being more
productive than maybe I would have said I was.
When the Work Feels Hard
While I’m sure that there are
some incredibly organized people who seem to have it all together,
most of us are still kind of winging it and that’s
It’s okay to decide how
scheduled you want to be and when you need to say,
But, if you don’t want to do
something, think about what it is worth to you
That post you don’t want to
write? Why are you writing it?
Is it because you’ve got a
family that depends on the income that post will bring in? That
right there might be all the motivation you need to get off
Instagram and finish the post, even when it feels hard and
you just don’t want to do it.
At the end of the day, you are
running a business. Typically, the harder you work, the more money
If you want to have the freedom
to do what you want, you need to put in the work
Find the System that Works for You
At the end of the day, you have
to know who you are and what works for you. You need to know how
you function best and what type of schedule brings out your best
No one else can tell you what is right for your
business and your mental health.
If you aren’t as productive as
you need to be, ask yourself why you haven’t gotten your work done.
Take the time to ponder what rhythms would work better for
Everyone has their own unique
rhythms, their own schedules, so I challenge you to figure out how
you function best. You get to decide what your days look like and
what productivity means for you and your business.
If you enjoyed this episode,
I hope you’ll share with me what works for you. I go live on
Mondays at 3 pm in my Facebook group
and I’d love for you to join me
and let’s chat all things productivity!
- 1:46 Balance Is a Myth
- 2:48 When Are You Most
- 7:57 Using the Pomodoro
- 12:00 Be Intentional About
- 16:54 Scheduling Software and Paper
- 21:31 Working In
- 25:00 Mixing Up the Schedule
- 30:29 When the Work Feels
- 33:17 Find the System that Works for
TOP 4 TAKEAWAYS
- Balance is a myth; some days you will slay your
to-do list and some days it will slay you. Stop trying to achieve
balance and focus on increased productivity instead.
attention to when you feel at your best and do the deepest and
hardest work during those times; save the mindless tasks for when
your brainpower is lowest.
intentional about taking breaks; use break times to take a walk,
talk to a loved one, stretch, or anything that involves stepping
away from the screen.
the work feels too hard and you just don’t wanna, remember why
you’re doing it. Knowing that your family depends on the income can
make it easier to press through.
- Bonus- Don’t depend on somebody else’s system
to work for you. Find the best times and schedules for your unique
set of circumstances and please don’t compare what works for you
with what works for others!
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