Behind the Blog: How to Be a Productive Beauty Blogger
So you have a million ideas, you’re trying to balance life, work, blogging, a social life, maybe even a family, oh don’t forget to add some fitness in the mix it and sh*t gets real. As most of you know I blog on Addicted to All Things Pretty about 5 times a week and despite my schedule already being tight I plan on nearly doubling my number of weekly posts. Sounds crazy but it can be done… it will get done. I’ll be showing you guys a few ways I manage to keep things on track and be more productive to push out more content.
(Spoiler alert: You won’t become a member of team no sleep)
Become an avid note taker
You’ll have a ton of ideas once you get started; topics you want to cover, tasks to complete, follow ups, and a never ending list of potential tweaks to your blog. My mind is nonstop which has been a gift and a curse. But nothing sucks more than being full of ideas that’ll never see the light of day. I guess working with people that do the same is just as bad but we’re talking about personal responsibility right now. This is what separates the dreamers from the doers.
How you manage to keep track of those ideas is by becoming an avid note taker and how you record those notes can be done in various ways. Make sure your method is portable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself “I’m going to write that down when I get home”, only to forget by the time I reached pen & paper. Keep a small yet durable notebook and pen in your bag at all times; in fact keep one in your bag, at work, your home office, and night stand at all times. As much as I love a good notepad I find it easier keep track of it on my iPhone since it practically lives in my hands already. You can use your phone’s notepad that comes pre-installed on most mobile devices or use an app called Awesome Note [iPhone] which is a beast of an app to keep various types of notes, lists, ideas, and also your calendar.
Plan ahead but be realistic.
You can’t execute anything with an overly ambitious workload and one of the great benefits of blogging is that you can create your own schedule. But nothing can happen without proper planning (and time management but more on that soon). I keep a close eye on my calendar before committing to anything, plus I like to see what’s my schedule at a glance. But I’ll be the first to admit that things come up and when you’re as spontaneous as I am you have to be ready. For example I plan 1-2 weeks worth of content in advance and on the weekends take all my photos, do editing, and write content. Sometimes it can literally takes an entire day, sometimes I just have to clear my weekend. But weekends are made for fun and I like to live my life so it’s not uncommon for me to pull a few late night during the week to free up the weekend. I use a couple of planners but 90% of the time it’s my Sugar Paper LA planner because of the wide design and I’m not confined to the small boxes of a traditional calendar. I can write a few paragraphs in one day’s slot if I need to. But I do have my eye on Erin Conrad and Day Designer planners for 2016. I will say this. Don’t get a planner that doesn’t motivate you to use it. Make sure it’s cute and inspires you.
Productivity lessons from an unproductive woman
I’m the most easily distracted person you’ll ever meet. I’m like a cat on catnip with 5 lasers in the room. It’s horrible! But there’s work to do and money to be made and time is king. The most important thing to do to stay productive (in my opinion!), is to create a nice home office or environment for you to work in. Paint the walls a light pastel color to create a calm vibe in the room. Order some fluorescent light covers over at Make Great Light to help prevent headaches and fatigue. Clear your desk so that it’s free of clutter and get a nice comfy chair so that you can work in comfort! Recently I have also purchased some plastic boxes to keep everything in my office neat and tidy. It has made such a difference and I can now find everything I need quickly and easily! I love working in my home office and I find I’m so much more productive when I’m in there compared to when I work in the lounge. I’m pretty happy with the way my office is looking right now however I have been thinking about getting a whiteboard from somewhere like Writey. As long as you create an environment that works for you, that’s all that matters! This could also be horrible advice but it’s some that I never got and this method as worked for me. I open 2-4 pages to work on different posts at a time. I can’t write when I don’t feel like blogging about that particular topic and sometimes posts require more research so depending on my schedule I’ll just go back to it later. It works for me lol. It helps to disconnect and diffuse known distractions. Put your phone on airplane mode. It’s okay to disconnect from the world. Another way I stay on track is by using using 30/30 app [iPhone]. Think of it a kick ass digital timer. You create a “productivity playlist” of sorts giving each task a time limit and an alarm goes off when it’s time to move to the new task. The other morning while completing a task I started to lose focus and my 30/30 alarm got me right back on track. It really has been a lifesaver and helped crank out content. You can also use a kitchen timer but that’s no fun. My entire social media week is planned out as well. I know exactly what I’m posting and when it’s being posted. I’m not overwhelmed, tired, losing sleep, or having restless nights. I’m up 2 hours before my alarm goes off and I just wake up and start working to complete more task. I honestly can’t work with a restless mind and body. It’s actually harder to work when the mind isn’t flowing.