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Do you ever just sit down at your computer or desk to work and think about all of the things you have to do? Where do you start? What needs your attention most?
Blogging can be seriously overwhelming if you don’t have a to-do list in place.
If you don’t create daily to-do lists you are hindering your productivity! So, in this post, I am not only going to go over how to create a blogging to-do list, but I’ll show you how to create an effective one too!
TIPS BEFORE YOU START
-KNOW WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE
The first step is to have an idea of what your ultimate goals are. These should be written down and in plain sight or easily accessible always.
This way your main objective is always in sight. Your big goals should determine your everyday priorities.
-DON’T CREATE A BORING LIST
Make sure to add a few things to your list that makes you excited to get to work. Of course, there may be some days where you have to have a totally boring list of things to do- that’s just part of the business.
But, if you can, add some things on your list that will light a fire under your butt to get you blasting through your list!
Now that you’ve got a few tips to keep in mind, and your equipment in hand, it’s time to start planning!
1. CREATE YOUR MASTER BLOGGING TO-DO LIST
Your brain was not made to handle long lists of ideas and tasks, and this is especially true if you are trying to be productive!
So, take some time and write down every single thing you want to do with your blog. Every task that needs to get done, no matter how big or small.
You can even add chores or other things not work-related if you’d like. (Don’t worry, we will separate work and home later!)
These lists are simple to make, and depending on how big your to-do list is, you don’t have to make them every day. Sometimes with a mile-long to-do list, things will be carried over into the next day- and that’s okay.
So start by taking a big “brain dump” and list off every single thing you have to do. It’s most important to remember not to get overwhelmed by the size of your list because, as mentioned before, this list can be something you pull from for days to come.
You might find it actually freeing to have everything written down so you can’t forget it! I know I do!
2. CATEGORIZE AND BULK SIMILAR BLOGGING TASKS
It’s a good idea to categorize your tasks next. This is where we will be taking similar items from our list and bulking them into one group. (You can now separate your home and work lists as well) Then, use this method called time-blocking.
Time blocking is when you take a set of similar tasks and do them all at once.
So for example, if I have to write 4 blog posts for the next two weeks, I’d research each topic all in one sitting, then draft and write them at the same time, then block off some time to get all of the graphics and pictures done, then schedule at the same time! BOOM! I just finished 4 blog posts at the same time.
I can now relax for two weeks knowing my blog will still be updated.
So now is the time to separate any similar tasks into groups. This won’t apply to your entire list, but it may apply to some things.
3. BE MORE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR TASKS
Just like you should be specific with your goals, you have to be specific with your daily tasks as well. After all, they are just mini-goals for the day!
Making sure your goals are specific makes them more effective. The same goes for writing a to-do list. It takes the grey area out of the equation.
For example, instead of just saying “make phone calls” say “call Jan, Jen, and Jack at 3:00”. Write down their numbers next to the to-do list so you don’t have to scramble looking for it when the time comes. Now you have a set plan in place.
Don’t just say “write for book” What does that mean? Brainstorm? Come up with characters? Create a book cover? Edit? Try “write 3 chapters” or even better, “write chapters 33–35”.
That way you can’t get lazy halfway through, and just write a paragraph to call it good. If you didn’t write the full chapters that you specified on your to-do list you can’t cross it out yet!
You might be surprised what a big difference it will make to get specific with your to-do list, I know I was! But if you treat items on your list as small daily goals, it can really change your productivity.
One common mistake people make is just writing down everything in a big list and thinking that’s good enough when it’s really not.
Chances are you’re going to gravitate towards the smaller and easier tasks first. And while that will cross many things off your list, by the end of the day you’ll be either dreading the bigger tasks and put them off till tomorrow (again) or you’ll be too tired to get them done…. Leaving them for tomorrow (again).
Personally, I like to attack my list with a little bit more structure and there’s a couple of different ways you can do this
- Pick what’s most time-sensitive. What’s due first? Does anything have a deadline you need to reach?
- What’s a top priority?
- What’s the hardest thing that you should do first?
You should save the biggest tasks on your to-do list for whatever time a day you find yourself most productive. For me, I like to get most of my bigger tasks done in the late morning/early afternoon. It can change depending on your energy level for the day of course, and that’s okay!
I start with a light task in the morning, usually being active on social media, to give myself a chance to wake up (which can get you to fall into the social media trap, so be careful!). But after that, I’ll start my big tasks to get it out of the way, followed with a slightly smaller one as a break.
For example, on days I write my blog posts, I tend to draft them and write them all throughout the day. Since I put a lot of research and effort into my posts, this can be very taxing on my energy levels so I take breaks in between.
Try out a few different strategies and you’ll eventually find what’s best for you!
5. SCHEDULE OUT YOUR DAY
Just like you have to be specific about what exact task you’re doing, it can be a great idea to figure out when you’re doing tasks as well. Take out your favorite planner, or open up your favorite app and block out times.
I know it can be hard sometimes to decide how long something will take but remember, this is not set in stone and the only person that will know if you have to take some extra time is you!
Timing yourself will force you to race against the clock, so to speak, meaning you know you can do nothing else but focus on the task at hand. No getting distracted on social media, and no coffee breaks!
6. ACCEPT THAT LIFE HAPPENS
And finally, some days it seems like the world is against us and nothing on our blogging to-do list goes as planned. And you know what?
We have to accept that sometimes life gets in the way, and we may not finish our full to-do list sometimes!
You may not have gotten everything done but you at least know you gave it your best shot. And, if you prioritized right, all of your important tasks for the day should be done and you can work on anything else tomorrow!
Try not to get defeated. It will affect your productivity and willingness to work hard the next day. Chin up- you tried your best!