“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
― Jimmy Johnson
I strongly believe in working hard to succeed.
I know.. working 8 hrs/day isn’t a joke. It’s impossible for most people – especially for those who work online, agree?
There are many things online that can distract you from blogging. I don’t know how many of you aware that I’m a full time blogger, I RARELY waste my time.
How you can also work productively then?
To succeed online – you’ve to sacrifice something.
- Sacrifice Facebook to create great posts
- Stop watching YouTube videos – make your own videos instead
- Stop staring at the blank space, start writing something to hone your writing skills
- Learn SEO copywriting skills instead of opening your inbox too often
Is Internet [Facebook] ruining your life instead of helping you grow?
Following tips are working REALLY fantastic for me to get rid of online distractions and to blog more productively. Try them out once, you’ll surely notice better results.
I work in 3 blocks
I generally work in 3 big blocks.
1st block: 3 hours
2nd block: 2 hours
3rd block: 3 hours
However make sure you give yourself a break each hour.
I find 50+10 works very well for me (50 min work + 10 min break every hour). I use pomodoro technique for this (it’s a 25 minute technique – taking 5 minutes break after working 25 minutes). We’ll be discussing more about pomodoro technique in the same post.
Why this tactic works?
You can’t work productively when you’re working is small blocks of time.
TRY LONG BLOCKS. Take long periods of time to work online productively.
Go to bed before 10:30 pm
This may sound unrealistic to most bloggers. I had tough times to implement this tip. Because, I used to sleep at late nights everyday (well you know the reason, yea, late nights because of Facebook).
But if you sleep before 10:30 pm, you’ll see the difference the next day. Give it a shot once!
Have 6.5 – 7.5 hour sleep
I thought sleeping 8 hours/day can make anyone more productive. But I was WRONG.
When I stumbled upon TIME, I found some interesting facts about sleeping time to become more productive.
According to sleep expert Daniel Kripke, ”people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night, live the longest, are happier, and most productive.”
Here are few more facts that he found..
8 to 8.5 hours sleep = worse than sleeping 5 hrs
6.5 to 7.5 hours sleep = makes you live the longest
Make sure you’re having a 6.5 to 7.5 hours sleep everyday [not only to live longer, but to become more productive at work]
Create a daily plan
Want to spend productive time online? Then spend 10 – 20 minutes in creating a daily plan each day.
Here are two ways to create a great daily plan.
- Create a to-do list
- Create a not to-do list
1. Create a to-do list
Why create a to-do list?
Because you’ve to prioritize your time.
Todo lists give you more flexibility to your time management.
I use Simpleology to schedule my day. It’s free. Go and sign up now, you’ll thank yourself for doing this later :)
2. Create a not-to-do list
Most people give importance only to creating to-do lists, thus making things even worse.
For anyone who wants to spend their time productively, creating not to-do list is also a must.
Ask yourself this question.
What I don’t want to do today?
Create a list or write them down a paper. Avoid them, simple as that!
Create a weekly plan
This is as important as creating a daily plan. You must know your schedule before 1 week – to make your week more productive. If you don’t know what to do in the next week, you’ll certainly end up with doing nothing (or doing anything).
So make sure you’ve a week plan at the end of every Saturday. Use an editorial calender or simply a paper to write down your weekly goals. This way you can NOT forget what you actually want to achieve in a week.
Reward yourself when you’re done
Go out. Have a drink or romance with your gf/bf
Or if you’re enjoying a solo life like me, here’s what you can do in free time;
- go for a walk
- listen to your favorite music
- watch YouTube videos
- hang out with friends
- read your favorite books
You’ll work more productively when you come back!
Use pomodoro technique
This is my favorite tool and I owe very much to the creators of pomodoro tool. It’s a great 25 minute technique that makes you more productive.
Here’s how pomodoro technique works..
Set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes; work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x; take a short break (3-5 minutes).
So simple, isn’t it?
But it works efficiently when you’re using it more. Download pomodoro tool here (free).
Don’t clutter your desk
Keep your working environment neat and clean.
When I first started my full time blogging journey, I used to work in a cluttered environment.
I never find proper inspiration to work on my projects when my surroundings are cluttered. When I decluttered my working space, I saw great results.
Your working space matters a lot. There should be NO distractions, no cellphones and no eating at your desk. Use your working place only to work on your projects, this habit makes you more productive in the long run.
Unplug your internet connection
If nothing works – unplug your internet connection.
This is REALLY a great way to avoid all the online distractions. In the beginning, it may seems to be difficult, but work on it, soon you’ll see great results.
Unplug internet connection when you’re
- brainstorming or
- doing some (offline) research
Start your day RIGHT
How you start your day is how you end your day
Here’s a great article written by my friend Dragos Roua on how to start a day (don’ t miss it!).
Avoid Online (or Facebook) distraction: Use ‘Strict Pomodoro’ extension
Facebook has become an auto pilot for 90% of the bloggers.
One can’t easily avoid Facebook distraction, I know.
Here’s the best extension for Google chrome users to avoid all the distractions.
What do this extension do?
This will block the distracting sites for 25 minutes. You can even extend the blocking time.
Here’s how it works..
- Click to start a 25-minute work timer, and work without distraction.
- Click to start a 5-minute break timer, and kick back and relax.
- Repeat until all your work is done.
Here’s a screenshot of how it looks like when you’re trying to access blocked sites.
Open your inbox no more than “twice” a day
Once in the afternoon – again in the night (before you’re going to sleep).
Email notification is the biggest distraction for any blogger. Avoid opening your inbox too often. Stop automatic notifications be it email, IM or Yahoo!
Regularly clean up all the message from your inbox. Here are few simple tips to empty your inbox.
Last but not least: take a day off every week
You’ll go nuts when you’re at home 24/7
Taking a break from online & having fun is a must. Because humans are social animals – they need a break to engage with others to work productively. So, spend quality time even with your offline friends to get most out of your life.
Note: Working 8 hrs/day isn’t hard when you’ve commitment towards your goals. I’ll be updating this article whenever I work more productively, stay tuned.
Over to you
What are your thoughts on working 8 hrs/day productively?