Time Tricks to Get More Done

I know you know the feeling.

When you’re a blogger, there’s always something to do. Because blogging is oh-so-much more than just writing. Promoting your posts, building community, sifting through email, making tweaks to your site. The to-do list never quite vanishes.

Instead of spending MORE time working, a time trick can be just what you need to actually get more accomplished within the same amount of hours you usually spend. Here are three simple tricks that really do work.

 Time Management Tips: Use these tips to save time and get more done. The first one is so easy but works so well!

Follow the Two-Minute Rule

I can’t even remember where I first learned this rule, but it comes from a book called Getting Things Done. If you’re like me, you like making lists. Even better? Crossing stuff off lists.

But sometimes you have to-dos that don’t take much longer the time it takes to actually find your paper (or open your to-do app) and jot it down on your list. If something pops into your head or is right in front of you and it will only take two minutes, DO IT NOW.

That something could be answering a simple email, updating a link on your blog, responding to a tweet, adding a new widget to your site, and so on. Get it over with and save it from your ever-growing to-do list. You’ll feel accomplished and be ready to move onto bigger tasks.

I’m putting this trick into play every single day and boy does it work. And if you really must write your task down on your list, just for the satisfaction of crossing it off. I won’t judge.

Set Your Timer with the Pomodoro Technique

The technique name sounds all fancy, but at its core, this time trick is as simple as it gets. We all know it’s super hard to work for hours straight with no distractions. Actually, it’s not hard so much as IMPOSSIBLE. So break up your blogging time into 25-minute work periods, then take a 5-minute break. If you only have 25 minutes, you end up working harder to get to the break at the end.

Each work period is called a “pomodoro,” (that’s the Italian word for tomato). The creator of this technique used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer which gave the technique its name. I use my iPhone timer, but that doesn’t sound as fancy as
“pomodoro.”

Although I’ve only used the technique as a simple 25-minute timer, you can dive into the complete technique by reading the book by the same name or taking an online course on the Pomodoro Technique website (plus, they have a cute video explaining it all).

Find Your Best Time to Work

Let’s be honest here, mmmkay? How often do you work during a time that’s not really optimal for you? For example, maybe you’re a morning person but only seem to do blog work in the late afternoon. Or even worse (and this is me), you KNOW you work best in the morning, but yet day after day end up working late at night.

Time to flip the switch and work at the time you know you do your best work, even if it’s painfully early. Don’t know when your best time to work is? Spend an hour at a time testing out various times to work and see when you feel most accomplished.

Whether it be kids or work (or both), sometimes you don’t work during the “best” time for you because you can’t. That just means you need to find your second best time. Even churning out thirty minutes or an hour’s worth of work during that best or second-best time beats dawdling for two hours at a non-optimal time.

I’ll be honest. This is the hardest one for me. My best time to work is right after school drop-offs, but I work for Burt’s while my youngest is in pre-school so I rarely do lengthly blog work during that time. However, I KNOW I’m also productive from about 6-7 am. In that single hour, I get more done than I do in two hours late in the evening, sitting on the couch with a computer in my lap and the TV on. But I hate getting up early! Ironic, isn’t it? But I’m working on getting up early three times a week. That seems reasonable enough.

Your Turn

Have you tried any of these techniques before? If not, which one are you gonna try first?

Comments

  1. says

    The 25 min. Timer is a good idea.
    It’s so hard for me to get anything done with littles at home- the 4 y o and 8 m o give me 2-minute something’s to do all day long!

  2. says

    I do the Pomodoro timer trick and it works great! Only committing 25 minutes seems less daunting than knowing you’re going to work for the next few hours. I love working in the morning, but my kids tend to wake up when I do, so it’ll be a little while before I can take advantage of that. For now I take the nuggets of time I can find.

  3. says

    I found just getting easy to do out of the way as I think of them has really helped me tremendously. When I see something that only takes a minute or two I just do it right then. This technique has really freed me up to have the time to do bigger projects.

  4. Debi says

    I use the two-minute rule and also the Pomodoro Effect, which I also use to remind me to stand up and move around to avoid too much sitting. :)

  5. says

    You are TOTALLY speaking to me. I usually plan to get work done at night while sitting in the living room with my hubs, while the TV is on. My productivity is actually terrible. I keep telling myself I need to get up earlier but I HATE it! I like your idea of making a goal to get up early 3 days a week. I think my brain would accept that idea. :) Great post!

  6. says

    I work best in the early early am. When I worked 9 – 5 I would wake up at 5 am walk the dog, and be at the computer by 6:30. I took a graveyard shift almost 2 years ago, and I still can’t find my “mornings”. You just made me realize that I need to keep trying to figure this out.

  7. Jennifer says

    I am still learning the blogging world and in turn, learning more about myself and the way I “tick”.
    My writing urges are sporadic….But I love quiet, so I try to do as much as I can after the kids are dropped off. It gets stressful at times because when you have an idea and your fingers are flowingover the keyboard…..it’s hard to stop……and the kids REALLY love to be picked up. lol
    Thank you for the blog….I am going to try the POMODORO way.

  8. says

    Going to try the Pomodoro method, as I’m still struggling with finding a good balance. I like the idea of 25 minute manageable chunks of time!

  9. says

    That two minute rule is fantastic! I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen that I need to do something or put something away and I say to myself, “I’ll do that later.” And let me tell you, LATER takes a long time to happen. Thanks for the advice. I will try it out today.

  10. says

    I recently started making sure that most days I’m out of bed about the time Hun leaves for work. That way I can work (mostly) uninterrupted while Baby Boy sleeps. I also have alarms on my phone that signify time to switch tasks, whether it be having lunch, taking a break, or cooking dinner.

  11. says

    Thank you. I use to use the Pomodoro technique cramming for uni exams back in the day. I have never thought to use it for blogging.