As a content marketer, there’s almost always a lot of work on your table.
You need to brainstorm epic topic ideas, write high-quality blog posts (and other content types) of thousands of words, (probably) manage your content team and so on. Then you want to promote your content so that it reaches a wide range of your target audience. And you know how much time content promotion consumes.
On top of all these, you still need to attend to other very important things—both personal and professional.
So how do you ensure you’re being commendably productive in the midst of all these?
Here are three highly effective productivity tips for content marketers like you and me:
Rule #1: Don’t just have your tasks at the back of your mind, write a to-do list for your day and stick to it
I used to struggle with whether to start my day with a written to-do list or not. I mean, I have everything planned out in my head already, what good will a to-do list ever do?
It simply keeps you focused enough to achieve your goals. As a content marketer, you probably (and should!) have at least one goal for each month, quarter or year.
- Want to grow your email list by 500 subscribers in a month?
- Do you want write content that move leads through the buying circle?
- Send customer stories to your subscribers to entice them to become customers?
All these are goals that your boss (if you have one) could even give you a bonus for—if you reach them of course.
But as you know, achieving these goals comes at a price. There are tasks you need to execute per time to achieve them. And here’s where to-do lists come in. They help you get organized with your tasks—in the midst of feeling overwhelmed by the crazy amount of work on your table.
Most of us use to-do lists already. In fact, 63% of professionals do—according to a LinkedIn research. And that’s because they really help us focus on our jobs.
In an interview on CNN, Alphabet’s Chairman Eric Schmidt says, “I keep things focused. The speech I give every day is: ‘This is what we do. Is what we are doing consistent with that, and can it change the world?'”
In other words, what you’re doing per time has to contribute to achieving your goal. If you want to grow your email list by 500 subscribers in a month, for example, how do you plan to go about it?
- Do you want to use content upgrades? If so, how many do you need? Do you need to create at least one per week for X months? And so on.
- Guest posting with a link to your lead magnets is another brilliant option. How many of these guest posts (or Expanded Guest Posts—as Bryan Harris of Videofruit calls them) do you need to write?
Completing tasks like these is what brings about achieving your goal or even over-achieving them, and this is what to-do lists help you with.
However, it’s apparently one thing to have a list of things to do; it’s another thing to actually do them.
A survey from iDoneThis reveals that 41% of to-do items are never completed.
And what happens when these tasks don’t get completed? Goals take longer periods to reach and growth becomes really slow—what you’re supposed to achieve in 3 months can end up taking 6 months. And if you have a boss (again), you know this is when she gets really unhappy.
So how do you ensure that your to-do items get completed?
Here are two tips that work well for me:
- Create two lists. One for things you must get done within 24hrs. The other list for things that are not as important as the ones in the first list, or that you can do later.
- Don’t put too many items on the list. Be honest with yourself. Only include tasks you know you can do within a period.
Then each time you finish a task, go back to your list, tick it as a completed mission and move on to the next one.
The more you accomplish these to-do items, the more motivated you get, because at the end of the day when you finally tick the boxes of the things you planned to do, it helps you track your progress and more importantly, tells you you’re doing what you need to do to achieve your overall goal(s).
Rule #2: You don’t need too many tabs or windows opened at once on your computer
I don’t know about you, but it just gets messy for me when too many tabs are opened on my computer.
For example, let’s say you want to write a 2,000-word post about productivity. Naturally, you probably want to begin your research by googling “productivity tips”. Then you land on this results page:
These are articles that Google feels are worth reading, and it’s why they’re on page 1. So let’s say you picked the first option, which takes you to the page (below):
This article is focused on the productivity tips you’re looking for and they’re really awesome tips! But do you notice the links to posts and videos all around the article?
They bring distractions to readers, and that’s where the temptation to open another tab or window sets it. You find another post, video, etc. that you just have to see—otherwise, “you’d be missing out on something great”.
Before you know it, you already opened about 10 pages that provide no relevant help to the task you’re working on. Then an article you’re supposed to finish writing in 1 hour or so ends up taking you days.
How do you get rid of temptations to open irrelevant new tabs?
In-line with #1: use a to-do list. It definitely doesn’t stop your fingers from opening a new tab or window, but it helps to get you organized and constantly remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing per time to reach your goals.
If you find something you really don’t want to miss, simply add it to your to-do list.
But of course, you don’t stick to the plan even if there’s fire on your rooftop.
Top sales training and personal success authority Brian Tracy says, “When something new comes up, add it to the list before you do it. By knowing how to prioritize tasks, you can increase your productivity and output by 25% or more from the first day that you begin working consistently from a list.”
Rule #3: Get a piece of office furniture, even if you work from home
One major advantage that most content marketers get is that we can work remotely. No one tells us where to work. We can do our jobs on the couch or even in the kitchen.
Many of us work from home. I work from home. And this gives us the freedom to work almost anyhow we like. But there’s a reason we don’t find beds in offices: office furniture creates an environment that helps us to focus on our jobs, increase efficiency and be less lazy.
To sum up
Using the simple tips above, you can make your daily tasks easier to accomplish and significantly boost your productivity.
P.S. Have any productivity tips to add? Drop your comments below. If you like this content and need a freelance writer to help you write content of the same calibre, let’s discuss.
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