5 Steps to Creating a Productive Blogging To Do List

I have always been a to do list writer, but I haven’t always used a to do list productively. See if any of the following sound familiar, you:

  • Write things on your to do list after you have done them, just so you can cross them off.
  • Add so much on your to do list that it overwhelms you and you don’t look at it.
  • Scan your to do list looking for the easiest things to do.
  • Get to the end of the day and you have done quite a few tasks from the to do list, but not the activities that will help you achieve your goal.
  • Email yourself notes and use your inbox as a to do list.

None of the above are productive ways to use a to do list, but it is possible to use a to do list to make you more productive. You just need to put thought into it and ideally have a defined process behind the approach you take.

I have evolved my to do list process over the years and for the last two years have found a process that not only allows me to get stuff done, but it makes sure I get the right stuff done. To be productive we need to do more than get more work done. We need to get the right things done.

It is worth noting that you will never get everything done that you want to do. We have so many ideas for things that we want to do and no matter how productive we are, we simply will not be able to do all of them unless of course we hire ourselves a team of VAs and that is a whole other blog post!

Being productive doesn’t mean doing it all, it means choosing wisely where to spend your time, energy and attention to help you achieve your goals. An effective to do list will help you work productively.

1. Create a weekly master list

Ideas floating around in our head can distract us from our task at hand. We often keep thinking of things because we don’t want to forget them. Thinking about a new idea for a product you could create while your writing your latest blog post however, will see your attention split and as a consequence the blog post takes longer to write.

Allocate a time once a week where you create a master weekly to do list. Sunday afternoon afternoons work well for me. I find that after sometime off work over the weekend, I have lots of ideas to get out of my head. Using a simple A4 size notebook I write two columns – the first is for blogging and the second is for family and household tasks.

I write the two lists at the same time as I find once I start writing things to do, they all come to my mind and I just separate them out in columns on the page. It is a great feeling to have everything out of your head and on to paper.

2. Write down your goal

On another page I will create my to do list for Monday. I will write the day and date, then write my blogging goal for the year at the top of the page. Writing down your goal regularly reminds you of what the goal is and writing it before you choose what tasks you are going to do for the day helps increase your focus on what is most important over the longer term.

Your to do list might contain these activities:

  • Create a video tutorial
  • Write newsletter
  • Update resource page with affiliate links
  • Catch up on emails
  • Write module one of course

To help prioritise them you would look at your stated goal for the year. If you have chosen your goal well for the year, your goal acts as a decision making filter for you. For example, if your goal was to increase revenue by creating your own products then your first task should be to write module one of the course. If you goal however was to build your newsletter list, then writing your newsletter should be your first task.

3. Write down your key project

To achieve your goal for the year, there will most likely be a number of projects you will need to complete.  If we follow on from the example above and your goal was to increase revenue by creating your own products, you current project might be creating an online course. You would write that as your project at the top of your to do list and make sure that you spend some time on your project every work day.

4. List three tasks for your day

With your goal for the year and current project at the top of your page, you would then turn to your master list and choose three tasks that will help you achieve your goal and project. Limiting the tasks you put on the list prevents you from choosing a range of easy tasks. It is much easier to sit down and clear out your inbox, respond to comments and spend time on social media than it is to write the first module for your online course.

By limiting your tasks to three, you have the room to choose tasks that will add value to your blogging bottom line.

5. Visualise your day

Many of you may have read the point above and are now shaking your head thinking visualising my day sounds all woo woo. I used to think this too until I tried it. It truly makes a difference. Having written my to list the night before, when I head to the gym first thing in the morning, I can better visualise my day.

I visualise what I am going to do when I get home from the gym to get things organised at home for the day. This allows me to get straight into my work when I get back from taking the kids to school. I then visualise which will be the first task I will work on for the day, I visualise the break I will take once I have finished my first work session, then repeat the process by visualising the next task I will work on.

Visualisation works because it reinforces your priorities and they are front of mind. So when I sit in front of my computer and I am tempted to head to my inbox, there is a disconnect experienced – this doesn’t match up to my visualisation and I am much more likely to resist the temptation and start work on my project.

Charles Duhigg a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter for The New York Times, writes about the importance of visualisation in his book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.

“Your brain has to decide what deserves attention and what deserves to be ignored, and [the] way it does it is compare what we expect is going to happen to what’s actually going on,” Duhigg told Quartz. {source}

Then it is a matter of rinse and repeat. Through out the week as you think of things you need to do, you add them to your master list. At the end of each work day you write your to do list for the next day, with your goal and project at the top of the page.

As the week ends, you create your new master list and you are once again setting yourself up for a productive week via your to do list.

How do you create your to do list for blogging?

The post 5 Steps to Creating a Productive Blogging To Do List appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

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