If you don’t have a blogging routine and an organized process you may want to rethink
Productivity and organization can help you make more money and stay less stressed, even while battling chronic illness. The key, though, is to use what works best for you and your unique circumstances while maintaining self-care routines.
Everywhere you look people are touting the “correct” or “only” way to run a blog. I’m here to say “Fooey!”. How each person runs a blog is as unique as their personality or symptoms of the same disease. I know of one very successful blogger who never uses “to-do” lists. Ever. And she has the BEST blog! I could stay on her blog for days and never get anything done.
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She still makes more in a year than 10 or 12 upper-middle-class people combined
Now that doesn’t mean she isn’t organized or productive, it just means she has her own system and processes that work for her. Maybe she lets her VA handle the lists while she creates or maybe her mind is built to remember it all. Whatever system she uses she is on top of her productivity and organization systems and processes.
It doesn’t matter, it only matters that we each find our own ways that work for us.
With all of that in mind there are still systems and processes that provide consistent results. It may be that doing steps 1 – 3 before doing x,y,z is how to create a great blog post or sales funnel. Sometimes there really is only one way to do something for the results you want.
That means you need to use trial and error or just do a lot of research and read reviews or comments before deciding your plan of attack. I waited a couple of years before purchasing a blogging course because I wanted to look into it more. It took me a while to do the research and decide on buying.
Some people have their laptop, desktop or whatever they use organized so they always know where everything is, others don’t. They are more organized and productive than they look though…or can at least manage to get by. With brain fog, I try to be the first person (like I was before chronic illness) but I usually end up being the second person.
I’m going to break this down into two sections, Productivity and Organization…
Here are some things that help me keep my productivity and organization game on point. Some of these suggestions may work for you:
- Keep your drive clean and organized. This includes your hard drive, external hard drive, Google Drive, etc. Anywhere you keep your files should be kept organized to make it easy to find anything anytime.
- Staying organized will make writing posts easier. Use an SOP for creating a new post folder and a template for graphics. Use folders and names you use for posts or at least names you know will tell you what each folder contains.
- Having a template you can use to create blog posts, social media posts or any other repetitive task will save you time…and spoons.
Pro tip: use Trello to create recurring daily checklists for things you do every day. This helps if you have brain fog too.
- Your workspace, desk or whatever you use should be kept organized. When you are done using it make sure it is ready for the next time. Keeping a clean work area can also keep germs and viruses at bay. A blogger I know has a great course for creating your workspace, she says “…it’s a course to help women like us (she and I are Spoonies) design a space for self care that empowers our business and personal goals and helps us create the daily rituals we need to get through the day while building our businesses.”
- Organize your desktop so only a few folders are there for easy access. The rest should be kept inside one of these folders. I have heard, but have not researched it yet, that keeping fewer things on your desktop can make your computer faster.
- Use spreadsheets, like the free ones I offer here, to organize data, financial statements, editorial calendars, vision boards and more. Using a spreadsheet and linking to a document you scanned or saved can save hours of your time. Use alternating colors on spreadsheets to keep your place.
- Create a flow chart or SOP to track how you handle blog posts, graphics, etc. Brain fog can keep you running in circles and being able to look at what you need to do in a step-by-step manner helps stop anxiety and overwhelm, two of my biggest problems.
- Before anything else, give yourself a lot of credit and love for even attempting to be productive. That is an accomplishment in itself when you have chronic illness, pain or autoimmune disease. Depression and anxiety can also cause extreme fatigue.
- Put your self-care first every day. Don’t slack on managing pain, personal hygiene or just vegging out to Netflix because if you don’t take care of yourself there is no blog to manage. You HAVE to come first and your followers need to understand that too. If they don’t then they aren’t the avatar you want or need. When you wake up, do things for yourself first. Eat, take a shower, take meds, laugh at memes, stretch…whatever helps you feel a little better. Sometimes that means doing a Supernatural marathon…and that’s okay.
- Make a list of what you HAVE to get done every day like taking medications, cleaning, changing out medical devices/equipment, etc. These should always be the first things you get done BEFORE blogging. If you have spoons left, blog away.
- Next, add to the list all the things you NEED to get done every day like checking email/social media, moderating comments on your blog, updating plug-in’s, etc. These are the things you do once you have taken care of the “HAVE TO DO’S”. Not too long ago I saw a friend, who blogs, update her profile picture to one that said “taking a social media break”. Why have I never thought of that?! ADD A PROFILE SIZE PIC WITH THIS SAYING TO THIS POST FOR OTHERS TO GRAB AND USE
Not everything is a MUST and knowing this can help you stay stress-free
- Then add other things to the list that you SHOULD get done like writing, creating graphics, research, etc. You know the drill.
- Now, add things you WOULD LIKE to do to your list. This can be anything. Maybe you want to go for a walk or get ice cream. Some days you feel well enough to have coffee with a friend. Try to do one of these a day if possible, it will keep your mood up and help with managing your mental health. Just because you didn’t get anything else done (other than the “HAVE TO’s”) doesn’t mean you should skip one of these. Sometimes you have to remember to do more than survive or try to earn an income. Sometimes you have to skip school and Ferris on (yes I’m THAT old).
These tips are a combination of my own systems and processes I’ve used for years, suggestions by others on the net, and some from what I’ve learned in my blogging course Elite Blog Academy (this is NOT an affiliate link, I just love this course and…I love me some Ruth!)
Tracking daily “to-do’s” can keep you productive and organized all week
One way I like to keep track of my daily “to-do’s” is by using a template for recurring daily tasks in Trello. Some people like using Google and setting tasks to repeat. Still, others like using a spreadsheet or calendar. It only matters that you use something that works for you.
Daily things like taking medications, checking email, or moderating comments can be ticked off as you do them. You always know, at a minimum, what your day holds.
Other things can be kept in a running “to-do” list to be added to your schedule when you have the spoons for them. Some people like to keep a notebook handy to jot things down but I use my Trello planner board to keep a checklist for business items and personal items. They are incorporated into my daily template so I don’t have to search for them. I just cut them from the checklist below and paste them to my daily checklist.
What will you use for increased productivity and organization?
Again, whatever system you use is fine. Everyone has different ways of doing everything and that is okay. The key is to find your favorite and use it.
Something I read, but can’t remember where is that you need to keep all your “stuff” in one place or it gets too confusing and things get lost. So if you use Trello, use it for everything. If you use spreadsheets, keep everything there.
I have been trying this for a few months and it has helped me tremendously. When I think of something it goes into Trello and my mind relaxes, my body follows.
Productivity and organization will let your mind relax. If you’re not worried about where you put something and know you have a place to do a “brain dump” when creativity strikes…you can relax. Then your creativity can roam wild.
Over time I will go more in-depth on some systems that I have used and others I haven’t. Sometimes I’ll be learning right along with you. Who knows, maybe we’ll find something new we like better.
Until next time…may all the spoons be in your favor!
Please share this with another Spooniepreneur or on Pinterest for another woman with chronic illness to find. Thank you!
Speaking of productivity and organization, here are some free spreadsheets for you to use in my post Administrative Tasks Made Easy | For Spoonie Bloggers
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Another sister with chronic illness may need the information provided to keep her blog or business going so she can pay her bills. I also rely on this blog to pay my bills since chronic illness took my health.
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Much love and success!