I usually don’t like using the phrase “churn out” when it comes to writing, because I feel that it has a negative connotation – when you churn blog posts out, quality might be compromised. Then again, I realize that that is not always the case. If you are deadset on getting lots of work done and delivering quality, you can still churn out as many blog posts as you can – provided you have a system that allows you to meet both points.
While there are times when your ideas flow like a waterfall, but you cannot rely on these special occasions. You have to have a system that will get you thought lean periods (and to avoid procrastination). So here are ways you can churn out more blog posts – on a more regular basis.
Get your sources organized.
Finding ideas and news is not a problem these days, at least in terms of quantity. The problem is that there is a glut of information sources, so you have to wade through so much.
The trick is to organize your sources so that you don’t waste time. For example, you can create bookmarks with specific categories such as social media news, tech news, WordPress news, and other topics you normally write about. You can also use tools such as Zite to create a personalized news magazine so you get the latest articles on specific topics.
Give yourself time to read, but make sure you have a time limit.
Reading is important. I think we can all agree on that. But you know how it goes on the Internet. One minute you’re doing research and the next, you realize it’s been hours you’ve spent on non-related material.
What you need to do is to set aside a specific time to do your reading and limit that time so you can actually do some writing. For me, what works is going through my reading list is an hour or two in the morning before scrubbing emails.
Turn off all distractions when it’s time to write.
This is the part where you tighten your focus. When it’s writing time, it’s writing time. At this point, you have your sources ready. You have your ideas lined up – somewhat. You don’t need Facebook. You don’t need Twitter. You don’t need chat. You don’t even need your cellphone to be buzzing every time you get a notification.
Some things you can do:
- Minimize or close all unnecessary tabs.
- Turn off all notifications.
- Log out of all messaging platforms.
- Write on your iPad – without connecting to the Internet. This really works for me!
Try the Pomodoro Technique, tweaked to what works best for you.
The Pomodoro Technique was created back in the 1980s and is meant to budget your time in increments so that you have maximum focus during those incremental periods. The formula is basically 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break.
This works for some, but not for others. If you want to know if the Pomodoro Technique suits you, check this article.
Personally, I tweak the Technique. Instead of 25 minutes, I set specific periods of time for specific times and same for breaks. For example, for email, I set aside an hour in the morning (sometimes more, if there are lots to deal with), and then give myself 10 minutes of break before the next task.
Set goals – small and big.
Setting goals is important. Meeting them gives you a sense of self-achievement, which can only motivate you to be more productive. Be specific in setting goals. Don’t just say, “I want to get more blog posts out.”
Instead, say, “I want to publish five blog posts today.” That’s a “small” goal.
A “big” goal would then be, “I want to publish 25 blog posts this week.”
Reward yourself when you achieve your goals.
In line with setting goals, you also need to reward yourself. A sense of self-achievement is well and good, but rewarding yourself tangibly will motivate you even more. For example, if you meet your goal of five blog posts a day, then you treat yourself to a nice dinner at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to. If you meet your goal of 25 blog posts for the week, maybe give yourself a day off when you can do whatever you like doing in your down time.
Whatever it is that you give yourself as a reward does not matter as long as it is something you want and will motivate you.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to get more blog posts out than you usually do.
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