If you didn't already know, SMAK is not my full-time job. No, I do not get paid to sleep in until 8:00am, go for a run along the lake, and then come home to drink coffee, make a delicious breakfast and then take pictures and write all day for the blog. Although that does sound like the ideal day...
During the day I work in sales as an account manager for an industry supply company. That is my 9-5, or in my case, 7-4. This job allows me to do what I love - blog. That being said, it truly is like having a second full-time job in addition to my day job. It gets tiresome. It is exhausting. And it can be difficult to manage everything going on and continue a Monday-Friday posting schedule. Even though there are some nights that I am awake until 1:00-2:00am editing pictures and writing, I try to adhere to a few essentials in order to keep myself on track. Today, I am sharing those pointers with you. If you are a blogger like myself, try using some of these tricks. If you don't have a blog, that is okay too! I can promise you that these essentials are applicable to just about anything else though.
Moleskin Daily Planner
Let's go old school here. So in this world of technology, there is an app for everything. I know for a fact that there are apps to help increase my productivity. I've tried them all. But at the end of the day, I eat, live and breathe by this little red book. I take with me everywhere I go in case I need to make note of something, pencil in a meeting, or schedule a future SMAK post. I respond very well to actually writing down important things. This planner from Moleskin is my favorite - this company has the best products.
Headphones + Music
I have trouble resisting distraction when I sit down at my desk. I hear my phone buzzing, the heat kicking in, my neighbor coming up the stairs with groceries. I have to find a way to isolate myself and allow my creative juices to flow and happen naturally and organically. I've found that putting on music, with headphones, is the quickest way for me to remove myself from my immediate surroundings. The key is to put on music that does not have a lot of lyrics. I cannot tell you how many times I am trying to be productive and I am jamming out to the newest Taylor Swift song (shoot, I just let my secret song slip).
No matter how big of a roll you are on, it is not good to deprive yourself of breaks. Whether is a quick bathroom break, a run to the kitchen to refill your cup of coffee, or a nice walk around the blog, these short breaks allow your brain to regroup and get ready for its next bout of productivity.
Let's be honest with ourselves, it was extraordinarily easy to avoid work. If you are anything like me, Netflix is calling your name, tempting you to binge watch Breaking Bad or Dexter. I have found that going into a writing session with some sort of plan in place allows me to be the most productive. If I don't have something that I am aiming to achieve, the session will be fruitless. The best way to create any goal is to use the SMART model - make sure that any goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely).
We all have goals for ourselves and it is important to hold ourselves accountable. Sometimes we need a little extra push. If you're a dreamer like myself, you may be trying to get your small business off the ground - be sure to check out Kabbage, a small business loans provider that "helps entrepreneurs increase productivity in order to achieve their goals."
Who are we kidding? This is the lifeline of every single blogging or writing session. Without this amazing sweetly caffeinated elixir I would be a useless waste of space.