How to enjoy being productive – Go inside my mind

I have no productivity issues.

Never had them. Never will.

But I have some productivity hacks I never thought of sharing until now.

I have lots of tips to help you enjoy being productive so I made them extra easy to skim through.

No fluff. No pain.

  1. Read some of those newsletters you’ve left unopened in your inbox. [P.S.: You can always check out my newsletter to save your content.]
  2. Take a short course. Skillshare has some of the best, on-point courses. Cooking, business, design, you name it.
  3. Stay active on Quora, keep in touch with your peers on Twitter, or jump into a discussion on LinkedIn or your favorite Slack group.
  4. Take care of the small tasks in your backlog. My ultimate productivity tip is to always start your day with the most difficult or lengthy task. 90% of the time this works for me. For the other days, handling small tasks or taking breaks often to take care of different duties helps you keep up with your workload.
  5. Say thank you! For a long time, I dealt with not knowing how to thank people who helped me with small tasks or referrals. The MyPostcard service makes it extra easy and cute to say thank you by sending postcards to your friends, clients, family members, and colleagues.
  6. Learn a new language. Start from Duolingo.
  7. Make a list of everything you want to get done. This seems to work for most people but I do things differently. I don’t even use a task management tool. ๐Ÿคฏ So what on Earth do I do? I keep everything I need to take care of as opened tabs in my browser. This helps me focus only on what I need to work on and see everything at a glance. This way, I only take care of fun stuff when I’m done with everything. There’s also small tasks that aren’t a big priority [e.g. updating my cover photo, creating a new YouTube tutorial]. I add these as ideas in my bookmarks and get to them when I have the time.
  8. Schedule at least large chunks of your day. You don’t need to write down everything you’re going to do. However, make sure you have an overview of the big tasks you should take care of so you don’t get caught up doing something else and postpone your important duties indefinitely.
  9. Keeping track of time. Ugh, I hate time tracking. But for someone who doesn’t know where their time is going, you can definitely start by tracking one month of your life at work. This will show you where your time goes and what’s distracting you. In the future, you should be able to better schedule your work and even block distractions. Whatever tool works as long as you keep it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  10. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time. You can sleep in every now and then, but it’s super important to go to sleep at around the same time. This helps you regain your energy so you’ll be able to maintain the same routine every day. If I were to wake up at 11 AM every day, I wouldn’t have time for my huge breakfast, morning workout, deep work time, and self-care.
  11. Make it a habit to learn one new thing every day. I regularly Google things like “Why are my berries sour?”, “How long should my workout last”, or “Is it ok to eat smoothies every day?”. I won’t deny sometimes I get to spend hours researching a topic but I know I’m contributing extra points to becoming wiser. My future goal is to also do one unique thing every day so I can have something memorable as part of my routine. This takes me to…
  12. Think about your ultimate life goal. If you’re stuck in an office job but fervently dream of running your own business, start making a change today. Small steps add up so as long as you’re doing something for your largest dream at least every other day, you’re making significant progress.
  13. Become a pro user for a tool you enjoy using. That’s how I learned the ins and outs of Canva even when I didn’t need it. Now I have my own Canva course and loads of videos teaching others how to perfect the “Canva skill”.
  14. Take productive breaks. Years into your career you’ll notice when you’re most productive and when you just can’t work anymore. In my case, I need a huge break between 1 PM AND 4-5 PM. But most of that time isn’t exactly idle time. Sure I take a walk and cook something different every day, but part of my productive schedule is to work out at least once every day. Taking care of your health can be one of those productive breaks that will help you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot during the day.
  15. Make mental health your #1 priority. As an advocate for mental health at work, I’ve researched this topic so often I regret it. There’s just too many issues you can bump into just because you’re losing yourself.
  16. Talk business [or not] with a friend. Sometimes the best ideas I get come out of random talks โ€” even when they had nothing to do with my business.
  17. Secure your files in MediaFire. I’ve had a hard time recovering files in the past so now I save them in multiple places: my SSD, Google Drive, MediaFire, and a private Facebook group just for pics.
  18. When you’re tired, go outside. If you feel like you can’t focus anymore, don’t just lie on your couch. Go for a walk or fill up on groceries so you won’t be tempted to aimlessly scroll Instagram or switch TV channels.
  19. Postpone distractions. Distractions are in everyone’s life and I too bump into them literally every 5 minutes. But I’ve devised a small hack to save the day: I bookmark everything that can wait. Most often, I end up not even looking over that post/video/whatever because a week’s passed and I have no interest in the topic. Just saved hours!
  20. Scroll Airbnb for your next long-term stay. I do this quite often as a digital nomad who’s also passionate about real estate. Relaxing, yet productive.
  21. Automate what you can. I’m not a professional at this but definitely recommend turning to automation for tasks that don’t require your full attention or creativity.
  22. Add fake, earlier deadlines to your projects. Got something to deliver on the 20th of the month? Write it down as due a couple of days earlier. I have a slightly different process through which:
  • I order my work by deadline.
  • I estimate how long each task is going to take and schedule it mentally [you can write this down though]. So within one day, I could be working on: an article outline, finishing writing an article, a client meeting, LinkedIn networking.
  • I then work on each task one by one until everything’s done. No procrastination. Just planned breaks.

Noticed how I didn’t recommend reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching documentaries/videos? These often take up a lot of time so a procrastinator will find them to be a trap.

The point is to think about what makes you lose focus. Is it scrolling social media and getting lost in the rabbit hole? Is it feeling overwhelmed by your workload so you’re just postponing everything? There’s a solution for everything. So instead of reading, turn to Shortform to get a summary of your must-read books.

If you’re still not sure how to handle your distractions, feel free to drop me a message on Twitter.

Has this helped you save hours of your day? Feel free to share these personal productivity tips with your peers!

Instagram Guides Best Practices – How to Turn Your Posts into Articles Worth Sharing

Oh, Instagram guides. 

One more content opportunity to showcase your knowledge in the field and highlight your community. This time, free of all the SEO pressure. So you can write as naturally as possible and finally focus on educating without other restrictions.

From now on, youโ€™ll want to consider how your Instagram posts will look like as you add them to a guide as well. Solid branding and similar topics are now key to reusing content within Instagram. 

So if youโ€™re already repurposing your articles or lists and turning them into social media posts, Iโ€™ve got good news. Itโ€™s that much easier and logical to create Instagram guides.

Whether youโ€™re already running a successful blog or currently rely on your social channels alone, Iโ€™ll show you exactly how you can turn your Instagram guides into articles and resource lists people will want to share.

Create a series

If you already have a solid social media strategy in place, you might stick to some themes or series of posts. For example, Monday could be โ€œTip Dayโ€ while Tuesday is used for a product feature and weekend days are dedicated to showcasing customer stories. If youโ€™ve been posting Monday tips on the same or similar topic, you can easily turn that into a guide.

The Parents Instagram account is doing that by referencing their posts on distinct topics like anti-bullying, back-to-school, or thriving as a family:

parents instagram guides

With this in mind, youโ€™ll want to have multiple of your next Instagram posts around the same idea. Use Friday to share 6 new fashion trends, tips on coping with loneliness, or just a couple of productivity hacks. Then add them all up to put together your unitary guide.

Continue reading “Instagram Guides Best Practices – How to Turn Your Posts into Articles Worth Sharing”

How Often Should You Blog? – Blog Post Frequency Recommendation

I’ll just start by letting you know this is going to be a rather long post [and lots of images!] compared to its on-point findings.

I will take you through multiple blogs from all kinds of industries so we can identify primary trends and preferences when it comes to how often we publish articles on our company blogs.

Spoiler alert: There’s no common rule that says companies from the same industry need to opt for the same post frequency.

I’ve chosen my own approach to analyze hundreds of blogs that are actively publishing content in order for us to get a realistic look at what a successful content schedule should look like.

The short version on how often you should blog

Yes, I know you don’t have time to read it all. So if you just want the key ideas of this post, here they are:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Every company has a different content publishing pattern so relying on what your competitors are doing is not a solution. Find your own goals to define exactly what types of posts you’ll incorporate into your content strategy.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Most brands have adopted a blogging schedule based on the resources they have. More in-house and freelance writers = more content.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Companies who are not able to produce written content on a regular basis turn to filling their blog with other media such as podcasts and videos.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Blogs and writers with evergreen content pieces that rank for several years regularly update their articles and even republish their posts to bring more attention.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Blog post frequency remains one of the least important factors to take into account when crafting a long-term content strategy. Consistency, CTAs, quality of research, promotion, and freshness are just a couple of the elements to pay extra care to.

Read on to see exactly how often other blogs post and what kinds of content they prefer to focus on in their strategies. [Plus, a couple of my own secrets. ๐Ÿ˜‰]

So how many blogs should you post every month?

Continue reading “How Often Should You Blog? – Blog Post Frequency Recommendation”

How to Create an Editorial Calendar For Your Startup – A Quick Guide

While medium and large companies often have a complete marketing team to backup their content research, startups often have to start their content strategy on their own. 

One of the hardest feats to achieve when creating an editorial calendar without prior experience is to maintain consistency while also catering to your readersโ€™ needs and using content to reach your various goals.

So Iโ€™ve used my own expertise and reached out to other content professionals to help you create a winning content editorial calendar from the moment you set up your blog.

Iโ€™m taking a systematic approach so you wonโ€™t just guess what topics you need to cover and how to create an editorial calendar.

Expectations for creating your first editorial calendar

These are the goals you have or, in other words, what you want to get out of putting effort into content creation. Marketing and business targets in general are closely related. But different startups have different goals so going with the approach your competitors have taken isnโ€™t always the best path to take. 

Continue reading “How to Create an Editorial Calendar For Your Startup – A Quick Guide”

B2B and B2C Case Studies – Who Does Them Right [Tips Included]

I’m here to speak only the truth:

Most case studies out there suck.

Even professional case study writers seem to create them just for the sake of delivering something to their clients.

What does a bad case study look like?

It’s just that type of article or PDF file that’s literally a boring interview with your client. Always the same questions, never any true insights.

That’s why most people don’t read case studies anymore. They simply lack value while they focus on shooting their features and services forward all too often instead of educating and teaching readers how to use a product or service. So readers just drop the case study halfway through without even getting to the important part: the results.

I’ve literally gone through all B2B and B2C companies I could think of and selected the ones that nail their case studies.

The guide will focus both on the business and client segments since the mistakes case study writers make are roughly the same. I’ve also included customer success story examples and other unique ways of promoting a client’s results. The goal is the same in all cases.

From over 1,000 brands reviews, only 40 made the cut. Without further ado, here are the case studies that won’t make you yawn:

Mailchimp

Case study tips:
โ€ข Stick to sharing only information and details that are necessary.
โ€ข Pair everything with a video.

They were my first case study “idols” so I had to start with them.

Customer success stories are everywhere on Mailchimp’s website and social media platforms. On their blog, videos [with their very own original series on YouTube], Facebook page, and other resources.

Let’s take a full look at one of their case studies:

Short. Sweet. Straight to the point.

Continue reading “B2B and B2C Case Studies – Who Does Them Right [Tips Included]”