Given their productivity levels, you might think that A-list bloggers don’t get distracted. The truth, as the interviews in Blog Wise show, is that they’ve learned to deal with distractions so that they don’t rule the day.
Distraction #1: Social media
Is social media sucking up your time? Give yourself permission to spend a few minutes there, says Amy Porterfield.
“I give myself permission, I get in there, I do it, there’s no guilt associated with it, there’s no hurry to it, and then I go on with my work,” she says, adding that for her, less stress means greater productivity.
Distraction #2: Family
For work-from-home bloggers, family can be very distracting. For this reason, Darren has agreed with his wife on certain times when he’s unavailable—“work time”—so that work and home responsibilities can stay fairly separate.
He adds that his family is understanding. “Having a business is a very high priority for me as well, and so we, as a family … acknowledge that I need to work long hours, and put aside time for that and plan for that as well.”
Distraction #3: Work
Darren and Jeff both handle work-related distractions by asking themselves whether the distraction is taking them closer to their goals.
Jeff, too, reminds himself that his purpose is to create, not react, which can help him avoid dedicating time to less productive tasks.
“If I have a choice, and often I do, between reacting or responding to what somebody else has said, and creating something new, I want to create something new,” he says. “So in terms of getting things done, that’s … a question that really helps me guide a lot of decisions.”
Top tip for killing distractions
Some of the bloggers we interviewed commented that they way they handled distractions was to physically remove themselves from the distraction itself.
Matt Kepnes, whose distractions are also his blog topic, shuts himself away from the world when he needs to catch up on work and really focus. For this reason, he finds air travel time to be really productive.
Gretchen Rubin also changes her physical location depending on the work she’s doing. This helps her feel that the time she has for any given task is finite, and helps her to stay focused as she tackles each of the tasks she needs to do.
Among Gretchen’s catalog of working locations, besides her office, are cafes and the library. The walk to get to those places is a bonus.
“I get outside I get a little breath of fresh air, a little hit of sunlight in my face (which is good for alertness and energy, I know from my research), and then I work there,” she says. “And then when I feel I can’t take that anymore … I move someplace else.”
How do you handle blogging distractions? Share your tips in the comments.
Tomorrow: Building a productive blogging team.