Blogging productivity eludes a lot of people, and it has eluded me in the past. Fortunately, in one of my writer’s groups, I learned about a great technique that helps increase blogging productivity, the Pomodoro Technique.
Before I get into how to use the Pomodoro Technique to increase blogging productivity, I first want to give you a brief overview of how the Pomodoro Technique works in general terms in case you may find it helpful to apply to other aspects of your life. I personally use it for any type of focused work that I do while sitting at my desk.
The basic routine for time management using the Pomodoro Technique includes the following:
- At the beginning of the week write down all activities that need to be accomplished during the week.
- Each day add items from the activity sheet to a to-do list.
- Select the most important task from the to-do list.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work like mad on the selected item.
- When the timer goes off, put a check mark by the item to indicate that a “Pomodoro” was completed, whether or not the task itself was completed.
- Take a three to five minute break before picking up where you left off with another 25 minute work session. The break should be a mindless activity and can be anything from taking a bathroom break, having something to eat or drink or simply stretching.
- If a task is completed before the timer goes off, spend the remaining time “over learning.” Go over the work in finer detail, making minor improvements.
- Once the task is complete, draw a line through it.
- After completing four 25 minute “Pomodoros,” take a 15-30 minute break.
How I Use the Pomodoro Technique to Increase Blogging Productivity
- At the beginning of the week, I make a list of all blog posts and articles I need to write for the week. If I haven’t already figured that out, I actually use the process listed above, starting with step 4 to come up with a list of writing projects for the week. (Consider this step to be Pomodoro #1 for the first day of the week.)
- After taking a 3-5 minute break, I set the timer for another 25 minutes, to begin Pomodoro #2.
- During Pomodoro #2, I select the most pressing blog post or writing assignment facing me at the moment. It may be that I don’t yet have the blog post for the day written or I may be coming down on time with other article assignments. Once I’ve selected the blog post I’m going to work on, I write like mad, as fast as I can, for 25 minutes, until the timer goes off. Regardless of where I’m at with the blog post, I stop writing as soon as the timer goes off. Pomodoro #2 is now complete. Depending on the complexity of the blog post, I may have a solid rough draft of the blog post completed after this Pomodoro.
- I take another 3-5 minute break where I get up and walk away from the computer. It’s super important that I have a timer going for the break so that the break I take isn’t too long.
- I’m now ready to start Pomodoro #3, so again, I set the timer for 25 minutes and pick up where I left off. This generally means finishing the first draft and going back through to edit it. If I finish editing it, I go ahead and upload my blog post to WordPress. I work as fast and as focused as I can during this time, until the timer goes off, and I’ve completed Pomodoro #3.
- I again take a 3-5 minute break. By now, I’m starting to feel a little bit of mental fatigue, but I know that I’m heading into the final stretch, which gives me the motivation to keep going.
- After my short break, it is time to start on Pomodoro #4. Most likely by this time I’ve completed the blog post and uploaded it to WordPress. If I haven’t already done so, I find a photo to use, crop it if needed, and upload it. I also put in any keywords, check the post for SEO, put in tags, and so on.
- Once I’ve completed 4 Pomodoros, it is time for a 15- 30 minute break. This is when I generally take a shower, eat breakfast or exercise.
Note: if at any time in the process I complete a blog post, I simply start with the next blog post or article on my list and get as far with it as I can before I complete my writing time for the day.
Rinse and Repeat
The next day, I start the process over again, but since I already listed my blog posts and articles that I need to work on for the week on the first day of the week, my first Pomodoro on day #2 is spent reviewing the blog posts or articles I worked on the day before, editing and polishing them, and submitting them or scheduling them. I personally find it helpful not to post them until the day after they are written so that I can look at them with fresh eyes before publishing them.
Using the Pomodoro Technique is a great way to increase blogging productivity. Some days I may complete two blog posts or articles, and other times it may take me a couple of days to complete an article or blog post, depending on the level of complexity, whether or not research is required, and so on.
Devoting 4 Pomodoros a day to writing helps keep me on track with my writing goals for the week.
What tips do you have for increasing blogging productivity? Leave me a comment to let me know what works best for you, and be sure to tell me if you think you might give the Pomodoro Technique a try to see if it will help increase your blogging productivity.