Productivity Tips

Chrispian wrote a good piece about productivity over at ProBlogger.

My favorite parts:

… So many people complain about not having time to do stuff, or that their kids get in the way or that they are just too tired when they get home etc. The fact is, if you want to do more, or not even do more, but do something other than your’re doing (maybe your’re spending all your time watching kids, or working in the garden, whatever) then you need figure out what your priority is. You can tell me all day long that you want to be a writer, blogger or web developer and do more, like I do, but if you don’t make it a priority then you’ll never do any of it. If you really want to do it, then do it. It’s that simple. Don’t tell me about why you can’t do it. There are days when it’s hard for me. Don’t lecture me that it’s because I don’t have kids, Aeryn and I decided not to have kids. Don’t tell me you have other things to do. I do too. I just decide what’s most important to me. Watching TV, reading a book, going out to eat, laundry and the million other daily chores, or is my priority writing, blogging and working on my web sites? Sometimes I have just as much trouble getting to what I love to do because of life just as much as the next person. But at the end of the day, I want to be a writer. I want to blog. I want to build up my websites. So, before you decide that you need to get something done, you need to decide what that really is. That will make the rest of the decisions easy. …

Just Do It
I’ve lived by this simple philosophy for a while, unapologetically borrowed from Nike. Don’t talk about doing it, Just Do It. I know so many people who talk about doing this, or talk about doing this. And I fall victim to it from time to time myself. But that’s why I wear a Nike ball cap to help me remember that sometimes, you just have to do it to get it done.

I am responsible for 18 sites and they’re all running at “peak efficiency” (lol… this sentence seems funny to me, but whatever), so that is definitely some work. Especially when we’re talking about communities.

That said, I reevaluate my routine every little while to see how I can improve it. I did this just yesterday. Basically…

I start by checking my e-mail. Responding to and taking care of everything that doesn’t have to be documented at one of my communities (like communication with banned users – I’ll wait until I visit the site, then document the messages exchanged and send them then).

This is followed up by checking into my fantasy sports teams. Takes 2-3 minutes and has to be done daily. Call it “fun time”. lol

Then I head to my communities. I go one by one, opening up all threads that I need to open. Responding to staff threads, starting threads where appropriate, reading where appropriate and doing administrative tasks, such as moderation and banning users.

Then I head to other communities I visit. 7 in all at the moment. This goes by very quickly. These sites include the Top Hosting Deals Community Forums (where I am a moderator), Web Hosting Talk (I check the Advertising Offers and Other Offers forums only), the 100 Megs Web Hosting Forum, Jared’s forums and Chris’ forums (another Chris). Finally, I visit SitePoint (where I am an Advisor) and do what I need to do there.

Then I go to Bloglines. I have folders for each site and I have them ordered in the way that I visit them. These include the blogs I read as well as relevant Google News searches. So, for instance, I have a folder. This has a single feed in it. A Google News search for “Mariano Rivera”. I start with the news sites/blogs in my network, which are, and I read any new entries and then post to the blog as needed (if there is relevant news/content or if I just have something to say or had some inspiration).

This is followed by a visit to this blog (and a checking of the blogs I read – linked to in the left menu) with the posting of new content if there is anything to post.

Finally, I check my e-mail one more time, take care of any business and my “routine” is done.

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.

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