Maximize Your Daily Efficiency

A very important topic to talk about is how to organize your time when working on your blog or web site. Many readers ask me how I structure my day and it has taken me a couple of months to get to a point where I can function at my peak levels. I will share a few suggestions with you that can really help you be more productive.

Keep A To-Do List.

Each day when you wake up, write down the top 5-10 things you have to accomplish that day. It is best to not do any other web based activities until you can cross off each item on your list because it is too easy to get caught up reading other blogs and forums before getting your own work done. Before you know it, you have spent 3 hours reading and getting none of your work done. If you did not finish an item from your list, carry it over to the next day.

Assign A Certain Amount Of Time For Important Items.

Tell yourself the first thing you will do each morning is check and respond to email for 30 minutes. I know some people think email should not be the first thing you do in the morning, but I prefer to get it out of the way first. You also never know who sent you a pressing item that can help you monetize your site. If you read an email but do not respond immediately, mark it “un-read” so you do not forget that you have to respond later.

Figure Out What You Like Least And Make Yourself Spend Time Doing It.

Sometimes I struggle to write ReviewMe posts and the only way I can get myself to do it is if I sit down and tell myself that for the next 2-3 hours, the only thing I will do is research and review the web site. I force myself to write a review and I go back and proof read it later. Whatever your weak points are, be sure to take the time to do them anyways. They could be valuable to your readers and your blog’s value.

Do Not Check Stats More Than Twice Per Day.

This is a big one. So many people waiste time hitting refresh on their visitor stats and affiliate sales all day. I used to do the same, only to realize that my productivity is so much better now that I only check stats once in the morning and once in the evening. There is nothing you can do to increase your statistics that much by hitting refresh every 10 minutes that you cannot do by checking stats in the beginning and end of the day. Try this for a few days and you will be happy you did.

This post was guest blogged by Jane May. She teaches readers how to create and monetize blogs on Daily Web Ideas.

91 thoughts on “Maximize Your Daily Efficiency”

  1. Wow. Nice set of tips. Really like the “Figure Out What You Like Least And Make Yourself Spend Time Doing It.”

    *(Maybe you can consider guess blog at one of my blog—in the future =? :).

    1. Andy Dang says:

      I agree. In many movies and books, too many say “the hardest thing to do is usually the right thing.” Similar in some sense. Same thing as, “do what poor people don’t do and you’ll be rich.”

      1. lolz..β€œdo what poor people don’t do and you’ll be rich.”

        that is true and it really works

        1. Ankur says:

          Seems simple, and certainly is if you work smart!

    2. JaneMay says:

      One of the most challenging things I’ve had to do is dicipline myself to research the net for hours before writing. Trust me, it sometimes sucks, but it’s well worth it and I’ve gotten better because of it.

    3. john ladner says:

      nice set of tips? good one, r those yours? no the line silly, did u make that up? just for that funny line, i’m a new subscriber to your blog. like it. keep up your good work, u funny stinker.

      johnny card

  2. Great thoughts Jane! I also make it a point to do the most unpleasant tasks first, getting them out of my way early. It’s too easy to procrastinate and avoid them otherwise.

    Nice to see you here!

    1. Zlatan R. says:

      I agree!

      Very nice advices. All we need is a little bit more self-control. πŸ™‚

      1. Ankur says:

        The need for money and thinking what you can do of it helps :mrgreen:

    2. JaneMay says:

      I used the same mentality for school. The subjects I hated most went first and the ones I liked best came at the end since they were easier for me.

  3. SEO blog says:

    Very good advice. Time management becomes even more critical when your working for yourself. I’m bad at it but working on it.

    1. Ankur says:

      Ya, with all the freedom, working does become a little off the mark at times!

      1. JaneMay says:

        It’s easy to slack off sometimes, but that’s when I focus on my goals and if what I’m doing is getting me to my goals.

    2. We don’t realize it as much, but being our own boss can be tough, too, sometimes.

      1. JaneMay says:

        Sometimes even tougher! The responsibility is all on you.

        1. Exactly! Personally, I don’t think I’m a perfectionist, but I do like to work a certain way and I like the outcome of my work to be a certain way, too. We are our own worst critic I should say.

        2. It’s always about YOU! If it’s too easy it’s not worth it right?

          A great quote about YOU focus

          1. Yep, it’s all about me. I was even TIME Magazine’s person of the year!

            ➑ Don

  4. Good points, Jane … I really, really, really need to concentrate on that main one … do the things you don’t like first … once tey are out of the way it’s the same kind of feeling as if some income stream just doubled … feels great, when I can rember to do it.

    I’m with you on the email as well. It’s a great time waster if you let it run away, but essential to skim through and see important issues. For those who use OutLook, my method is to read the mail, answer or act on it if it is of extreme importance … if it is not, I right click and assign a color-coded follow-up flag … an easy, two-click process … different colors for different levels of urgency. Some recommend moving emails into different action folders, which I am sure is a good method, but doesn’t work for me … things get lost in the folders … with the flags, everything is visible in the in-box so I can go do the important things, like making a blog post and come right back to email when the time is right.

  5. Another tip: If you have comments enabled read them and respond to them.

    1. Thats definitely an important one. John does do a very good job of that.

    2. That’s a pretty good habit. It also helps generate new ideas for future posts.

      1. JaneMay says:

        New ideas is definitely a perk. I look through my comments to give me inspiration all the time.

        1. It also shows that you value your readers thoughts and opinions.

          It’s as though you have been ignored and we all love attention.

          Reply to comments!

    3. Ankur says:

      Many times, once your blog is established enough, even readers themselves take care of the questions, so there is not much load on you.

    4. JaneMay says:

      That’s a great one πŸ˜€

  6. Anthony C says:

    Well, my luck is that i’d have to put making the to do list as the first item… πŸ˜›

    1. It’s really easy; once you get the hang of it, it won’t won’t seem so necessary and laborious anymore.

  7. Michael Kwan says:

    It’s one thing when you’re on the company payroll, because you theoretically get paid whether you accomplish your goals or not (unless you’re on commission). For an entrepreneur like myself, however, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid and this is one of the greatest challenges to working from home (especially when you’re working for yourself).

    The first thing that I do when I log into my computer in the morning is check my email and respond to anything that I think is urgent. I am guilty of getting sidetracked in doing this, because I’ll find myself reading John Chow dot Com, for example, instead of actually getting down to the things that pay the bills. I’m not a morning person, so it’s hard to “get started” fresh out of bed.

    Instead of setting the five to ten items on your “to do” list as soon as you wake up, I think that it is a better strategy to do this before you go to bed the night before, revisiting these goals when you wake up. Things usually appear a little different after you sleep on them, so it’s good to see two perspectives on what needs to be done, even if both perspectives are your own.

    Okay, I’m starting to ramble a bit. I might have to expand this comment into a blog post of my own. πŸ™‚

    1. JaneMay says:

      Whether its in the morning or at night, the to-do lists are important because if helps you do your tasks with the end result or goal in mind.

  8. Knuckles10 says:

    Oh god, the stats one was me for a good while. I ended up having to turn off Firefoxes Adsense Notifier plugin. It was too damn distracting watching my earnings go up a few cents at a time each day. I never got anything done.

    1. Ankur says:

      me too, in the start, i spent 90% of my time refreshing my stats! But will improve now, Thanks Jane!

      1. JaneMay says:

        lol…i know what you mean πŸ˜†

  9. I admit, stat watching and the firefox adsense notifier are making me nuts, so I had better wean myself off them for awhile πŸ™‚

    thanks for a great post

    1. It’s like looking at the scale to check much you weigh everyday — completely unnecessary. Instead of obsessing about stats, you can obsess about other directly productive things.

  10. Checking stats (5-6 times) is consuming mt time. I need to spend more time creating content.

    1. JaneMay says:

      That’s probably a good idea. πŸ˜›

    2. Money is a result of being successful. Success in blogging is directly related to providing value through great content. If there is one thing you can do is focus in on that.

      You will be fine!

  11. Alex says:

    Thanks, your suggestions rox πŸ˜€

  12. Thanks for the quality post Jane.

    1. JaneMay says:

      I’m glad you found value in it…i try πŸ˜€

  13. Casey says:

    Very nice post. I am not an efficient person when it comes to online stuff. I get caught up in things.

  14. I get caught up surfing the web instead of doing important stuff. Most of the time I have to plan my day to get work done. ughhh

  15. Kumiko says:

    If we use the “buy me a beer” link at the end of the post, does Jane get the beer?

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Maybe if you make a note when you pay, John will be kind enough to forward the funds to Jane… but that means that Paypal takes two cuts instead of one.

      1. JaneMay says:

        Very good point on the two cuts Michael! Thanks for the insight.

    2. John Chow says:

      If you wish to buy Jane a beer, you should do so at her blog. like Micheal says, I can forward the funds but then Paypal take another cut.

      1. JaneMay says:

        It’ll probably be easier for everyone if you just do it on my site…thanks for asking Kumiko!!

  16. la bloga says:

    itΒ΄s so real the point about stadistics, this time can be spent in a great post.

  17. Ravi says:

    Thanks for the useful post.

  18. FameFire says:

    Dear Jane,
    The post written very nicely. I agree with your thoughts. I am working in a MNC and I have to follow the same rules. When I was new, it was some difficult to me. My boss is very generous to me and he tought me the lession just same as your post. As the time past it is now become my habit and now I find it very helping. In the morning first of all I read my Official mails then after personal mails. If is there any urgent requirement I make it number one priority in my list. I generally make a list in night just before going to bed. The task left undone today, is added as next day assignment. I always carry a small pocket dairy with me and whenever I find anything important I just write it down and open it every evening to find out the actual advantage. When a task is completed I make a rigt mark that “I Have Done It” πŸ™‚

    Thanks for such a wonderful post.



    1. JaneMay says:

      Sounds like you now have the system down pat! Great to hear.

  19. Vanessa says:

    What a great post! Very direct and to the point. I really need to do the do list and stick to it. THanks, Jane.

  20. Rick Yuen says:

    Good list of things to do. It’s only human nature to procrastinate so I always start things as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. If I don’t initiate tasks right away, the day can easily be a complete write-off.

  21. Wahlau.NET says:

    well written time management for bloggers

  22. Jules says:

    Wow, great post! I finally got my blog off the ground just a few days ago and it took me a lot longer than necessary to do so because I kept getting distracted.

    Also thanks to others comments I think I’m gonna pass on the firefox adsense plugin πŸ˜€

  23. Chicago 2016 says:

    Man, that last one’s always hard to remember.

  24. Chicago 2016 says:

    I have to stop checking multiple times a day.

  25. I really like the tip on not checking your blog stats multiple times a day. I am currently going through stats withdraw. I am trying to wean myself back from checking my analytics, adsense, blog log, all multiple times a day.

    The goal is now to check everything once a day, at the end of the day. I am doing this by putting a calendar on the wall next to the computer. Everytime i check my stats i put a hash mark on the calendar. Then at the end of the week I can see how often I checked, and can calculate how much time I wasted

    1. JaneMay says:

      It’s hard to get passed those stat withdrawls, but once you do, you are on your way to productiveness πŸ˜†

  26. Ankur says:

    I need to add another one – stop commenting too much on John Chow Dot Com! πŸ˜€

    1. JaneMay says:

      non-sense! Stop commenting, who would be in the top commentators getting that free link??

    2. Your keeping the buzz going by commenting. John appreciates his readers getting involved and giving the blog a life of it’s own.

  27. SELaplana says:

    i was struck by your last tip because I always check the stat of my blog. I don’t know why I’m doing this… something in me that told me to do that always….

  28. Thanks for these great tips πŸ™‚

    I’m certainly goign to have to work on the last one πŸ˜›

  29. I’m pretty OC when it comes to making to-do lists. I’ve always thought it helped me organize my thoughts and objectives for the day — a real time-saver.

    1. JaneMay says:

      everyone is a little OC πŸ˜‰

    2. I have a notebook with graph paper that I carry around with me everywhere along with a book for any moment of down time I am reading or writing.

      If your not carrying around a pen and paper with you or the new iphone yet start!

      “If it’s worth living, it’s worth recording” – me
      (replace writing with blogging too)

  30. justinf says:

    i’ll add to the list:
    check google trends

    if your blog is about blue widgets, and you suddenly find a big spike in searches for the latest model of blue widget, you might want to try to capture that some of that search traffic in a blogpost.

    but dont check trends all the time – i just stick to once in the morning, once in the evening – otherwise you’ll get nothing else done.

    1. Sure, Google Trends can be a helpful tool indeed.

  31. James says:

    useful tips on what works for you. however, i guess different styles work for different people and one shld always tweak and improve on what works for YOURSELF. If reading emails in mid-day enhances productivity in the morning for you, then why not? So bottomline is, learn from others, but apply it wisely πŸ™‚

    1. Ankur says:

      Thats certainly right dude, no fourmula applies to all!

  32. True that, Ankur. But the best formula of all has only one variable — perseverance.

  33. Dj Flush says:

    Ok Jane after this post I am officially in love with you πŸ˜€

  34. Excellent time-management article with some sound and practical advice.

    I also had a problem with checking stats to often but found one simple soolution to get rid of that problem (and other bad habits). Click my name to find a short article I wrote about that solution. Perhaps youΒ΄ll find it helpful.

  35. yeah checking stats and Google AdSense earnings used to be what i did the most but now i stopped.

  36. Now I’m bummed, surely you can’t be serious about only checking stats twice per day ❓ ❗


    ➑ Don

  37. Andy says:

    Heh..refreshing stats. I’m a junkie, I think I need rehab

  38. Forumer says:

    Even this is a very short tips, but it’s really great tips. Thanx for this tips and have a nice days ahead πŸ™‚

  39. Earl says:

    I totally agree when I first started my site I would be checking stats every 10 Min’s, now once a day, I’m less stressed and the results are more meaningful.

  40. Joy Anderson says:

    Great Post! I am bad at procrastinating, so this post really opened my eyes. Thank You for sharing!

  41. Regarding the last point – don’t check stats more than twice a day – does anyone know of a way to actually block your browser from loading a particular site more than X times per day?

  42. Heather says:

    Great List –

    I really like the writing 5-10 things down and getting them done BEFORE doing any online work. πŸ™‚
    Once I get online an hour can seem like 10 minutes.

    The other one that is every so important is checking stats. It’s so easy to go check *just really quick* Waste of time – don’t do it!!

    An other thing that I find is a HUGE help is to get up an hour earlier. That early time in the morning is my favorite time of the day, just to get organized and get started.

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