It's pretty often that I'm on Twitter and I see people talking about how they wish they were better about reading, writing reviews, or posting on their blogs. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone say something like, "I'm so behind on reviews!" Or something similar.
It's hard! There are just so many things to do in a day! How do some people seem to git 'er done, while the rest of us get no 'ers done?
Well, get excited, because I have ALL THE ANSWERS!
Okay, that's a complete lie, but here are some things that might help, and maybe you can leave some suggestions for me in the comments.
1. Recognize your personality and find ways to capitalize on your strengths instead of always fighting against your weaknesses.
I put this one first because I think it kind-of ties into the rest of the things. This. Is. Huge. I think it's easy to get overwhelmed because you take all the best qualities from every other blog and you want to do ALL OF THEM. Just because something works for one person, that doesn't mean it's right for you. In every area of blogging, take a minute to figure out what works best for you and focus on that.
2. Set small goals instead of huge ones.
I don't know about you, but goals can be really overwhelming for me. So if I do set goals, they're VERY small ones. When I notice I'm not reading or reviewing enough, I'll make a decision to just read for 30 minutes a day. This may not work for everyone, maybe you just need to take one day, or maybe two, a week and do nothing but read/review/blog work. (Of course this ties into the strengths/weaknesses thing because some people are motivated by big goals. If that's you, recognize that and make sure you keep on top of setting new goals.)
3. Stop reading books you don't love.
This was such a difference maker for me. If I don't love a book, even if it's not awful, it takes me 5.732 times as long to read it (Them's actual facts right there). The day I decided to give books a super short leash was the day my blog was saved from total destruction.
4. Write your review before starting a new book.
How many times do you see someone say, "I have 20 reviews to write!" YIKES! How can you even remember about all those books? Like I said above, find what works for you, but be realistic about it. For me, I if I don't write a review right away, there's no way I'm remembering important details. Sometimes I'll read a few books before writing a review, but even then, my thoughts are diluted, and the chances of me ever getting to that review decrease exponentially.
5. Use voice-to-text
This may seem really weird, but sometimes when I'm not in the mood to sit down and type out a review or post, I'll use voice-to-text on my phone. Not only does this let me get a lot of thoughts out really quickly, but I also get a good laugh at some of the things that get translated. Just make sure you spell-check.
6. Post quality, not quantity.
This was another blog-changing decision for me. Once I realized I didn't need to post every day (and not apologize about it), I had a lot more time to devote to quality posts. Think about the time you spend on those throw-away posts. They're supposed to be easy, but they still take a lot of time and drain your energy for posting thing people actually want to read.
7. Don't let yourself get on [insert time-suck social media of choice here] until you're finished with a review.
We all know that once we get on Twitter or whatever, that's all she wrote. Hold yourself accountable and use social media as a reward.
8. Find someone else who has read the book and talk about it, or talk about something book-related that's been on your mind.
Often when I'm stuck on a review and I just can't get coherent thoughts out, I'll talk to someone about the book. That helps to remind me of all the things I liked/disliked and is often the spark I needed to review a book. Or if there's just something bookish that I've been thinking about, I'll have a conversation on Twitter and pretty soon I have an entire post without really even having to think about it.
9. Get a reading buddy.
There's nothing that gets me reading faster than beating another blogger . . . er . . . I mean reading along with another blogger.
I love when Jen (@Cupcakegirly) and I are reading a book at the same time and she sends me a constant stream of hilarious text messages about it.
10. Take a shower.
Yes. Being clean makes you think better. Ok, not really. But I do get some of my best ideas when I'm in the shower. I have to make a conscious decision to turn off the music or the audiobook, and just be still and think. Almost all of my conversation starters originated in the shower. Of course you could do this other places, but really, you might as well get clean while you plan.
11. Read random blogs.
I love that people say to read other blogs besides just book blogs for inspiration, but I'd say take it one step further and read lots of different blogs randomly. Something I love is how Bloglovin will send an email of blogs they're spotlighting. My first inclination is to ignore the email, but recently I've been at least scanning the other blogs and it's actually been really helpful. I got the idea for this post just by reading the title of another blog post.
These are just a few ways I've found to help me to be more productive. Do you have any other tips for me? I'd love to hear them since I'm the worst kind of procrastinator that exists!