Distractions are all around us.

At this very moment while we’re reading this blog post and thinking of what we’ll say in our comment, little ones may be pulling at our shirt tails, begging asking for food or attention. The phone is ringing. Texts are coming in. Our email is full of unanswered messages. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog are open in different tabs of our browser as we try to manage them all. Add to that, dinner time is near and we haven’t planned a thing.Sausage, mushroom, onion, jalapeno pizza

Where, or where is the number for our favorite pizza joint?

Today’s Lesson

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot on my plate.

I’m not complaining though, as most of what is on my plate is by choice.

In an effort to become more efficient, I try to prioritize what needs to be done each day. As great as that sounds, my plans often fail.

Distractions happen and what I had planned to do, either gets moved to my “to do” list for the next day, or doesn’t get done. (I guess it wasn’t that important after all.)

For my blogs I use plugins to streamline some of the processes, cut back on the time I spend on Facebook and unsubscribed to most automatic email notifications.

Those little tweaks help, but I feel I could do more.

I know many of you bloggers are super efficient. I admire that trait.

But, how do you do it?

Today’s Assignment

How do you do it all – blog amidst life’s distractions?

Do you have a set schedule and/or do you use other tools which aid in your efficiency?

Care to share?

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  1. LOL, Barbara. I just *don’t* do it all!! 8-) I surrender to the great spirit of Blogoland. But somehow, what needs to get done does, and the rest I let go of.

    I find I get more done when I stop worrying about everything I have to get done! As I’m sitting at my desk working, whenever something occurs to me that I need to take care of, even just sending someone an email, I write it down. As the day passes, when I have a blip in my day where the brain shuts down, I look at the list and pick something on it to do. Crossing off even one item is like a breath of fresh air.

    I work better when I’m winging it, to be honest. I’ve tried setting up processes, but I get boxed into them and end up feeling more like a robot, not enjoying myself.

    I think I just need to give myself credit and trust that I will get “stuff” done.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Lie or Lay? Grammar Confusion Laid to RestMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      Winging it isn’t a bad idea. I know I’ve tried different organizational processes and like you said, it feels like you’re boxed in. Confined.

      I like your idea of just jotting down notes to yourself as little reminders for later and I agree, crossing anything off a to to list is a relief. :)

  2. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I try to work at one thing at a time and get ahead on that when it comes to blogging. I’m way ahead on my civil war posts (http://dotcw.com) , though some will need to be addressed in March. I’m currently plugging away on post processing pictures from the Fall 2011 trip and transforming those into videos for upcoming Exit78 posts, where I already have posts presheduled every three days for the next week and a half. If a new topic comes up that I want to write about, they’ll get bumped. I do most of my planning in my head when I’m at the gym.

    One of the reasons I can do it amongst life’s distractions is, of course, that I don’t currently have that biggest distraction of all — a job. It makes it easier…, until the next contract.

    Like Davina, sometimes things just work out better for me when I’m just winging it.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Trail to Delicate ArchMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s true. If we don’t have a job to be concerned with, it makes it easier to get things done. I admire how you’re always way ahead of yourself on your civil war posts as well as your videos. Plus, it sounds like your projects are something you get a lot of joy from, and that makes a big difference, too.

  3. johnaveryNo Gravatar says:

    if i have to say in short i may say the word “organizing”,i started to be day scholar some where in my early twenties during the 2nd yr of bachelor’s college.Though i felt the things i need are always around in a hand full of distance many of my guests said me that my home looks a mess. Then came a friends of mine who said two simple thing,1.”allocate some time to decide where you want to keep things and keep them in a sensible place” ( book in the book shelf, and the often read books in book table, not coffee mug in study table, how much ever you feel comfortable with it.). 2. Keep the things back to where you get them form,how much ever your case of emergency may be. following this two made me to look at my home way differently and whenever i am shifting with different types of work i felt i am doing it efficiently.
    i am sure technically you are sound so you will manage to find the needed software or service but this quite practical theory helped me being messy to super efficient. like to share the same with you.
    Check out johnavery’s awesome post.Indian Tour operatorsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Johnavery,

      Thank you. I agree, if we can get in the habit of putting things away, back to where we got them, it makes a huge difference.

      Your comment reminded me of a “poem” which says in part,

      If you drop it, pick it up
      If you open it, close it
      If you make a mess, clean it up
      If you turn it on, turn it off
      ….

  4. I’m a recovering multi-tasker, Barbara. As Mike advises, I am trying hard to do one thing at a time for most of the day. And, like Davina, I’m okay with not doing it all. Releasing some of the tasks willingly and thoughtfully has resulted in better work. This will always be a challenge, though, and I’ve come to accept that, too. We all are accomplishing amazing things in great amounts, and I think we need to pat ourselves on the back for that, and try not to worry too much about what we’ve left to do for another time. :)
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.A Valentine Love Letter to Our ChildrenMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      Like you, I used to be a multi-tasker. So much was written about how we can accomplish more if we work that way and I believed it. But as you’re finding out (and me, too), we actually do a better job when we focus on one task at a time and usually don’t have any loose ends left undone.

      That’s a great reminder – how we should pat ourselves on the back for what we do get done and not worry about that which is waiting.

  5. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I’m retired so have lots of time to blog and do most other things.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Murder Rate, Bowling, RIP Clara, Valentine’s Day.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      You’re so lucky. I’ll bet you make the most of every day and have time to stop and smell the roses, too. 8)

  6. Barbara,

    It is funny, as I read this I had a book CD in my drive that just ended, and i realized I will need to listen to it again because I did not hardly hear a word, as I was going through blogs for the past hour in order to reduce the large number of unread items in my Reader.

    You are a mind reader!

    For me it becomes a matter of priority – writing blog posts, twitter activity, blog commenting, and LinkedIn are my big four. I am still trying to figure out the “time budget” needed for each, but I am getting there.

    Thanks!
    Check out david k waltz’s awesome post.Working Capital – Finance and Accounts ReceivableMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome David,

      I’m not a mind reader, but I know what you’re saying. It’s like Betsy mentioned too. When we multi-task, something is bound to suffer.

      It’s tough trying to figure out a time budget for each of our blogging activities. As hard as I try, I seem to revert back to some wasteful ways….

  7. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I wing it too – but I’m also unscheduled – however I always do what needs to be done .. I hope as my day becomes my own I can sort my life out and not be quite so winging it –

    I don’t use any plug-ins .. I know I must be very inefficient – but I cope … my Reader is my big challenge – and I might just take 2 days and do my Reader and blog commenting – then for 5 days I can do other things – whether that will work or not I don’t know.

    I am pre-writing my posts for the A – Z Challenge in April – perhaps to take some of the stress away – where we post for 26 days ..

    I’d love to be a fly on everyone’s blogging wall for a week – to pick up some tips, ideas etc etc …

    I don’t do FB or Twitter or … so I guess that takes some time pressure away .. and I now don’t stress I take things as they come – one huge advantage of a blogging platform and one for which I’m very grateful for … if I post – they will come – that makes a huge difference.

    But I’d love 48 hours in a day .. the rest I’d read, go for long walks, visit museums etc etc .. one day life will go down to 24 hours a day .. I know you’re very busy … just glad I have no other responsibilities than my mother …

    So to answer your post – I do it reasonably well, but I don’t do it all .. cheers and have a lovely Valentine’s Day .. chocolate, flowers, dinner a deux? et al .. have fun – Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Speaking of plugins, they do help save time. But even those can be a catch-22 since I’m told too many can slow down our blog loading times. ??

      Not doing Twitter and Facebook does save time. What I find is even if I tell myself I’m only going to spend 10 minutes on Facebook, I get caught up in what others are posting and before I know it, as hour may have passed. Not good. Knowing that is helping me to not even check in.

  8. Yes it is a challenge to take care of all of our responsibilities every day and do all that we set out to do. There simply isn’t enough time in the day. I’m new to blogging and not on any kind of set schedule yet. I could see that becoming a problem going forward though. I will also need to find ways to become more efficient.

    If a blogger is making money through their blog and feeling overwhelmed, they should consider outsourcing some of the regular duties. You can hire specialists to help with specific things or a general virtual assistant to help with whatever you want.
    Check out Jeremy @ Modest Money’s awesome post.Modest Money Blog Mid-February UpdateMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      You’re right. The longer we blog, the more time we “might” end up spending on our blogs, or visiting other blogs. What I found is by using a handful of good plugins, I can save some time, plus feel like (some) things are being taken care of behind the scenes.

      Using virtual assistants is a great idea for those who are making money with their blogs as they could delegate and reduce their work load…or use that extra time on other money making ideas.

  9. LemNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes I just have to sit down and force myself to blog. Its very important for my business to blog, but its one of the easiest things in the world to put off. Now, I don’t make money off the blog itself, but it drives business.

    I have a social media sharing plugin for WP that automatically updates my FB and twitter when I post. This is a nice time saver.
    Check out Lem’s awesome post.The Wedding of Rebecca & Stephen – Charlotte NCMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lem,

      That’s could be tough – when our blog is part of our business. Clients expect posts to be up-to-date, plus it can be a reflection on a business if they’re not.

      Like you, I also use media sharing plugins so my posts are automatically published on Twitter and Facebook. That helps a lot.

  10. I’m with you on Facebook. It’s a huge distraction, and these days I rarely go there.
    Check out Vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Painful Beauty? No ThanksMy Profile

  11. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, that’s how a mother’s life looks like! Welcome to the club! You didn’t complain, and I’m so glad to read a real post from a real mom. All the momblogs are full of perfect moms, who are always fit and chic, go to gym, do the work, and have enough time to play with their children. But I won’t believe them. As a mother, I know, what does it take. And although I feel sometimes tired and weary, I really love it. Let me wish you a happy valentine’s day!
    Check out Julie’s awesome post.cosmetic dentistry pricesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jule,

      Although I no longer have little ones tugging at my shirt-tails, the days of having children underfoot aren’t buried far in my memory bank. As much as we (generally speaking) love our children, I think it’s important we, as parents, carve our some time for ourselves and our own interests, whether that be blogging or something else.

      I hope you had a very Happy Valentine’s day and got to do something you enjoy. :)

  12. Shameka HennagirNo Gravatar says:

    Ha-ha-ha! You make me laugh at this. There are a lot of distractions that surrounds us that may hinder us to do the things we want. Facebook is the number one distraction for me but I keep myself to not being distracted to it.
    Check out Shameka Hennagir’s awesome post.Timber DoorsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Shameka,

      I hear you. Facebook can be a huge distraction. I’m happy to hear you’re winning the battle and not getting caught up it’s it’s “web”.

  13. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb!
    Distractions are in my blood – good old Monkey Mind ya know! Ha! I do write blogs a month ahead and schedule them. I have a morning routine of coffe with my journal, working out and then breakfast with emails/blogs. If it doesn’t get all done then, (I allow about an hour?) then I’ll pop on line during the day as time permits, or whip out the laptop in the evening, like now, as I’m sort of (not) watching TV.

    It helps (?) that I’m alone all day – kids are long gone – but I have two crazy dogs to interrupt, and boy they do! Somehow they don’t get the “yeah, in a minute – I’m coming” or that stuff! Anyway, I don’t pressure myself with anything but doing my homework – I’m in school again, this time for Master Herbalist – so I AM busy!
    Hugs
    Susan
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Laundry Alert – Soft, perfumed clothes can be making you sick!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Susan,

      I’m so excited for you and your new endeavor. Soon you’ll be a Master Herbalist. Yay!

      I hear you about the pets. They have no concept of “later”. They want attention, or food, NOW! But like kids, they are part of our family, too. In some ways, I find those distractions are good. It makes me get up from my desk and realize I’ve been sitting way too long. Maybe they know that, too. Haha!

      ((hugs)) to you, too. Happy studies….

  14. Meagan M. CherryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    We have the same problem. The problem of working at home is the destruction that are not avoidable. What I do I create my own office in the attic where others can destruct me.
    Check out Meagan M. Cherry’s awesome post.Local SEO ServicesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Meagan,

      I hear you. Being self-employed and working from home can create a whole new set of challenges. I like your idea of having an office in the attic – not only would it be more quiet, but it keeps distractions at bay.

  15. AidenNo Gravatar says:

    I once tried to set aside some time for blogging, however it became counterproductive; I just can’t get my creative juices flowing. My new style works for me better; I’ll write when I feel the urge to write.
    Check out Aiden’s awesome post.cool dating tipsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Aiden,

      I think that’s a problem for many bloggers. After all, we blog when the creativity strikes and that’s certainly not something we can schedule.

      Mike (earlier comment) has a good idea. He creates numerous blog posts and then schedules them for future dates. Taking advantage of those creative times could be very beneficial.

  16. I think that if you have a lot on your plate, organizational tools are key and also to rid yourself of as many distractions as possible. There are always ways to create an optimum work environment, just gotta figure out the best and most effective way to do it!
    Check out Chris @ Austin Owner Finance’s awesome post.Relocating To Austin, Texas – What You Need To KnowMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      You’re right. If we can eliminate distractions, we’ll be more efficient and I think that’s where evaluating if social networking is really beneficial to a blogger, or not.

      For me, I also find noise distracts me and can stay more focused if it’s quiet.

  17. There are always many distractions that don’t allow us to be concentrated on something and social networks are on the first place!))That’s really true
    Check out Amanda@BuySellWordPress’s awesome post.Fashion WordPress ThemesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amanda,

      I hear you. Social networking can be a big distraction. Unfortunately, (for me) I just signed up for Pinterest and am hooked on that. Hopefully it’s attraction will wane real soon. :)

  18. RennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I agree with you we always tend to grab many things in one plate. But I think proper time management and right motive is the only way through which one can try to achieve all the goals. I have been managing time to switch between blogging and my other work commitments from quite sometime. I schedule my time for blogging during morning hours and after lunch I schedule time for other chores. This has helped me to get going till today. I liked the way you have managed your time. It is quite impressive!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Renny,

      Yes. It does seem to be a common tendency – to add more to our plates than we can reasonable do – and do well.

      Having a blogging schedule is ideal, however for myself, my best laid plans are often interrupted by the unexpected.

  19. Alan FaganNo Gravatar says:

    I know exactly what you mean. It’s tough. I try to give myself an hour or two first thing every morning to get creative. It’s quiet time when you can really immerse yourself in writing a blog post or engaging via social media. Also, my audience is B2B so publishing at the crack of dawn helps my posts, messages and other communications to be among the first things people see when they get to their own desks.
    Check out Alan Fagan’s awesome post.Missing a TrickMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alan,

      You’ve raised a good point regarding our audience. Like for you, you want your posts to be “in front of them” when they arrive at their desks, so doing your creative work first thing in the morning is essential. Smart move.

  20. Lily RoseNo Gravatar says:

    My secret is to make careful and detailed plans for a day, but to leave a bit time off for everything that I planned to do. In that way, even if there are some distractions, they are all planned in.
    Check out Lily Rose’s awesome post.Is the Healthy Trim Price Worth It for the Results?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lily,

      I like your idea. In fact, I remember hearing how we should only schedule half of our day because it’s likely we’ll have distractions or unforeseen circumstances which will fill up the rest.

  21. Adam JamesNo Gravatar says:

    I probably should set out a schedule, but I find I work better without having one.

    Although I would like to set aside particular days each month for blogging, but due to other obligations this just wouldn’t work.

    Dealing with distractions seems to be something that when blogging gets better with time, although I still work better with piece and quiet (well maybe a little back ground music).

    While I don’t have a schedule so to speak, I have several to do lists.

    The first is a list of post idea’s or subjects to write about so that I can keep focussed on delivering content.

    The second is just for anything else, any work on my site that I need to do, changes or updates to themes, plugins or even SEO related things.

    When I’m in the flow of writing I don’t like anything to get in the way, but I usually think of other stuff I need to do on my site so I make sure I put them on the list so I don’t forget, .. but don’t let them side track me from writing.
    Check out Adam James’s awesome post.3 Funky WordPress Social Widgets For Your SidebarMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Adam,

      I know what you’re saying about schedules. In theory, they should work real well, but like you said, if distractions (in real life or other) arise, a blogging schedule could go right out the window.

      Reading your comments reminded me of how it’s important to have lists of what we want to do to our blogs behind the scenes, and thankfully most of that can wait.

      I agree. If we’re “in the flow” of writing, it’s best if we take advantage of it as it’s those moments which create some of our best writings.

  22. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I don’t do it ‘all’. I also practice unfolding in life, and commitment to my purpose within unfolding. Which simply means my priority is “source”, my children, nature, my online business and the flow of it all changes each day. Some days I ‘power’ through solely online because I have many clients, some days I disconnect and spend in nature and with the kids..most days are a mix of all of it. The essential ingredient for me is that I invest only in what enriches my life…so whatever the flow for the day is, it is one of delight and love and gratitude. And “all” else flows from that.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      How beautiful – your words are.

      I think you hit on a key issue and that is to “invest only in what enriches my [our] life.”

      I’ve analyzed social networking (for me), as well as what other bloggers do, and as much as I feel I could benefit by doing what they’re doing (in my own way, of course), in my heart I don’t feel some of it would enrich my life, but instead could become a noose around my neck.

      To echo what you said, I want to have delight, love and gratitude on my path, too. :)

  23. Distractions are a great challenge especially if you work online. When I first started doing internet marketing, staying focus was a great challenge because no one looks after me. I could easily get distracted by Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. But in order to be productive, I had to impose self-discipline on the strictest level. I’m happy because I have never been this productive in my entire work life.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mae,

      Being online can be disastrous with all of it’s distractions. Self discipline can be a tough trait to learn, but it sounds like you’ve nailed it and can now celebrate your accomplishments. Congratulations!

  24. KarinNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, so true – When starting my blog I thought I’d have more time to spend on it than I do, but with a full-time job sitting in front of a computer all day, it’s sometimes the last thing I want to do when I go home! I guess the trick is not to have too high expectations of yourself!
    Check out Karin’s awesome post.February Miniature Paintings: 6 – DaydreamerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karin,

      Well put – about how we shouldn’t have too high expectations. I think it’s easy to “think” we can do more, but when push comes to shove, we often just run out of time. :(

  25. Hi Barbara – I know exactly how it is. I’ve recently moved to WordPress self-hosted and am still figuring it out. However, that’s caused me to focus more on actually blogging, spend less time on Facebook, and like you sign off from a lot of email updates that we filling my inbox. I’ve created a file with links of the blogs I want to follow (and yours is certainly one of them) and make sure I visit them at least once weekly to look for updates and spend time reading and commenting. I don’t have kids but I do need to make sure I make time for my husband and for other aspects of my life – especially my health.
    Check out Corinne Rodrigues’s awesome post.Outside The Box Anyone?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Corinne,

      Yes. We do need to remember to make time for the other aspects in our lives. As you know, the blog will wait for us. :)

      P.S. I apologize for missing your comment and answering it so late. :(

  26. Wei NenNo Gravatar says:

    Hang in there. Distractions can be very tempting. What I like doing personally is to reward myself if I manage to complete a task without getting distracted. It can be just a small treat, but it can do wonders to help your discipline.
    Check out Wei Nen’s awesome post.Tips on how to get taller fastMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wei,

      That’s a great idea – to reward yourself AFTER you’ve finished a task. Not only would that help to make us stay focused, but like you said, it’s like a small treat to look forward to.

  27. If you work online, social media sites are double-faced demons: on one side you might learn something new or even get a new idea, but you could also fall in the time-consuming pit that random browsing implies.
    Check out John @ Samsung Galaxy’s awesome post.Samsung Galaxy CameraMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      Isn’t that the truth? Social media sites lure us in and before we know it, we’ve spent more time browsing than we should have.

  28. DeanNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging I find can be a time consuming endeavor. And obviously, you have some time into this site as it is unique and appealing. The other part about having a blog is being found on the internet as 40,000 new blogs appear daily. It’s kind of like having a sign in the middle of the desert. Getting traffic to you site takes time, persistence and skill very much like writing good content. One way to learn that is to consider an internet marketing course. If nothing else take a look at this universities curriculum so you get an idea of what you need to know.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dean,

      That’s right. We do need to spend time marketing our blogs (and ourselves) so others can find us and like you said, it takes time and persistence. Plus with so many new blogs coming online each day. we need to stand out from the rest.

  29. 1. PLAN for goals, and all things important
    2. Organize for the above
    3. Follow the steps to reach the goals/execute
    4. Go with the flow. Life is bound to happen and enjoy.

    It is usual that in the flow, you’ll find perspective and solutions for all those things at #3 you were stuck at.

    :-)

    Happy weekend,
    R
    Check out Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com’s awesome post.How to Crochet Front Loops, Video TutorialMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rose,

      I agree. Planning is a big part of getting things done. Not only do we something to focus on, but after dealing with distractions, it makes it easier to get back in the flow.

  30. You bring up a very valid point: “doing it all” is one thing… “doing it all well” is quite another!
    Pick your battles and delegate the less important jobs.
    Check out Larry Lourcey’s awesome post.Think You Know Ana Hoffman?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Larry,

      Exactly. Even if we’re getting everything done, but it’s not done well, what have we REALLY accomplished? I like your idea of picking our battles and delegating (or eliminating) the rest.

  31. I usually make a list for a more systematized and organized way of going through work and my daily chores and responsibilities but the funny thing is, because I’m tired all the time (because my list is always so long), I tend to procrastinate and justify my procrastination because I’ve been stressed, haggard and ugly… So sometimes, I wonder about new strategies, too. LOL.
    Check out Pinay WAHM Blogger’s awesome post.Headache and WAHMMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pinay,

      I don’t think you’re alone. Whenever we have a lot on our plates, it’s easy to procrastinate and not get anything done because we’re feeling overwhelmed. What I do at those times is step back, re-evaluate my “list” and start with the most important. I also know some things will not get done.

  32. Hi, Barbara. I read through the writing it’s a well wrote post. I believe you have spent huge time before it was ready to be posted.
    By the way, I feel that too, being online is like being addicted. Try to cut short time-spent online but when you start up your pc it’s like you won’t want to turn it off.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Villas,

      Yes. Being online can be addicting. Oftentimes the best thing we can do is step away (and even turn off) our computers and spend time living life.

  33. PaulNo Gravatar says:

    For me working online is the top priority. But even if there are other work commitments for me in life, working online itself is a tough job. I face so many challenges each day, but proper time management helps me to face these challenges very smoothly. I schedule my whole day in various slots to work on my blog. This way it helps me to work on all the elements of my blogs in a well structured manner.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Paul,

      From the sounds of it, being online is your lively-hood, and even though you know there can be distractions, you’ve found the perfect way to work around them.

  34. This has also been I problem I found challenging…multitasking amid the distractions, and finding the time to blog is actually rather tough.

    Here’s what I try and do:

    1. Do a plan for tomorrow regardless of how busy I am. If I’m feeling extra tired, I’ll make it short, but I’ll stuff it in the schedule nonetheless.
    2. Deep breathing. This not only helps breathe better, but it helps instate a state of calm – which is absolutely necessary in navigating through distractions.
    3. Prioritize. Sometimes, throughout the day, I find that there are various sessions in which I just get distracted involuntarily (okay, that’s just an excuse :P), but at those points, I simply go and break that state, think about the big picture and the things I absolutely must get done, and resume.

    While it’s never easy to multitask (especially if you’re a man), it’s just another part of our lives, I’m afraid.

    Cheers,
    Mark.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mark,

      With regard to multitasking, I’ve found I lose focus and get less done.

      I like your idea of making a “to do” list the night before. That way you’ve already conditioned yourself with what must be done the next day and when you wake up, it’s there in front of you.

      Deep breathing is a great tip, as is prioritizing. Like you, I will often let myself be distracted, but also know I’ve only got myself to blame for that one. :)

  35. I find it hard to keep with all the new developments but I have developed my own list of things to be done and it seem to work well for me:

    1. Research
    2. Publish content
    3. Comment on relevant blogs
    4. Social media
    5. Any extra promotions, depending on what I’m trying to accomplish.

    Oh, yeah – and lets not forget tracing the stats every once in a while :-)
    Check out Linda Campbell’s awesome post.A Review of Medication for a Yeast InfectionMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I hear you. There are so many chances happening online, it’s hard to stay abreast with each one.

      I like your list. It looks like you prioritize your tasks, leaving the least important for last.

      Stat checking is important, too – as long as we don’t become addicted to watching the numbers. :)

  36. It can be very challenging to stay organized when curating content on the internet. Especially after publishing a blog post and then using social media avenues to promote it. The 2 minutes that you intended to spend updating your Facebook profile with the new blog post url can turn into a half of an hour easily.

    A good approach is to have everything laid out in long term goals, then broken down accordingly. An example would be monthly, weekly, or daily, what NEEDS to get done in order to accomplish your yearly goals? Write these down and as long as you can see it in front of you it becomes easier to stick with your To-Do’s.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Employee Recognition,

      One thing I’ve found helps is to automate publishing posts to Twitter and/or Facebook. With WordPress there’s some nifty plugins and that way, we don’t get caught up on spending too much time on the social networking sites. (Not to say it always works that way.)

      I agree. Breaking up a long term goal into workable bites helps a lot. Like you mentioned, we can set up daily/weekly and monthly goals and then track how they’re measuring up to our annual one.

  37. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you, it becomes very difficult for anyone to work if distractions are associated. But proper management and scheduling can help to face any challenge in a easier way. Even I come across many distractions during my working hours but proper planning helps me to face them in a well managed way. Also I think the way you manage all your work tasks is really motivational!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you David,

      Yes. It’s inevitable we’ll have distractions – either unplanned or voluntary. Having a schedule helps, especially if we hold ourselves accountable at the end of the day and evaluate what all we got done, or didn’t. It’s at those times we realize some things need tweaking or maybe need to taken off of our schedule completely.

  38. Delegating tasks to reliable colleagues or employees can help make an endeavor more manageable. This increases overall productivity and efficiency.
    Check out Karen@MicroSourcing’s awesome post.US Anti-outsourcing Efforts Expected to IntensifyMy Profile

  39. Facebook is an addiction! Distractions? Well, are they a distraction or an excuse to getting on with what you really ought to be doing? The thing is, we all feel the same and we’re not alone. I find myself doing my online work and veering off the path by doing some personal shopping amongst other things. Thanks for the article.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Driveway Gates,

      Yes. Facebook can be an addiction, as can my newest find, Pinterest. yikes!!!!

      I think it’s pretty common to get sidetracked when we’re online. There’s so many links we can click on, as well as, like you said, “shops”. Balance is key – but even that can be difficult to maintain (for me).

  40. sanjayNo Gravatar says:

    This is one of those things that are beyond my control, but typically what I do is list down the things that I should do and do it fast! Focus on the task at hand and before I knew it I am half way through my list.
    Check out sanjay’s awesome post.How to Create a 3D Search Bar in HTML / CSSMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sanjay,

      I think that’s important – to focus on the tasks at hand and like you said, get them done fast. Then…we can reward ourselves with a treat, whether that be a social networking site or something away from the computer.

  41. I think its all about enjoying what you do. Think of blogging as something to look forward to and you will find time and energy to do it because people make time for the things they love. Blogging can be a great way to summarize thoughts and feelings and really firm up your opinions on various issues. Enjoy that time to allow yourself to be deep in thought each day.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chicago Events,

      You’ve raised a good point. If we enjoy blogging, we’ll find time to do it, and we will look forward to it. I think what happens is some bloggers begin to get burned out with blogging and before we know it, blogging becomes a chore. When that happens, it might be time for us to reevaluate why we’re blogging and if it’s serving a purpose or only wasting our time.

  42. MelissaNo Gravatar says:

    I think that if a person is concentrated on something and has an exact plan, so he or she won’t pay any attention on various distractions
    Check out Melissa’s awesome post.How To Make A HTML 5 Site For Free.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Melissa,

      You’re right. If we have a specific plan, we’re less likely to be distracted.

  43. I am focused on letting go these days…and not worrying…
    I was so driven to schedules and getting so much done each day and when I was working for the churches, I just put people first everything else second, but it was non stop Then add 3 children to the mix and a mother who needed care…some days I am just tired

    Working on what I should do next…my bucket list is non-existent and I am worn out with job hunting…blogging often just seems like too much work…

    8 books lined up to read and review – now that is great fun and what an interesting list ahead…March 1st review is a dandy

    Not worrying is huge
    Check out Patricia of Wise Ears’s awesome post.Teens Need A Good ListenerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      By the sounds of it, you love to read and doing book reviews. Maybe instead of worrying about “blogging”, direct your attention to just reading and only doing book reviews. Just a thought…

      I’m looking forward to your review on March 1st. 8)

  44. Bethany153No Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    When I was just starting blogging, it was very hard for me to adjust. Especially that I was into Facebook that time. But when I already realized my priorities, seldom I open my Facebook account nowadays. I just check my messages and signed out right away.
    Check out Bethany153′s awesome post.Home Security CamerasMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bethany,

      I hear you. It’s hard to adjust to all of the distractions, but like you said, when we set priorities, it’s easier to log in and out of social networking sites without feeling the need to spend time on them. (I wish I could say that about Pinterest. :( )

  45. my main distraction is twitter, I can not stop looking at the new news jajaj
    Check out Pedro of trippinn’s awesome post.where you can stay in SevilleMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pedro,

      Twitter can be a huge distraction too. With it being so fast moving, it’s hard to know when to click off. It’s like we’re afraid we’ll miss something.

  46. carlyNo Gravatar says:

    I try to get in some blogging when I can’t access Facebook for some reason at my day job. I hope my boss isn’t reading this. :)
    Check out carly’s awesome post.My Beaverton cosmetic dentistMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carly,

      I hope your boss isn’t reading this either. :) Many employers frown on knowing their employees are facebooking or tweeting when they’re supposed to be working.

  47. CurtisNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know how some get so many posts done. I will say implementing a iPad to carry with me has helped. When I get an Ida a do I quick write up on the iPad and save it. Then later I will use those ideas for complete posts.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Curtis,

      That’s a good idea – to carry an iPad with you. It’s probably quicker than jotting down something in a notebook which later has to be transferred to the blog.

  48. I agree. Distractions are everywhere and sometimes it is just so hard to focus. I am guilty of skipping tasks and procrastinating because I failed to concentrate on my task for the day :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Danica,

      I don’t think you’re alone. When we’re surrounded by distractions, it’s easy to procrastinate and put things off for another day.