How to Double Your Productivity as a Blogger

    double your productivity - blogger

    Do you want to double your productivity?

    In January 2010 I put a goal in place for myself. That goal was to become a full- time Virtual CEO, leaving my desk and the 250 people that worked for me in the dust as I enabled myself to work from anywhere, on my own terms and focus on building businesses, instead of running them.

    By the end of the year, I had achieved my goal, and successfully created a great online following for myself in the process, as well as a kick-ass community of other like-minded folks at my blog, Virtual Business Lifestyle. I have to be very, very honest, unlike a lot of bloggers out there, I did NOT set out to create a popular blog.

    Although I have been very humbled by the popularity of it, and the big names I’ve been able to attract to appear on its sister-podcast, including our beloved Leo Babauta! The real reason behind the blog was to follow that one-year journey. It seemed that a lot of other people wanting to follow it, too. Which included my monthly round-up reports, along with other video reports and tips and tactics for removing yourself from ‘business’, and becoming a more new-age entrepreneur.

    Productivity Ensued

    Fast forward another 6 months down the road and I am achieving more than I honestly thought possible in my new role as a Virtual CEO. In the last six months I have started two new businesses, each doing fantastically well, especially considering their short age-span and added another 25-odd staff to my ‘brick n mortar’ business in the Philippines. I’ve become more focused as a business owner, because I now work a lot more at home, in my ‘own world’, as I call it, and with hardly any disruptions – despite having a toddler in the house!

    What’s Different and Why?

    There are, however, three main reasons why I have been able to create so much more productivity for myself since becoming a Virtual CEO.

    Email Management – First up, I have taken on board two very easy-to-follow email rules. Email is probably the biggest time drainer for entrepreneurs, and I knew I was going to have to get this in check if I wanted to become more productive. So, firstly, I adopted a one-click rule. Meaning, when I open my email its replied to, deleted or archived for future reference. That’s it. And I never open the same email twice.

    Secondly, I adopted a 3-sentence rule. All of my email is now no longer than three sentences. This has meant I spend way less time composing and replying to email, creating tons more time to work on other, more important tasks.

    Work / Life Balance – There has been so much written on this subject, I am not going to try and become an expert, or preach about it. However, I can say that I have been spending more time with my family since becoming a Virtual CEO (one of the main instigators for my goal in the first place!). Because of this, I am actually more relaxed. Being more relaxed gets my creative juices flowing like you wouldn’t believe it. Hence the productivity, and the launching of two new businesses!

    Minimizing Meetings – I run a 250+ employee outsourcing company. I work with clients from all around the world, literally. And I have a great management team in place (part of that one year goal!). However, I still have to ‘do’ meetings pretty regularly. I now go into the office just twice a week on average, and usually for around 3-4 hours at a time, and only for meetings. I rarely even bring my laptop with me… Just my iPad, for taking notes / presentations.

    Plus, I put a 30min meeting rule in place, too. Before this, so many of the meetings I was involved in caused PAIN in my daily schedule. I was always running over, and always scratching around for more time to sit with people. This rule enables me to get more meetings in, make them more productive and to the point, and ultimately get more done when I am in the office. If I’m not in the office, I meet with people via Skype, but with the same 30min rule in place. It works. Its nice. I like it.

    The Biggest Takeaway

    Without a doubt, the biggest takeaway for me from all of this is that it is absolutely, 100% possible to make changes in the way you approach your life, your business, your health and fitness and your online world, too.

    As a blogger, vlogger and podcast host, I absolutely love what I now do online. The audience continues to grow, and so do my businesses. Coincidence? I don’t think do. That doesn’t mean that my readers / fans are all becoming clients, because the very, very large majority are not. What it does mean is that because I am having so much fun doing what I am doing online (I almost see it as my personal outlet that’s expanding into something so much more now), as well as spending more time with my family, and starting new businesses and enjoying life in general…

    Business is rewarding me for all my hard work.

    Looking back, when I put that goal in place in January 2010, I honestly knew I would achieve the goal. I’m just that kind of goal-orientated person – always have been. However, if you had of asked me about any of the rest of the stuff that I’ve been enjoying since I hit the goal, because of the additional productivity I’m now encountering, I probably would have called you a crazy person! Make it your goal to write down your goal. Then, work hard towards realizing it. For yourself, your family, your business and your life in general.

    About the author

      Chris C. Ducker

      Chris C. Ducker is a full-time Virtual CEO and a sought after virtual business consultant. He blogs at VirtualBusinessLifestyle.com and is the author of the highly popular free eBook, "Saving the Day, the Virtual Way", which has been downloaded over 5,000 times to date.

    • Work / life balance is so often dismissed as having true value. I think too many people see productivity as how many things one can get done in a short period of time, and there isn’t enough importance placed on just enjoying life. As I see it, when balance is part of the equation– allowing time for relaxation and recreation, it is much easier to produce top quality results in less time.

    • Luckily mail has never been a big time drain for me, except at very concrete moments, like when my students had some assignment to give and were anxious with questions. That made for a huge drain (answering hard math/computing questions in 3 lines is a no-deal). But except in these cases, I always try to make my emails concise and to the point, and I’m happier when people follow. I also enjoy a long and detailed email once in a while, if it is worth it. When it is not… Well, patience.



    • Red Angel says:

      I am really liking that three-sentence rule you pointed out about email. A big part of my job (I’m an intern for a children’s publishing company) is communicating with my boss about marketing/editorial assignments through email. While this is a great way for us to share ideas about various goals and projects, sometimes I get too caught up in what I am writing and end up spending over an hour on a single email. I am a pretty wordy person (um, as you can tell here haha) but I think I will try out that rule when it comes to email. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Shyxter says:

      This is such a motivating article, Chris. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. I particularly like the Work / Life Balance portion where you said that you’re more relaxed and able to spend more time with your family since becoming a Virtual CEO. I’ve just started my career as an online worker and I’m very hopeful that my decision will improve the quality of my life.

    • This is fascinating. I particularly like the “three-sentence rule.” I do pretty well with most of my email correspondence, but there are definitely times when it could benefit from a self-imposed limit like this. A lot of people find it effective to schedule all their email correspondence for a specific time. But I’ve actually found I work best and fastest when I address emails as soon as they hit the inbox. That way, I don’t have a huge pile of unanswered correspondence hanging over my head. The only exception I make to the “answer promptly” rule is if the email will require a time-intensive reply and I’m already in the middle of something intensive and important.

    • I’m not very productive which is why it takes me all day to do my website. I’ve tried but I daydream too much.

    • Very interesting stuff. I love how you were able to change things around for the better. I guess I’d have to ask the question as to whether you think you could have done any of this from scratch, before having any other money or another business which bolstered you to a degree.

    • I find having email templates helps for those questions I get often. That way I don’t even have to think of a few sentences for them, just find that template and use it.

    • Tikyd says:

      The length of your email is also a point that grabbed my attention. Nonetheless, I believe that, as a newbie, an element that perhaps makes it possible to then outsource task of a business (like your business), is the creation of a system.

    • Great post, Chris!

      Love the 3-sentence rule. I need to start doing more of that. Although I’m very careful with my time these days, there’s always room for improvement.

      – Jennifer

    • I find your point on email management and meetings so true. I’ve been trying to reduce the time spent on these to no avail and its really eating up my resources …

    • Karen says:

      The point about email is so true. It has to be the biggest time drain ever. I also have a one-click rule, and a minimal reply rule (I haven’t tried to keep it to three sentences but maybe I will!). I’m also trying to discipline myself to two email sessions a day. Outside of those sessions emails just sit patiently in my inbox (who’d have thought it?) and nothing bad has happened yet 🙂

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