Maximize Your Daily SEO Productivity
Written by: Nick LeRoy
E-mail, meetings, content development, link building and so many other tasks are needed in order to run a successful SEO campaign. With only 24 hours in a day how can you maximize your SEO efforts and still maintain a life outside of SEO? If you're the type of person that prefers to spend every living moment of your life dedicated to the internet then you can move on to the next article... try this one out for instance. For the rest of us that not only live, eat, and breath internet marketing but also try to maintain a life outside of the ultra cool computer this post is for you!
Are you a morning or night person?
When are you the most productive during the day? Are you able to roll out of bed and start writing new content at 7:00am each day? Or are you that person who really doesn't start rolling out their 'A' game until after lunch? Instead of getting into a verbal argument with your alarm clock each morning, maximize your natural tendencies.
I for one am a morning person, yes getting out of bed at 5:30am is never fun but I find that my most productive hours fall between the hours of 7:00am to 1:00pm each day. In fact, I'm writing the rough draft of this post at 9:00am this morning. I make it a priority to get the tough tasks completed early in the morning so when I hit the later part of the day I can complete the less demanding tasks and set everything on cruise control. Prioritizing tasks is an absolute must.
Prioritizing SEO Tasks
Now that we have identified our most productive time during the day the next step is to prioritize our tasks. First create a list of everything that needs to be completed; you can do this on a daily basis or on a weekly basis. What tasks need to be completed and what amount of time and effort will be needed in order to satisfy the requirements? After prioritizing each task you need to fit it into your schedule. If you're not a natural morning person maybe you deal with your e-mails first to help warm up to the day. If you excel in the morning (like me) start with one of your more difficult tasks. For me this is always content generation, link building and digging deep into backlink analysis. I know that taking a couple hours to write an article in the morning would require substantial more time in the afternoon. So I maximize my SEO efforts by following through with my natural ability as a 'morning person'. This can easily be swapped around for someone who strives in the afternoon.
Dealing With Distractions
Undoubtedly anytime you sit down to knock out a difficult task you will receive a phone call, 'emergency' e-mails or someone will walk up to you with a funny story to share. You can't avoid all of these distractions but below are several techniques that have helped me in the past.
Truly be ready to work
Before you start your task use the restroom, grab that snack and bring something back to your workspace to drink. I swear the second I'm about to dig deep into a project I get this sudden desert feeling in the back of my mouth. No more shortage of liquids at my desk and one less excuse to get up in the middle of a task. Simple changes to habits such as this can really save time.
Random thoughts and mental distractions
You're now in the middle of a task and that random thought of bringing home a gallon of milk or calling your best friend pops into your head. My solution, a simple note pad. Take two seconds, write down the thought or task and move on. If you stop and have a 10 minute conversation with your friend it will ruin your train of thought. When you go back to completing your task you have to adjust to the situation and try to start from where you left off... definitely a time waster. Take a look at my handy legal pad that always contains random chicken scratch from the week.
Ignoring personal phone calls, texts and e-mails
Admittedly I am horrible at this. For some reason my brain thinks any phone call, text message or e-mail received via the I phone is top priority. When push comes to shove I place my phone face down and at least arms length away. E-mails are my number one distraction; naturally I feel that all e-mails should be attended to right away. The best part about some e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook is that they have a little pop up box when you receive an e-mail with a notice of who sent it. This helps me prioritize which e-mail need to be dealt with right away. If it's not the boss or a client it can probably wait until the task is completed. Avoiding unnecessary calls, texts, and e-mail can help increase productivity.
Set Yourself Up With Workable Hours
For people that work for other companies and have mandatory working hours this shouldn't be as big of an issue. I'm referring to people who set their own work schedule. Remember the point of this post is to avoid working from 7:00am to 7:00pm and to only start it back up the next day. That's a recipe for mental disaster. Set yourself up with some work hours that you can hold yourself to. If you're an evening person work from 10:00am till 6:00pm or if you're a morning person start at 7:00am and works till 3:00pm. Remember that most likely you will have to keep in consideration other peoples schedules for meetings and phone calls so working 7:00pm to 3:00am may not be your best option. Playing with your start and end times may have a direct correlation with how efficient you are during the day.
Hold Yourself To Your New Guidelines
Granted life can be unpredictable and events will occur that will make following the above suggestions difficult. Don't give up; try to hold yourself to your new guidelines. Being able to maximize your natural productivity schedule and staying organized will help you find that more can be completed within a given amount of time. Give it a shot and play with your daily routines. What are your daily time wasters? And how can you change them?