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4 best ways to stay productive when life gets in the way

If you're like most people, you have more to worry about than just finding time to blog. I often find myself in the middle of some important research for my next article, or I can be so focused on writing and don't want to stop, but ultimately I hear in this tiny voice from across the room, "Mommy, can you come play with me?". It's heartbreaking to hear those words and think maybe I am spending too much time on my laptop and not enough playing.

My husband and I work full-time jobs while my two little boys are at the babysitters through the week. The weeknights are busy with dinner, play time, and baths. The weekends are precious. I get a full 48 hours to spend with my family doing family things. So how do I find time to research? What about actually writing my blogs? Posting and linking and social media.... and all of the other million important things to do? The list is never ending, especially if I really want our small business to thrive. Readers want quality content and I never want to deliver anything less.

Blogging is important. It can often be the lifeline of your small business. It's an immediate way to reach your readers with exciting new content. And it can be very overwhelming in the beginning. There are a hundred of ways you can go about setting aside time to blog and stay productive. It can be as simple as scheduling a few 30 minute appointments with yourself.

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Look at your current schedule. What do you spend your time doing that is not related to improving your business and does not really affect your family time? Are you watching TV at night before bed? Try blogging instead for those 30 minutes. You can still sit with your family, but maybe put on a set of headphones and block out the noise. Do you really need a full hour at lunch? Try splitting this time: eat and relax for 30 minutes, blog for the other 30 minutes.

If you are truly dedicated to improving your business, you can find time to dedicate to blogging. It's a choice. Set a reminder on your calendar and stick to it. Your persistence and dedication will pay off.

Here are some of my go-to resources to stay productive when mobile. You never know when inspiration will hit.

Best tools for writing blogs on the go:

Evernote is where I write all of my notes and full blogs. The app is just as user friendly as the webpage version. They recently upgraded their webpage to a new streamlined format that allows you more room to view your work. I simply could not stay organized and on top of my content without it. Best part is that's it's free. There is an option for a premium account and it does have a lot of additional nice features.

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Side note: If you're like me, I use and highly recommend BlueHost for web hosting and the Total theme. One key thing to remember when copy/pasting content from Evernote to your page/posts in your dashboard (back-end of your website), copy/paste as plain text. Add numbering and bullets for after you have copy/pasted your text into your dashboard post editor.

Evernote Web Clipper is another freebie must have in addition to my Evernote. I have a habit of bookmarking way too many sites I will realistically never remember why I bookmarked it. The web clipper allows you to either screen shot a section of text or an image, or you can save a clean version of the entire article all with a click back to your Evernote. The Skitch lets you write on your screen shots with text or shapes like arrows and circles.  Try the free version first and see what works for you.

Want to listen to your work?

Podcasts are an easy way for me to stay up-to-date on the latest news and resources available. I can listen when in the car or on the treadmill. Here are some of my favorite go-to's: Pat Flynn anything and everything - love him, Ted.com for new and often out-of-the box ideas, ProBlogger.com webinars for inspiration and how-to's straight from the experts. CreativeLive is another excellent resource for listening to classes.

4 best ways to stay productive when life gets in the way
4 best ways to stay productive when life gets in the way

We've all tried it at one time or another. Reading and running on the treadmill simply do not mix!  Try having your webpage read back to you.  SoundGecko was my go-to app for making this happen. I said this in the past tense because sadly SoundGecko shut down March 1, 2015.  AudioFy is so far thought to be the next best option, though it is not quite yet available (this is as of March 2015).  Others use Pocket, though I have not personally tried this app, it gets pretty good reviews.  You save your article to Pocket and then have iOS8 read it to you.  You don't need an internet connection when viewing the articles later.

Distraction free email

Who would have thought there is such a thing? Unroll.me just might honestly be the best thing since sliced bread. Everyday my email is flooded with all of the wonderful sites I have enrolled with since the beginning of the internet. At one time or another, they all sounded like a good idea. It's easier to just hit delete on the ones I know I'll never actually read rather then spend the time unregistering, which as we all know, is not always an easy process. Unroll.me takes that frustration away from you and is another way I stay productive. Not only does it give you the ability to unregister from everything with one click that you permanently want gone, but it then will give you one email each day summarizing all of your current subscriptions. Can you say "dream come true"? And yep, it's free too. Bonus!

Unrollme
Unrollme

When I first logged into Unroll.me I expected to find about 20-25 subscriptions. Nope. I had 92. That goes to show how often you are in the habit of hitting delete the second an annoying email comes in rather than take the time to go and unsubscribe.

The very next screen took you to a rollup option or unsubscribe. The rollup option sends you a summary email each day of your subscriptions. Timesaver!

Favorites for on the go

My other true loves in life.... my iPhone 5S and my MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I only recently converted from a windows laptop to my mac and I'll never go back. I love the ease of use and the quality is outstanding. And talk about mobility.

When I'm in the middle of drafting an email on my iPhone, I can continue it on my MacBook Pro, and vice versa. This is true for many of it's other applications. You can even text, talk, and FaceTime through your MacBook. OMG, who would have expected that? Maybe I was a little out of the loop on that one, but it certainly was a nice surprise. I always say it's the little things in life that matter. Ok, this might be a big thing, meaning a huge investment for some, but it's totally worth it.

What do you use to keep you mobile and stay productive? Let me know in the comment section below.