The end of the first month of 2020 is (finally!) insight! The fact that January has felt abnormally long has been a running joke the world over, but as the first month of the decade begins to fade, you may very well be feeling your levels of productivity and motivation dwindling down along with it, which is no laughing matter at all! You’ve got many amazing episodes to record, fascinating guests to interview, and a variety of podcast events to attend in the coming months, and so it is of paramount importance that you keep your podcasting productivity in high gear for all you want to accomplish this year.
We hear you! And we’ve got you covered! And so as what has not-so-affectionately been dubbed “Januworry” draws to a close, we’ve put together all the ways you can boost your productivity levels to help you keep pressing on towards achieving your goals. Take a look at our findings, and use them to achieve your podcast dreams this year!
1. Reduce Distractions
The first step you can take to boost your podcasting productivity is to reduce your distractions. The need to refocus on a task after each and every distraction is a sure way to kill your productivity and hinder your overall progress. Want to know the biggest culprit when it comes to distractions? Our cellphones and tablets! (But I’m sure you guessed that already!) Constantly picking up our devices to scroll through social feeds, check our messages, or respond to texts does major damage to our concentration, eats away at our time, and negatively affects our overall productivity. So what can you do to counter this?
First things first, when you need to be on task, put your device way out of reach ‒ and preferably out of sight ‒ which will help prevent you from habitually picking it up. Alternatively, if that is not an option, schedule set times in your day, after you’ve completed a task or during a break, when you are allowed to use your device, and for how long. This can give you an incentive to complete your task efficiently, whilst allowing you to give your episode editing, content creation, or whatever it is you need to do your full attention.
2. Use the Right Tools
Nothing stops workflow or causes more frustrations than using the wrong tools for the job! If you’re fighting a losing battle against technology and equipment, you are definitely not going to be productive! Not only will this set you back time-wise, but it will also cause you unnecessary stress! In terms of your podcast productivity, you need to make sure you’ve got the right tools and equipment to get the job done efficiently.
This means ensuring that your recording and editing software perform the tasks you need them to do and that your microphone, headphones or any other equipment you need for recording your episodes work as they are meant to. Perhaps it’s your laptop or desktop that constantly freezes during editing and rendering? In order to boost your podcasting productivity, you may need to consider purchasing one that is up to the task or consider using an editing service. It might be at an additional cost initially, but the time (and frustration!) it will save you will make it money well spent!
3. Set Achievable Goals
A key factor in boosting your productivity is learning to set achievable goals. You may actually be accomplishing a lot in a day, but if your initial goal is set too high, you may never feel like you’re getting anywhere, which can be a real drain both mentally and physically. However, if you learn to set achievable goals and consistently reach these, you’ll be motivated to keep going and keep giving your best.
As a practice in setting achievable goals, take a good, hard look at the tasks you need to achieve in order to produce an episode of your show, a blog post, or whatever else you need to do for your podcast. Next, determine the timeframe you have to work with before this task needs to be completed. From this information, you can then create a workable schedule, dividing the tasks between the time you have to accomplish them, always leaving a little wiggle room for any unforeseen hurdles or hiccups! You can then set achievable daily goals, and you’ll find your overall task completed productively and efficiently.
4. Create A Conducive Environment
Another way to enhance your podcasting productivity is to make sure your environment is conducive to productivity and has a positive effect on your work. If you’re constantly having to stop and restart your recording because your neighbor randomly breaks out into song, you probably need to look for a new place to record, or at least find a timeframe that doesn’t clash with their one-man show! Besides being relatively quiet, your work environment should be bright, with as much natural light as possible, and well-ventilated. This will keep you alert and awake, helping you stay productive.
You should also make sure that your workspace is well-organized and free from clutter. Nothing wastes time like searching for something in a jumbled mess! As an added bonus, where possible, have a plant or two in the vicinity of your workspace. Not only will this make your space look great, but you’ll also benefit from all that oxygen the plants give off ‒ filling your lungs with fresh air and keeping you feeling and working at your best.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
Besides a positive work environment, surrounding yourself with positive influences can also do wonders for your productivity. What this basically means is that you need to work in the vicinity of people who are also striving to be productive, and don’t detract from your productivity. You may like to do your episode editing at your favorite coffee shop, but if someone is stopping at your table every five minutes for a “quick chat”, you’re definitely not going to be productive. In order to boost your productivity, you may need to find another coffee shop for when you’re working on your podcast, and only go to your favorite spot when you can enjoy all the conversations.
6. Stay Hydrated
Your body and your mind are your greatest assets in terms of getting the job done effectively and efficiently. This means that if you want to be super productive when you’re working on your show, you need to make sure that both your body and your mind are able to function at their optimal level. The first step in ensuring this is to stay hydrated. Our bodies and minds need water to keep all our internal systems functioning at their best, which then allows us to perform at our best. A simple way to do this is to keep a bottle of water at your workspace so you can sip away as needed, keeping you constantly hydrated.
7. Take Breaks
Another way to keep our bodies and minds functioning productivity is to take regular breaks. Now I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually boost your productivity, rather than hinder it! You may be under the impression that in order to get the most done, you’ve got to be working all the time, but in actual fact, this could be one of the things hindering your productivity. Taking regular breaks gives your mind and body time to “refresh” themselves, recuperate, and recharge so that they are once again on form and able to tackle the next task. Scheduling regular breaks can also boost productivity by giving you timeframes within which to complete your tasks. With a break as your motivation, you’ll find you are able to focus on the task at hand, and you’ll feel great when your hard work is rewarded with a well-earned break.
8. Don’t Skip the Beauty Sleep
Now isn’t that great advice? But in all seriousness, getting enough sleep can go a long way to improving your productivity. A good night’s rest each night will help keep your body and mind healthy and functioning at their optimum, ensuring that you can be productive the next day. Research¹ shows that getting between seven to nine hours of sleep at night is important for good physical as well as mental health. Not only that, but quality sleep can help alleviate stress² (yes please!), boost your mood³, and help spark your creativity⁴ – just think how your podcast will benefit! So next time you’re tempted to work late into the night, rather turn in and get a good night’s rest, and you’ll feel rejuvenated and re-energized to tackle your tasks with greater gusto the next day.
9. Try Time Management Techniques
In order to boost your podcasting productivity, you could also implement time management techniques. There are so many tried-and-tested methods to choose from, such as the Pomodoro Technique, the Pareto Analysis, or even the Kanban Method. Not to mention the multitude of apps available that are focused on helping you focus on what you need to be doing. Do a little research, try some of the techniques and apps, or combinations of both, and find the rhythm that works best for you and your show. Once you’ve found your groove, continually put it into practice, and you’ll see the vast improvement in your productivity levels! And you’re likely to see great improvements in your podcast itself!
10. Write Things Down
Lastly, a really helpful way to stay organized and be more productive is to write down all that you need to do and all those things you want to remember. Trying to keep everything in your head is just a recipe for disaster! Think about your PC when too many tabs are open ‒ eventually, it just freezes, and can’t (or won’t!) perform even the simplest of tasks. If you write everything down, you free up your mind to fully focus on the task at hand, ensuring that you can get it done efficiently and with excellence. Get yourself a daily planner, a desk calendar, or a bullet journal (or all of the above) and use it as the place to store all the things you need to remember, from your shopping list to your episode ideas. Having them safely stored for when you need them, you’ll be able to give your full attention to whatever it is you are doing which, in turn, will help maximize your productivity.
Keeping your productivity levels at an all-time high will go a long way to making your show a success. When you are functioning at your best, you’ll be able to give your best to each task you tackle, and so productivity is actually the by-product of forming good working habits, just like the ones mentioned above. Boosting your podcasting productivity means working smarter, not harder so that you’ve got the time you need to accomplish all you’ve set out to achieve. You’ll benefit, your show will benefit, and your listeners will benefit from you performing at your A-game. Incorporate these habits into your daily routine and you’ll be amazed at all you’re able to accomplish in the rest of the year.
1. Sleep Foundation – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times
2. HowSleepWorks – https://www.howsleepworks.com/sleep-hygiene-reduce-stress-level
3. Get Sleep – http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood
4. Psychology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-social-thinker/201712/sleep-it-boost-your-creativity