I have just had THE BEST few days at the ProBlogger Training Event 2015. For those not in the know, this is an annual shindig for bloggers.
Over 700 bloggers.
By which I mean about 685 women and 15 men. Ok, so apparently there were closer to 50 men, but I know I only saw the same 15 over and over… and they weren’t all hanging out in the men’s loo, because one of their two was converted into an extra one for all. the. women.
Yes, the noise level was LOUD!
Yes, there was lots of socialising.
Yes, there was lots of laughter – with old friends and new.
Yes, there was lots of fantastic food (thank you RACV Royal Pines!)
And yes, of course there was vino.
And amongst all the fun and sparkling wine, I learnt a few things.
So my top 3 takeouts from ProBlogger 2015 were:
1. Work out your WHY
Darren Rowse opened the conference with a fabulous presentation on wellness. I absolutely loved how he spoke about how the health of your blog is directly related to your personal health, and he shared what he has done to improve his health over the last year.
He also spoke about finding your WHY. This gives direction, purpose and clarity to what you want from blogging, but also from life.
Jadah Sellner (one of my four favourite speakers of the event), from Simple Green Smoothies, encouraged us to say our dreams out loud. To take imperfect action. To identify what we want to be known for. To start moving people to action rather than pushing people to products. To lean into love.
2. Value your time and use it wisely
While I’m a bit too scared to download the app Rescue Time (hello twitter!), I have taken action to use my time more wisely.
Darren talked a lot about this (favourite speaker #2), and Carly Jacobs (Smaggle) and Chrissy Butcher (Hair Romance and Mr&Mrs Romance) – favourite speakers #3 and #4 – introduced me to some fabuloso productivity tools. I’ve always been easily distracted, so I really like these tips to stay on track and to focus:
- set a goal, and then chunk it back to what you need to do each month/week/day until you achieve it. While I’ve done this with a lot of life goals, I hadn’t thought to do it with something such as increasing my instagram likes or newsletter signups. And I have no idea why not…
- make space for your creativity. How clever is THIS. Block time in your schedule for all the things you have to do – client work, exercise, social media time and CREATIVE time! Make it a priority to create new blog posts, to take photos, to walk outside and think of nothing (that’s when my ideas strike).
- batch tasks by like. Batch writing blog posts, batch client work, batch editing photos, batch time to update all your social media tools, batch time to experiment with cooking and recipe development.
- know your best hours to work. I’m actually not sure of these when I don’t have a deadline. Because of that easily distracted thing.
- use a scheduling tool – I’ve been experimenting with 52:17 (thanks Carly!). Work on a task for 52 minutes (yes, I set a timer), then do something non-screen related for 17 minutes. Go for a quick walk, talk to the chickens, take a few photos, have a cup of tea and call a girlfriend (but set the timer!). After two days I still feel focused and ridiculously brain-alive at 3pm. Unlike most days when I’m ready to nap.
- never sit down at your desk without knowing what you are going to do. Sit with a purpose, and focus on the task.
- set monthly goals and daily action lists. No more than three items on the daily list, as these will be possible to complete. Add a fourth if the three tasks are finished more quickly than you expected. Bye bye action lists with 27 tasks. OK so yesterday I only did one thing on my list. I’m still getting used to this!
- write out a list of 100 blog topics – that way you won’t get stuck for ideas when you do sit down at your desk.
3. Decide on THE ONE THING
Darren wrapped up ProBlogger this year by asking us all to decide one thing we would do after the event. It doesn’t need to be a big thing. Small changes can have a bit impact.
My lovely friend Annette Jones and I had been talking about starting a podcast for a few weeks. Inspired by other podcasters we listen to, know and love. This is our one thing. We have a planning day booked in and we are PUMPED! We know our topic, now we just need to flesh it out. And before you ask, it isn’t to do with food or travel!
Were you are ProBlogger this year? What was your ONE THING? Do you have any great little productivity tips?
I’d just like to add a huge thanks to Darren and his team, everyone at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast who sponsored and hosted the event, and the other event sponsors, Olympus, Virgin Australia and Telstra. It was a sensational couple of days, and I’m really glad I decided to go again this year. And yes, in case anyone is wondering, I paid my way.