I've talked a lot about things you don't have to do and things you shouldn't believe about building a successful blog and online business. And I believe so strongly in all of those.
But reality is there are things you shouldn't be doing, and I'd be holding back on you if I didn't point those out. So in the spirit of all sides of the story, here are the most common mistakes I see new bloggers and business owners making when it comes to their own productivity:
Spending too much time on social media
Let's face it: we're all guilty of this one. It's very easy to think you're going to find all of your readers and clients on social media and therefore excuse yourself if you're spending hours a day on your favorite platforms.
But here's the reality: those platforms are incredibly distracting, and you can easily get done what you need to get done in an hour or 2 a day. And when you don't do that you're taking away from time you should be spending talking (live) to potential customers, working on your blog, setting up tech, whatever.
Not giving yourself a schedule
Here's the deal: there is so much freedom in restraint. When I first started my business I was burned out and had no desire to be on a schedule after spending 20 years having my working hours dictated by employers. Which means I promptly got absolutely nothing done. For a year.
When I finally gave in and gave myself the most basic of schedules (I literally only committed to focused work for 90 minutes a day) everything became so much easier. I worked more. I magically had more time to work out and get outside (because I wasn't spending all day thinking about how I SHOULD be working). I started to find the momentum I'd been searching for.
Trust me: give yourself a schedule, however tiny. You'll feel freedom in it, not restraint.
Forgetting to make real in-person connection
When you start working online it's tempting to think you'll never have to have a real life conversation again. Wrong. Just like any business you need real human connections to inspire you, connect you with others who can help you and provide valuable feedback.
When I finally started connecting with other small business owners, both online and off, worlds I never imagined started opening for me. Don't shut yourself in - reach out.
Getting lost in someone else's model
It's easy to lust after what's working for someone else. We hear their stories all over the place and the simplest trap to fall into is to assume that what works for someone else will work for you.
Again, not true. We're all different and we're all set up for different means of success. Experiment with different models and you'll find the one that works for you.
Waiting too long to invest in tech and thinking this is all going to be free
This is probably the biggest productivity suck of them all. Over and over we invest in our own education and self care to the tune of thousands of dollars but then balk at the idea of spending $100 on a basic piece of software.
Here's the deal: if you're building a business online you need to invest in the best technology you can. When you don't you end up spending hours upon hours trying to figure out how to work around the things you don't have in place, or you miss out on opportunities because you can't accommodate them.
Invest in your tech and stop assuming it should all be free. Instead be grateful that the technology exists to allow you to do what you want to do. Compared to the costs involved in running a local brick + mortar business and it's a steal.