3 Productivity Tips for Bloggers - Campfire Chic

You have your long list of things to tackle today, right? It’s probably pretty daunting, but you’re ready to get going. I’m the same way…I have my long list of tasks and errands and I’m pumped to get them started and I usually crash and burn after the second or third thing on the list. Let me tell you, housework is not usually at the top of that list, so it gets ignored. Day after day.

Why do I crash and burn? Because I’m using up too much of my decision-making-power and not putting the tasks I can quickly finish at the top of my priority list. I’m putting things without an end on the list first, totally setting myself up for disaster.

So here’s how I’m going to change things, and maybe it will change how you tackle your to do list.

3 Productivity Tips

Do the dishes first

The best piece of advice I heard over the past few months (at least the piece that stuck with me) is to do the dishes before starting on your work.

Yes. Do the dishes.

The dishes need to be done anyway, there is an end point, it doesn’t take a lot of decision-making-power to complete the task, and you’ll have a “win” under your belt before you even get to your task list! There are other bonuses like: your cereal bowl will be clean by the time you need a snack and that fresh smell of clean dishes will waft through your home as a reminder that you’re a badass. For more on this idea, listen to Episode 79 of Smart Passive Income Podcast, which included 8 tips for productivity.

What is due next?

This is another piece of advice from a podcast. This time, I was listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable (a scrapbooking/memory-keeping podcast) and Ali Edwards was one of the guests. I can’t remember what episode it was (and there doesn’t seem to be any transcripts available for me to search), but I believe each guest was going around and describing their workflow – how they keep up with deadlines, launching new products, staying on top of their responsibilities, etc. And Ali stated (very matter-of-factly) “whatever is due next”. You could hear everybody on the podcast stop and have their minds blown by the super simple plan. What’s due next? This? Okay, I’ll work on this.

This totally helps me out when I have too many irons in the fire and maybe overestimated my ability to get guest posts, interview requests, and my regular work done on a short schedule. It doesn’t give me a lot of wiggle room when trying to procrastinate on projects and it helps me focus on what is actually due now rather than what is due in a few weeks.

What can I finish in 20 minutes?

I read a similar line on My Life as a Teacup (Kristin only gives herself 2 minutes, which is pretty badass) and I had one of those “ohhhhhh” moments. Just like doing the dishes, this piece of advice practically guarantees me that I’ll have some “wins” rather than not actually completing anything by the end of the day. I can fold and put away laundry in 20 minutes. I can respond to blog comments, send out a guest blog post pitch, fill up my Buffer, clean the shower, or go and check the mail (our mailbox is kind of far away). Those are all things that have an end point, which is exactly what I need from time to time.

It’s no surprise that productivity advice sticks in my head more than others lately. I’m doing so much better at staying off of my computer during the week so I can spend more time creating, packing lunches, and spending time with friends and family. So much better than a year ago. These small tips have helped me go from working/”working” on my computer from 6 – 11:30 every night to working for a handful of hours on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday nights instead. There have been some ups and downs with my shift in workflow – the March #30Lists is coming up on me a lot faster than I expected, I was about a week late to sending a guest blog post to somebody…but the dishes are always clean, Alex and I have our lunches packed the night before, and I’m spending way more time “being social” than this time last year.

What is the best piece of advice you received recently?


Get a Business Coach - Campfire Chic

I have a confession: I make a lot of excuses.

Excuses to avoid doing housework. Excuses to not launch new products. Excuses to not workout.

So many excuses.

Also…I’m scared. I’m scared and hide behind my excuses. I use my excuses to stay sheltered and safe. It’s one of the biggest reasons I chose BRAVE as my One Little Word for the year. It’s helping me try new things, like acknowledging my excuses and getting help with them.

One of the brave things I did recently was get a 90-minute coaching session with Katie Lee of The Small Change Project.

I was terrified and wanted to make a thousand excuses to not follow-through with the meeting, but I sucked it up, woke up early, and met with Katie last Friday to chat about things.

Without going into too many details, IT WAS 90 minutes of AWESOME.

Talking to somebody who doesn’t really know me, isn’t familiar with excuses, and somehow knows exactly what questions to ask so I answer my own questions was totally inspiring and mind-blowing all at once.

Why you should talk to somebody about your dreams and goals:

  • talking about your goals makes them feel more real
  • you may find the answers you were looking for
  • the other person may be able to help – you never know until you ask!
  • you shouldn’t have to keep it all to yourself, that’s a lot of pressure

I found it super helpful to talk to somebody who didn’t know me very well (Katie, in this case) when trying to figure out long-term goals, but I also know that I need somebody to talk to about short-term goals, and that’s when I go to somebody who does know me well – Amy of Lemon and Raspberry (who only has 1 spot available through the end of the year, so you better get on that).  Going to somebody who knows me well makes me feel more accountable and like I truly have somebody on my team.

My brave challenge for you: book time with a coach (Katie and Amy are fantastic, seriously) to take a brave step in the right direction to realize your goals. Consider it an investment in your dreams.



Sometimes I sit down to brainstorm blog posts or new products or some sort of new campaign and my mind is blank…but when I’m sitting in a waiting room, I’m struck with inspiration and scrambling to capture my ideas. It may be an idea for a guest blog post to pitch or simply a way to share my next adventure with readers so I don’t want to lose any of those ideas. It is important to me to not forget them because I’m the type to dwell on knowing that I had an idea and promptly forgot what it was.


3 Ways to Capture Your Inspiration by Campfire Chic


You can’t plan out when inspiration will strike, but you can plan ahead so you’re ready to capture your ideas. Today, I am going to share three easy ways for you to capture your ideas while you are away from your desk/workspace.

Yellow legal pad

As a new fan of How I Met Your Mother, I was thrilled when Ted pulled out a yellow legal pad (and backup yellow legal pad) in P.S. I Love You in order to work out a big problem. Let’s start with the science behind using a yellow legal pad: studies show that color helps us remember things – hence why many teachers encouraged us to use colored index cards to make flash cards when we were younger. Having that pad available only for notes makes it part of a ritual or habit. You’ve set aside that specific thing for notes and brainstorming…don’t add your grocery list to it, it’ll throw things off. If you have a large enough bag, carry your legal pad with you and take it out when you reach the coffee shop just in case you have an idea and keep it handy while you work at home.

Go digital

Evernote and other apps are perfect for organizing your ideas. You are able to sync your accounts between devices so you can pull up that photo you took on your phone with your tablet. Evernote lets you organize voice recordings, text, and photos in handy folders so you can take a moment once a week to organize your thoughts and get things settled. By having an app that syncs, you don’t need to worry about forgetting your yellow legal pad at home – you probably have your phone or access to a computer most of the time, right? Another option? Email yourself! I do this all the time: I send myself a few emails with ideas for blog posts and open them up as I go and start drafting. I also send myself notes via email when I find articles online I want to share in an Essential Reading post. You’ll find my to do lists and deadline reminders in my inbox, as well.

Put it on your calendar

This works with paper and digital calendars, which is awesome. Say you come up with a few blog post ideas (5 ways to style a sparkly scarf, a dehydrated meal for backpacking, and a post showing off your recently decorated den) and don’t want to just write them down someplace to possibly be buried in your other amazing ideas (because your ideas are probably amazing, that’s why you have so many!). Plop those ideas onto your calendar ASAP. Use a pencil for your paper calendar if you’re like me and have issues committing to a finalized editorial calendar, or throw your ideas into your digital calendar and make it easy to move things around. Another tip: after you create the event in your digital calendar, add some notes to it! I like to outline some blog posts right away so I don’t forget where I was going with something (like 5 ways to live a more balanced life).


How do you capture inspiration when it strikes?
What do you do with your ideas once you’re able to sit down and evaluate things?


Summer Projects for Memory Keeping - Kid Friendly and Fast Projects


The Northern Hemisphere is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Summer: longer days, inspiration, more sun-filled memories to be kept someplace, and maybe even having children home more often during the week. My idea? Let’s dedicate summer to not only making memories, but let’s also dedicate a few quiet hours to some meaningful memory keeping…and by a few, I mean, let’s make this speedy. ‘Cuz ain’t nobody got time for hours of laborious scrapbooking.

Summer Project: Speedy & Meaningful Memory Keeping

  • Speed through a few partially-finished projects
  • Learn some new skills
  • Review and improve some phone photography

How can we do this? One of my favorite things about the internet is that I’ve been able to learn so much on a variety of subjects without needing to enroll in university classes. I just open up my laptop, pay some money to enroll in a class, and then I get to learn more about things like blogging, storytelling, setting goals, coding…the list goes on.


So let’s use the power of the interwebs to get our proverbial shit together and get some of our projects done and off our desks!


Not into scrapbooking? That’s cool, some of these classes/ebooks will appeal to bloggers, writers, crafters, and phoneography enthusiasts alike.


 The Phone Photography Project for iPhone and Android

 The Phone Photography Project: Through the month of July, participate in photo challenges, get inspiration, get help improving your phoneography skills, and connect with others. With the help of 32 instructors, participants will get 32 days of dozens of tips and tricks from the pros for taking better photos with your mobile-phone camera, app reviews for iPhone and Android, dozens of project ideas, hundreds of fellow students in a private classroom and on Instagram, giveaways, contests, discounts, bonus downloads, and more.

Find out more about The Phone Photography Project.

Hello Story by Ali Edwards - Projects for your summer

Hello Story by Ali Edwards: This 12-week workshop is fantastic for those of you looking for creative storytelling techniques to share more of your words and more of yourself in your memory-keeping. Ali will share 12 storytelling techniques, exclusive layout templates, specific weekly topics, videos, and more during the workshop. As a big fan of Ali’s work, I can’t wait to sign up for this workshop and hope to see some of you participating, as well.

Find out more about Hello Story by Ali Edwards.

For those of you looking to get some pages done in a short amount of time, Fashionably Fast may be the ebook for you:

Join the speediest scrapbooker on the block, May Flaum, as she joins forces with five of the fastest (and most fabulous) scrapbookers she knows in Fashionably Fast: 10 strategies for stylish, speedy scrapbook pages. This popular instructor has compiled her 10 best time-saving strategies, which are illustrated by 20 gorgeous scrapbook pages and accompanied with 30 minutes of exclusive video instruction! See how easy it can be to accelerate your scrapbooking process without sacrificing artistry.

Buy your copy of Fashionably Fast: 10 strategies for stylish, speedy scrapbook pages by May Flaum for only $9.99 here.


Fold It In: Self-Paced Accordion Mini-Album Workshop

FOLD IT IN by Kristin of rukrisitn papercrafts: I wrote about my involvement in the Fold It In workshop recently, and I’m still excited about it…I mean, I was seriously able to make a mini-album in no time at all and I already have ideas for other albums/cards/gifts using this workshop. This workshop also includes access to a private Facebook group so you can share your creations with others, get more inspiration for your own albums, and to make new crafty friends.

Buy your copy of the Fold It In self-paced accordion mini-album workshop for only $12.

Reasons to join these types of classes if you’ve never done it before

  • Meet others with similar interests
  • Inspiration
  • Motiviation – I paid for this, I better finish it
  • Attention from the instructor
  • A community
  • Being a part of something


What projects are you planning on working on this summer?

This post contains affiliate links to Big Picture Classes and RUKristin Papercrafts. Purchases made through these links support Campfire Chic. View the Disclosure Policy and Privacy Policy for more information. 


3 reasons to take a break from Campfire Chic

To do lists. Productivity hacks. Streamlining social media. Inbox zero. Deadlines. Updates. Notifications. A growing RSS feed. Pitches.


It’s enough to make your head explode.


So why not take a break?


I must be crazy, right? You’re just much too busy to step away from the computer/phone/tablet. I just can’t possibly understand. There are blog posts to be written, statuses to be updated, and emails to be answered! I do understand. That’s why I’m telling you this: It’s OK to take a break.


I’m not saying that you need a full break, but maybe it would do you good to take a step back over the weekend or to disconnect a few nights a week. I know it helps me! But maybe you need a few more reasons why…


3 reasons to take a break:

Help Avoid Burnout

You are amazing and fantastic. But there is such a thing as having too many irons in the fire. And it’s true that multitasking isn’t always the best solution. In an effort to avoid burnout and a possible complete freak out down the road, let’s take a break. It’s okay to say “no, thank you” to awesome opportunities. It’s okay to not have a blog post up on that random Thursday. It’s perfectly acceptable to not update your Instagram/Pinterest board/Twitter account for a few days. Focus on what needs to be done right now — Pinning that Paleo birthday cake can wait. Burnout gets messy, burnout leaves you in the sandpit disguised as quicksand, burnout is hard to overcome. Take a break.


Let People Miss You

BUT KAM, MY FANS!!” Look. Let people miss you. Recruit some guest bloggers for your site for a few days and let your readers miss you a little bit. Take a look at your Twitter and Instagram feeds…how often are you currently posting? Once an hour? Once every 15 minutes? Let’s leave your fans wanting a little bit more and you’ll find that you have some time to wash your hair or change the laundry. Your fans will still be there. Step back and take some time for yourself — maybe you’ll inspire your readers to do the same.


Live the Life You’re Busying Documenting

If you’re a blogger or other memory-keeper, it may be time to take a break from the message boards and chat rooms and to get back to doing what you’re trying to document…your LIFE. Turn off your push notifications and take your dog to the park, rent a kayak, go to the movies…something that forces you to disconnect for a while. Live that life you’re telling us about all the time! And you know what? feel free to not tell anybody about it…It is perfectly OK to be a blogger and not share every little piece of your life. It gets exhausting  your hands will thank you for the break from the keyboard, and your friends/family/partner will appreciate having you and the experience just between you two! Get out there and live.


What other reasons would you add to this list?