A Geek's Guide to Productivity and Motivation

* This post was originally featured on The Student Affairs Hub.

Productivity is a fickle thing. It's objectively different for all of us (and our students) and what works best in terms of our personality (morning or night, at home or a coffee shop, etc.). Nevertheless, there are some general tips that can be beneficial to anyone as we all work towards getting the most we can out of each day.

1. Celebrate Each Little Milestone

A personal habit of mine is to have a little internal celebration for each of the small achievements I reach with any project. It could be a particular metric (views, downloads, etc.) or a specific first in my life (first guest post on my blog, or my first eBook). They don't have to be the best or the biggest, they just have to be important to you. Making sure to appreciate how far you've come, even when you're first starting, helps to motivate you when the going gets tough. I know that some of my projects have grown a lot over time, and it is nice to value all of the benchmarks along the way so that I don't forget where I came from.

2. Fall in Love with the Process

Something that can be difficult for a lot of people is the hard work that goes into all the details in something as simple as a blog post. It's awesome being able to share ideas with people, but before you get it out into the world as a blog post, you have to actually write, edit, choose a title, choose a header photo, format, pick categories and tags, and then you can push it out. Even then, you'll probably need to continue to promote the content to get it out to everyone you want to check it out. If you're not prone to wanting to put in the detailed work, you're most likely going to eventually give up since you don't want to do all the work that goes into whatever it is you're doing. You have to see how all the pieces come together and fall in love with the process to fully commit to any project you're undertaking.

3. Go Big (or Go Small)

When it comes to our to-do lists, there are the simple things we need to get done which may be incremental steps in a project, and then there are those big, ugly, hairy to-do list items that we'll do anything else possible to avoid. I totally can attest to these feelings and after reading some other articles on productivity (read my original thoughts here), I've found some helpful ways to combat never getting around to those pesky tasks we don't want to do, but should get to. On a given day, either commit to doing a bunch of little things (in order of priority) and have the momentum carry you through the get as many done as you can, or commit to just getting that one big task out of the way, and if you accomplish nothing else, at least you can feel satisfied in getting that one thing done.

Hopefully by following these general ideas you (or your students) can hack your productivity and crush whatever projects you're working on, big or small.

Thanks for stopping by!

2014 Year in Review: My First Full Year


"...you make time for what you want to make time for."

Now that the sun has finally set on 2014, it is due time to look back on the first full calendar year of the blog (!) and see where we have come. It has been a big year compared to 2013, especially since I've been willing and able to blog far more regularly now. I had almost 700 views in the fraction of 2013 I was blogging, and 2014 garnered almost 8,000 views which is a hugely awesome jump for the site which I am very grateful for.

In terms of posts, I kept regular with movie reviews, geek outs, and other random things for 2014. I had 177 posts over the year, which I hope to maintain at least that level of writing. I look forward to continuing creating a large library of posts to keep sharing out as "throwbacks", since this helps promote everything and gives me some breathing room on the weeks I'm light on new content (I highly recommend folks do this!).

Some reflections on the whole process though, it is definitely hard to write on those days when you're tired, creatively drained, or just busy and physically can't sit down to blog. I like to always say that you make time for what you want to make time for. I want to make time for this so I make the time in my life, even when it is a late night or weekend when I should just be lounging around or not working. I enjoy writing for this blog so it doesn't feel too taxing on me to do most of the time. My main takeaway for blogging this year is that you have to force it a bit until it becomes more habitual. The dedication and investment will pay off. I feel very happy and satisfied with the milestones I hit this first full year. It can be hard too when I feel like I should be doing more or worrying why more people aren't following or liking or commenting. It will take time and a huge part of success is just perseverance. I know that if I keep up with it, it will only go up from here in terms of achieving the goals I set for myself.

In terms of what is coming next for the blog, I hope to continue to promote the site regularly and get some guest posts from some cool geeks and nerds (if you're interested, please reach out!). I enjoy podcasting and it would be cool to do one for the site but I would want to build a bigger audience on the site first before I do a podcast or videos. I hope to read more books and do reviews for the site more often, since I feel like there is so much I want to get to and share.

Thank you to everyone that visited the site, liked, commented, shared, and found something fun and/or useful in what I posted. I look forward to continuing to serve up awesomely geeky stuff for you all!

All the best and Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by!