Optimizing Your SEO Work Flow

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When used properly, the Internet can allow you to be extremely productive.  Unfortunately, when it’s not used properly, the Internet can completely kill your productivity.  While tools like IM and Twitter can be useful, more often than not, they simply turn into a distraction.  Because those tools are constantly pulling you away from your current task, it ends up taking you much longer to complete a task than it should.  In order to increase your productivity and decrease the amount of time you waste on the Internet, you need to focus on optimizing your SEO work flow.

In order to optimize your work flow, you first need to define the tasks that you need to complete for your employer or clients.  While it’s easy to get distracted by the countless social media websites you are a member of, you’re usually not going paid to spend your time in those places (unless you are working on a specificially defined project).

Once you have defined what it is that you actually need to get done, it’s time to start working.  To maximize your productivity, here are two tools that will help you maintain a very productive SEO work flow:

Jott

Of all the to-do list applications that are available, I’ve found Jott to be the most useful.  Now that you have defined the tasks that you need to complete, you need to put them into a to-do list.  Jott allows you to type in your tasks, or you can also use their voice-to-text feature to add items to your to-do list.  By simply calling their number, you can say the task you need to complete, and Jott will transcribe your voice and add it to your to-do list.

Jott also allows you to give items priority, so you can organize your to-do list and place the truly important items at the top.  As you complete tasks, you can cross them off of your to-do list.  If you have an iPhone and download the free Jott app, you can actually use your finger to cross items off your list.

In addition to being a to-do list, Jott has some other very useful features.  Jott’s voice-to-text feature can also be used to record notes to yourself (up to thirty seconds long).  I’ve found that this is very useful when I get a new idea while working on a different project.  Instead of getting distracted from my current project, I simply Jott myself a quick note about my new idea, and then I can come back to it later once I’ve completed my current list of tasks.

Jott also allows you to set reminders for yourself.  Whether you want to be notified via phone or email, any item that you add to a Jott list can be assigned a reminder.  Instead of constantly being distracted by trying to remember an upcoming lunch or meeting, simply create a Jott about it, set a reminder and Jott will ensure that you don’t forget to show up for that specific event.

I’ve found that the best way to use Jott to optimize my SEO work flow is by creating a new list every night.  As my day is coming to an end, I use Jott to create my to-do list for the next day.  This allows me to clear my mind and enjoy my evening, and when I get up the next day, I can get started right away with what needs to be done.

RescueTime

As I discussed at the beginning of this post, all of the distractions that are available on the Internet can significantly impair your productivity.  Many times, we think we are working on productive tasks much longer than we actually are.  However, it’s now possible to automatically track how much time you are spending on different applications and websites.

Think of RescueTime as Google Analytics for your daily routine.  Once you sign-up for a free account, you will download the tracking program onto your computer.  When you open the program, it will begin tracking what you are doing on your computer.  Whether it’s TechMeme, e-mail, your RSS reader, IM or any other application or website, RescueTime will log exactly what you are spending your time doing in front of your computer.

As it begins collecting data, it will begin organizing into different easy to read lists and graphs.  RescueTime allows you to tag applications and websites, so if there are a group of destinations you work on together to complete a specific task, you can tag them and see how much total time you are spending.  You can also assign different values to your tags, and RescueTime will be able to begin rating your productivity levels.  If you are worried about privacy concerns, RescueTime has a lot of customizable privacy settings, so you will be able to use it without worrying about giving up too much personal information.

At the end of each week, you should take some time to review your stats for the previous week.  If you notice that you are spending more time on certain distractions than you should be, you need to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of time you are spending on that specific application or website.  If you need a little extra motivation to stay away from those distractions, create a couple of Jott reminders about staying on track and send them to yourself throughout the week.

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