The Tao of Content Productivity
I’m writing this on the day that my 3rd book is being launched.
Some people wonder how I can get so much done, especially content, when I’m a 1-person team (haven’t had a virtual assistant for more than 6 months.)
In this post I'll explain the key factors to my productivity.
Here’s what I have on my plate:
- I run a 40-client Group Coaching program — 2 calls per week, and an active online group.
- 18 One-to-One Clients — Most meet with me once per month, and I’m maxed out of appointment slots at the moment.
- I create 1 new online course each month.
- I write 2 new blog posts per week.
- I make a 15–30m video accompanying each post.
- I send out a weekly email newsletter.
- My email gets cleared to inbox zero each day.
- I recently started a side project building a new audience/business in the niche of spiritual coaching.
- I do all of my own admin, bookkeeping, tech, emails, and writing. The only thing I outsource once in awhile is the occasional graphic design for a book or social media cover image.
As a 1-person team, a true solopreneur, I do all of the above in just 35 hours per week.
My Personal Life is Very Simple
I’m very fortunate to have a low-drama personal life, that requires little energy from me.
I’m married with a supportive wife, and I have a dog and two cats. My little family provide the personal interactions that fulfill my heart.
As a result, I’ve chosen to have no local friends (since I never attend anything, I no longer get invited to social gatherings). My parents don’t live nearby, but I plan trips to see them a few times a year. I do however help out my local neighbors every now and then.
It seems like compared to most people, I have lower requirements for human social activities… I’m pretty much a hermit.
This means almost all of my mental and emotional energy can be channeled into my business. This is where I find my adventure, creativity, drama (in a good way), and joy.
Those of you who either caretake for the young or old — and you have to work — I am impressed by your energy and ability to do it all, truly. You have my respect!
On the other hand, there are other people like me with a simple life, who aren’t getting much done. The difference?
- Low-drama / low-energy requirements in my personal life, which allows me the energy and passion to give to my business.
- Scheduled output of content, no matter what.
- The practice of ignoring the inner critic.
I’ve described the first point already, so let me describe the others:
Scheduled Output of Content, No Matter What.
I stick to my rhythm of output — the items I outlined in the bullet points at the top of this article.
My rhythm might not be right for you, so it’s important for you to figure out what is personally sustainable for you, given how much time you have, especially if you have family requirements or social obligations.
It will take some experimentation to settle on a rhythm that produces enough to fulfill your goals, and yet is doable for your schedule.
Then, the key is to stick to your rhythm, without excuses. This may mean that you need to repair your relationship to deadlines.
Without deadlines, very little gets done in this world. Without deadlines, few people would pay taxes or any bills. Civic services wouldn’t work. Businesses wouldn’t operate reliably. Your income becomes erratic.
Deadlines are a wonderful thing, especially for free spirits. With personal deadlines (i.e. self-discipline) emerges true freedom. I am able to plan when I work, what work I do, whom I do the work with, how long my vacations are, etc… all that freedom and autonomy emerges out of self-discipline, i.e. deadlines.
I’ve learned to bring joy to my deadlines and my work.
It also helps to have a structure of human accountability.
Here’s how I do that:
- I let my audience know when to expect what from me. See the bullet point list at top of this article!
- I use Focusmate several hours every work day, including this very moment of writing this article.
I don’t judge my own work.
I am not a reliable judge of my own creative work.
None of us are.
You think something you’ve created is awesome, yet you might find that few other people think it’s great. On the other hand, some ideas that are obvious to you, other people are amazed at how valuable it is, when you’re willing to say it or create it.
So in the realm of creating content or products, I have learned to ignore my fears and inner critic. It is not a one-time task.
Ignoring fear and inner criticism is an ongoing practice. I had to ignore my fear that this article isn’t good enough. I had to ignore my inner critic that my books aren’t good enough.
To some people, my books are great! To others, my books aren’t that good. I don’t care what they say. I publish anyway.
I don’t care about specifically who likes or doesn’t like my output.
I do care about the overall stats. I visit my analytics occasionally, to see which pieces of content did well, and which didn’t, and what that pattern can teach me about what content to create next.
I also care about constructive feedback that I receive from my ideal clients and fans. All of it helps me to improve.
But I don’t care about the reactions of any specific person.
The bottom line is that I keep practicing ignoring criticism, inner or outer.
I don’t let anything stop me from my rhythm of output, my schedule of creation.
May you also find a rhythm of creativity that works for you.
May you stick with it, no matter what!
May you find yourself in your own tao of content productivity.