- Identify your Goal
- Identify the key driving tasks
- Prototype a Routine: Plan your Work
- Do a Try-Run of your routine: Work on your plan
- Asses your week: how did you do?
- Create an Inspiring Environment:
- All Systems go: Every day or throw it away!
Like a lot of us, I’m inherently with what seems to be a lot of potential. But in the past I’ve let decades slip past, even as a spent my time earning degrees, reading books, and taking courses. But I’ve never REALLY moved the needle on my goals. I’ve let time slip because I didn’t do the hard things that needed to be done.
Whether you’re running a vlog, a blog, a TikTok, or an Instagram, one of the key components to success is being productive. But productivity isn’t just efficiency. Productivity isn’t just getting a lot of tasks done. We need to identify the important tasks, and then do them daily. Identifying Key Tasks, and finding ways to complete them every day, every week, every month, every year, is the ultimate driver of success.
Identify your Goal
What is your ultimate goal? I like starting with a goal that you can accomplish in a year with the best effort. This is where a SMART goal should come in. Choose a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
I have done this a lot over the years, but the key missing piece for me has been not completing the important tasks. Not sticking to the ‘timebound’ part of the goal because of lack of progress and then quitting.
I would have the task of putting out 2 long-form videos per week for my channel, but I would get sidetracked by setting up a studio, buying new gear, creating scripts, and cleaning up my office. But at the end of the day and weeks, I accomplished a lot of things, but not the important things that would drive my goal.
Identify the key driving tasks
As a youtube shorts creator or TikToker, you should aim to put out multiple pieces of content PER day. You should design your process so that this can be done. Divide what you need to complete by the end of the year into months, weeks, and days. This will give you a metric (and recipe) of how many things you have to accomplish every day or week to succeed.
Prototype a Routine: Plan your Work
Write down an outline for a daily routine for the week. I think the ideal method is to use a checklist of 3 items that help you accomplish your daily goal. Write down as a story how you will do this on an ideal day. Now write down a second narrative of how you will accomplish this on a non-ideal day. These two perspectives will give you a framework to work with when you run into it.
Do a Try-Run of your routine: Work on your plan
For a week give your plan a dry run. During this test week, you aren’t focusing on 100% completing everything to perfection. You just want to get something like 75% result. The focus here is going through your task-list or through your narrative to accomplish your key-tasks for the day and the week. If you get to even 50% of that blog post done and ready to publish, just count it as being completed for this week for the next exercise.
For this week, it’s helpful to log everything you do as well as journal every day. You want to capture what happens through the week, and your thought process.
Asses your week: how did you do?
At the end of the week. See how you did compared to your key-metrics. Were you able to do a blog post a day, or two for the week? If yes…Great! Consider this a good plan to go with for the future. And just remember, plans can always be altered.
If you didn’t accomplish your goals, ask yourself….why not? Did you at least try to type those 2000 words a day every day? Or did you get stuck brushing your teeth in the morning? Did you film 4 TikToks? Or did you just scroll other people’s TikToks instead?
Pretend what you accomplished this week stretches to infinity. If you did what you did last week for the rest of the year, would you accomplish anything? Make some adjustments to your plans based on this info. Maybe your day needs to be resigned. Or maybe your day is fine, but you just need motivation to get out of bed. Do another Try-run until you’re satisfied.
Create an Inspiring Environment:
Your surroundings can significantly impact your creativity and productivity. Designate a space that inspires you and fuels your imagination. It could be a dedicated workspace, a cozy corner in your favorite café, or a spot in nature. Surround yourself with things that motivate you, such as artwork, books, or motivational quotes. A supportive environment can make all the difference in sparking your creative flow. At the very least….clean up your space.
All Systems go: Every day or throw it away!
Every day or throw it away is a phrase I tell myself to work on goals every day. If I don’t, I’m just throwing it away. Here’s a small series of tips to get the day going
Eat that frog
Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
Get rid of that task that gives you dread right at the beginning of the day. You have the most energy and willpower at the beginning of the day. The one caveat about this approach though is you may put off all the other tasks waiting behind it until you finish the Frog-task. If the frog-task is truly un-startable, at the very least break it into pieces until you have a part you can start. After a while, your threshold will get stronger as you gain more confidence in being able to complete this task.
Minimize distractions that can hinder your creative process. Turn off notifications on your phone, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and create a clutter-free workspace. Consider using website blockers or productivity apps to stay focused.
Follow the routine you designed
Establish a consistent routine that incorporates dedicated time for creating. Set aside specific hours each day or week to work on your project. Consistency is key to building momentum and maintaining productivity.
Time is a valuable resource, and managing it effectively is vital. Prioritize your tasks and allocate time for each project or creative endeavor. Experiment with time management techniques like the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking to enhance your focus and productivity. By structuring your time, you’ll achieve a better balance between creation, reflection, and rest.
Harness the Power of Experimentation:
Don’t be afraid to try new things and explore different creative avenues. Experimentation allows you to discover your unique style and voice. Embrace the joy of learning and be open to stepping outside your comfort zone. Remember, it’s through experimentation that you’ll uncover hidden talents and unlock your true creative potential. But no matter what, make sure you do your key-tasks first. Use experimentation as a reward after a job well done. If the experiment works, make it part of your routine.
Take Care of Yourself:
“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”
Self-care is the secret ingredient to sustainable creativity. As creators, we often neglect our well-being, thinking it’s a luxury we can’t afford. However, nurturing your mind, body, and soul is essential for maintaining productivity. Prioritize self-care activities like getting enough sleep, exercising, eating nourishing meals, and taking regular breaks. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
It’s crucial to identify what things need to get done to accomplish your goal. Personally, I didn’t realize my failure was from not doing the important (and difficult) things consistently, or in creating a routine to help me do them. Make your goals, identify your tasks, design, and continue to re-design your life around doing those tasks…this is the way.