How to boost your content creation strategy while maintaining a good work life balance.
Creating content has become a game for me lately.
Right after I wake up, I take pleasure in writing something new. And just before going to bed, I find delight in brainstorming ideas and interacting with my followers. It became a routine I would hardly give up.
In December, I started a challenge to write an article each day for five days a week. I want to give my routine structure and fortify it, so I needed a system to create content consistently without draining my creativity juices too much.
Hence, here is the simple routine that I am using to increase my content output every day.
The Basic Rules of My Simple Content Routine
If you want to increase your content output and never run out of ideas, there are three rules you need to follow. First, don’t overcomplicate your routine — content creation is hard enough by itself. Second, keep creativity alive because, without ideas, you won’t create anything. And third, days off are sacred. Staying away from content creation is hard. But if you break your days off, it can become even more dangerous.
Don’t over-complicate your routine.
Over-complication leads to abandonment. I learned it from my past experiences, and I shall not forget it easily.
Over-complication leads to abandonment.
If your routine is too intensive and requires too much work to remain consistent, it will fail. Your body will eventually refuse it, and you will lose every drop of interest in it. So there are a couple of things you need to keep track of when creating one. For example, don’t monitor too much or too in-depth.
While writing, I only keep track of two things — the words counter and timer. But in the past, I also tracked how my article could relate to other pieces, which links to add, what research I had, and what investigation still needed to be done. These activities, however, over-complicate your routine with unnecessary steps. You can do research and link-building before or after writing, and they cannot interrupt content creation.
Also, don’t use too many applications to track your progress — one is enough. If you use many, you will have problems keeping them consistent if they don’t synchronize automatically. So you will lose time synchronizing them manually instead of creating content.
For example, I only use Notion to create content. And there, I can track everything without losing time switching between different applications.
Keep creativity alive.
Keeping creativity alive is the true challenge of content creation because if you don’t have any new ideas, you will hardly produce something interesting.
Keeping creativity alive is the true challenge of content creation.
Content creation requires consistency, but creativity hates it. So one of the biggest problems of creators is mixing up order and chaos to create a productive environment for growing ideas.
Using a routine improves your consistency, so how do you improve creativity?
There are many ways.
According to Oppezzo and Schwartz, simple actions, as walking, can relax your body and boost your mood to improve the creativity flow. So if you want to keep creative juices flowing, taking short walks can be a fast solution.
Another way of improving creativity is through guided imagination sessions. A study led by Monica Garfield showed how people guided through a fantasy story increased their levels of originality and flexibility.
To adopt this paradigm, you can read books from different genres, questioning yourself on the many described situations. What would you have done? How would you have reacted?
Days off are sacred.
Usually, routines do not take breaks. If you want to develop a habit but break it, you will damage the pattern itself and never become consistent. But things work differently with content creation.
Creating content every day is demanding. If you write every day, you could run out of ideas, and your routine could weaken. Hence, in these cases, days off are a prerequisite.
Days off are a prerequisite of consistent content creation.
A simple way to improve your routine and increase your content output is to improve your breaks effectiveness. This includes taking breaks both when you create and when you do not.
For example, my routine challenges me to write five articles per week. So if I write one new piece per day, I have two days off a week, like most jobs. This allows me to recreate, relax, and generate ideas for new content without forcing myself. So I never break those days off by creating content, not even for unfinished articles that could benefit a small revise.
The Routine of my Content Creation Strategy
Building a routine for creating content has to respect the three rules above, but besides that, you can do it as it fits you better. In the following paragraphs, I will explain the routine I have been using to increase my content output every day, so that you can steal a few ideas from it.
My main routine splits into three parts. The first one tracks morning activities, the second my interaction of content creation platforms, and the third enhances creativity reflow.
The morning routine is for creation.
In the morning, I wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. when nobody is awake yet.
The silence inspires me to write better, and I have no distractions keeping me from producing content.
I take my laptop, sit comfortably, and start reading the outline of an article I have already prepared previously. If necessary, I change it a bit or integrate paragraphs I forgot about. Then, I start the first writing session, which lasts, on average, for an hour.
At 7 a.m, I take a break and have breakfast. It doesn’t matter if the article is finished yet. I need to eat to continue creating. And then, at 7:30, I start the second writing session for another hour.
Most of the time, I allocate this time for editing my articles and getting them ready for publication. When I use the power hour technique, this happens frequently. But there are occasions when the piece is long and demanding, so I have to continue writing.
Around 8:30–9 a.m, the creation routine ends because I have to go to work. So if any other idea rumbles around my mind, I use this time to take notes and pursue it later.
The afternoon routine is for interaction.
Right after I get out of work, I take some time to interact with my followers on my social media accounts. This includes scheduling tweets for the next few days, answering questions on Quora, or planning and creating infographics for my Pinterest account. I also outline ideas for the articles I will write in the next few days.
The routine usually finishes with a running session that feeds my creativity. However, since I can’t run every day, sometimes I go for a walk around the neighborhood.
I try to switch paths as much as I can to enhance attention requirements and trigger a sensation of discovery. So when I come back home, I am both hungry and ready for the evening routine.
The evening routine is for relaxation.
After dinner, I enter a low-productivity state of mind that relaxes me and sparkles creativity. From this moment until I go to sleep, I become more of a consumer than a producer.
I try to read books or articles or watch videos on Youtube on different subjects and curiosities. My favorite channels are Kurzgesagt and Thoughty2, which make videos on fascinating topics of psychology, space exploration, history, etc. Every time I watch one of their videos, I keep my idea journal at my side because they always give me new perspectives to explore. However, I never go too in-depth with those ideas. I just take simple notes, which I will explore the day after.
If you want to build a simple routine that can increase your content output, respect the three most important rules of content creation.
First, don’t over-complicate your routine with useless tracking and monitoring. Use your time mindfully, and don’t waste it on synchronizing productivity software.
Second, keep creativity alive. Here, everyone has its ways, so you can do it as you please, but remember to keep your mind in constant movement to never run out of ideas for your content.
And third, take days off. Your brain needs a pause from time to time. You cannot produce content consistently every day. So plan your days off, and get away from content creation for a little.
If you respect these rules, you can create a simple routine that increases your content output. You can split it into sub-routines, as I did, or you switch things up. It has to work for you and you only, so try to figure out what you like or dislike and stick to it.
This was the routine that I have been using to increase my content output every day.
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