Have you ever tried seasonal productiveness?
I’ve always tried to increase my productivity to generate as much content as possible. And the process I use is always the same, even if with some structural differences. I have an idea, and I note it. Then, when I feel ready, I write about it.
However, after so many published articles, I started to notice a pattern in my productivity. Sometimes, I generate a lot of content. Some other times, I write fewer articles but more ideas. And sometimes, I do both on average.
But since I want to optimize everything, I tried to model this pattern to understand when to force myself into producing content and when to work less and let the stream of ideas overflow my mind. So I came up with a concept that we are all familiar with, seasons, and built the model of seasonal productiveness.
Here is how it works.
The cycle of productivity
Each of us has an internal productivity system, which works for content as for everything else. Sometimes, we can work for hours without taking any pauses and without feeling exhausted. But there are moments in which even working for a couple of minutes stresses us.
We call those moments burnouts. But most of the time, they are only a transitional phase of our body.
It is impossible to remain productive for such a long time. So our body uses all kinds of protection to save us from burnout. For example, it tires us and makes us lose motivation, building bad habits that prevent us from working. And we need to recognize those moments, so we can take healthier breaks and optimize our productivity.
What is seasonal productiveness?
If you want to understand these internal cycles, think of your productivity as the sequence of seasons.
During summer, your productivity peaks, and you can work without taking too many breaks. But then, entering the autumn, productivity lowers, and you have more time to dedicate to other things. In this period, you start appreciating others’ products because you feel like yours is imperfect.
When winter arrives, productivity falls incredibly, and you become an avid consumer. You want to become better, so you turn to the people you have always considered the best. And finally, spring comes. You successfully improved your product, and you feel reborn. So productivity rises again, but you also keep consuming ideas because you need them to remain productive.
So let’s see how to enhance each of these seasons to increase productivity and generate more content.
Spring — The season of experimentation
Spring is the season in which to start new projects or improve old ones. Outdated ideas are reborn and reshaped under other semblances, and you feel the strong drive of passion igniting your productivity.
However, new plans are also demanding, so there will be obstacles in your productivity scores. Your content still suffers inexperience or old habits you want to remove. So you also consume a lot of content to find new ways of improving your final product and deliver the best content ever.
Medium productivity and a medium interest in exciting ideas.
What to do:
- Give yourself time, and try to adapt your content step by step.
- Use this period to experience as much as possible. Practice different styles or crafting techniques to diversify your content, then extract one central concept you like about each of them.
- Plan your next moves, so you will be ready when summer arrives.
What to avoid:
- Don’t rush into anything or try too many things at a time. If you do, you won’t recognize which technique improved the final result the most.
Summer — The season of perfectionism
Summer is the season where your productivity rises, so you can produce a lot of content in a short amount of time. You found something you loved creating, and you fell in love with the process. So you stop consuming other ideas and work exclusively on yours.
However, even if you have a great collection of ideas you produced in the previous seasons, you are not widening it. This is because you stopped consuming content, so you don’t expose yourself to perspectives or opinions that differ from yours.
High productivity, but low amount of new ideas.
What to do:
- Exploit this season to create a database of content that you can use when winter arrives.
- Even if you feel unstoppable, plan your breaks with the same attention you plan your content.
- Find your perfect productivity system, but make sure to make it customizable and controllable to spot possible exhaustion.
What to avoid:
- Don’t break your schedule. If you should relax, but you feel bored, don’t use content creation as an escape. You need to avoid burnout as much as possible, or your internal system will collapse.
- Don’t stop studying other ideas, or you will fossilize on the same concepts, and your content will become multiple copies of the same topic.
Autumn — The season of doubt
Summer is a great moment to increase your productivity and generate more content. But the more you create, the harder you try to reach perfection, which is impossible. This triggers a counter-reaction in your brain, and you start doubting your craft.
Somehow, your hope crumbles, and you start looking for new ideas and techniques to improve your work.
Your productivity has reached an equilibrium, and you keep delivering. But you limit your satisfaction to what needs to be done and stop getting excited by your ideas.
Medium productivity, but an increased interest in new ideas.
What to do:
- Use strict schedules and techniques that help you to produce content even when you feel like procrastinating. For example, you could try the power hour or motivation enforcers.
What to avoid:
- Don’t use content from your reserve yet or, if you do, make sure to replace that content as soon as possible. If you skip producing content already, you won’t be able to survive winter.
Winter — The season of crisis
Winter is the necessary pause our body needs after producing that much content. You squeezed all the creative juice from your brain, so you need to take some time to make it refill now.
But this is not wasted time. You can finally read the last novel you bought, empty your watching list on Youtube, or explore new ideas and blogs. You can learn about what other people are doing, what they are producing, and what you could add to your content to improve it. So take time to note everything down because you will use it eventually.
Low productivity, but the highest interest in new ideas.
What to do:
- Take this time to relax and prepare yourself for the next season.
- Consume as many ideas as possible, and keep an idea journal, so you can note every unique concept that caught your attention.
- Use techniques that improve your creativity, such as flashcards or boredom techniques.
What to avoid:
- Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot produce something you like. You can use the content you previously created to remain relevant to your public.
- If you don’t have any reserves of content, don’t panic. Just announce to your followers that you are taking a break. They will understand.
Seasonal productiveness is a model that explains the cycle your body follows when you are producing content. But this system has nothing to do with external seasons.
Usually, when it’s winter, I have the summer inside, and I can create so much content in such a short time. However, as summer approaches, my productivity goes through the winter season because I have so many things to do that I can’t find the time to produce content. So I prefer to create less and consume more while traveling or relaxing on the beach.
So it doesn’t matter how your cycle synchronizes with the external seasons, but you have to understand that your productivity will go through some phases. Sometimes, you will feel productive and willing to work incessantly. But there will be moments in which you won’t feel the same power, and you have to accept it.
The faster you recognize those productivity seasons, the better you will adapt to any situation. And this is how to increase your productivity overall to generate more content than ever.
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