And no, it doesn’t matter whether you have a full-time job.
Great content creators seem so unreachable nowadays. And I often think they don’t belong with us humans anymore. But that’s wrong.
Today they might have millions of followers (and in their bank accounts). But there was a time when they were nobody too. And they strived to gain their first ten followers and were honored to interact with each of them.
I often think about those moments when I doubt my ability to become a great content creator.
There must have been a time when my favorite writers had a job too. And they couldn’t focus only on writing — they also needed to work to survive. How did they do it? What was their secret?
The Road From Average to Great
Since I started writing myself, I’ve been wondering about my unreachable idols.
How did they build a side hustle so big while still working in a full-time job?
First, I thought they worked day and night and sacrificed everything else. And some of them did. But not everyone.
The best ones found a method. A system that helped them increase their productivity in those few hours they had to create their masterpieces. And if you analyze a few articles online, you will discover the same thing.
The best content creators succeeded because they built two essential routines:
- One routine for high productivity (usually in the morning).
- And one for high-quality relaxation (usually in the evening).
So if you want to join the Olympus of content creators, you only need these two routines. But how can you build them?
The Productivity Problem
I’m a big fan of the 5 a.m. side hustle club, even if 6 a.m. is the best I can do. And I have to say that creating content in the morning saved my side hustle many times.
Since I finished my studies and found a full-time job, I’ve struggled to find the time to write articles. Not that I didn’t have it — I always had at least 5 hours of free time a day. But every time I got back home, I was exhausted.
Commuting and dealing with the struggles of a full-time job drains your energy. So you don’t have anything else to give at the end of the day. Also, content creation requires a lot of work and creativity. But you can’t be creative after stressing yourself out all day long.
So find another time when to make content. And mornings are the perfect fit for that.
How To Enhance Your Productivity in the Morning
It takes me one hour to get out of bed and to work at 9 a.m. So if I wake up at 6, I have two hours of free time I could use to create content. And if you compare it to Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, you have three times the hours you need to become a content creator.
However, waking up at 6 a.m. will be hard for the first month. So here are a few ideas you can use to enhance your productivity.
Don’t hit the snooze button.
Your minutes are precious, and they are worth money. So count to five, and wake up because if you postpone your work, you won’t have enough time to produce as much content as you wish.
Start with a glass of water.
Drinking water in the morning wakes up your body and reactivates your brain. Over the night, your brain turns down most body functions to make you recover energy. But you have to wake them up to produce great content.
Do a light workout.
A glass of water helps you rehydrate, but it doesn’t wake up your body instantly. For that, you need to put it in motion. So do a few jump jacks, squats, and push-ups, and you will be ready to produce content.
The 5-Step Morning Routine for Content Creators
I searched for the perfect morning routine for ages. And I keep trying new versions and modifying a few steps based on my feelings and goals. But here’s an updated version of what I do every day, from Monday to Sunday.
- I wake up at 6 a.m and review the light to-do list I wrote in the evening (we will discuss that later).
- I take the post-it and stick it on the table in my office, next to my pc. And this forces me to get out of bed instead of writing under the blanket and falling asleep. So while I’m there, I do a few push-ups to reinvigorate my body.
- Then, I take another post-it and write a few ideas for the day while I prepare and eat breakfast. Usually, most of my topics come from this session. But I don’t force myself to write if nothing comes up.
- Once I finish eating, 30 minutes later, I take another half hour to read the feed of the morning and take notes. If I plan to use any research in my following article, I summarize it in a few sentences. Also, I check to see if there is any news that I should address.
- And then, I write my article. Usually, I use Mondays for the outline. I dedicate Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first draft, while Thursdays and Fridays are for editing. And on the weekend, I do a little bit of everything, depending on what’s missing.
The Relaxation Problem
Another problem that keeps content creators, and anyone else, from improving their lives is relaxation.
Our society teaches you to use every free hour of your day to make money and build your dreams. But nobody shows you how to relax to recharge for the following day. So your productivity weakens in time because you don’t get enough sleep pleasure time.
Also, creating content for your audience after a full day of work is nearly impossible. You are not in the right mindset for it, your body is weak, and your creative powers disappeared. So it would be better to use that time for something else.
The goal of evenings should be to improve your sleep and enjoy life. And I’ve extensively talked about the perfect sleeping routine and small challenges that would make you sleep better. But what about your pleasures? How could you organize your evening routine to use your free time?
How To Recharge Your Body Faster in the Evening
If you have a 9–5 job, you will relax in the evening. And you can’t afford to feel the fear of missing out, or you will delay your sleep and wake up late.
So when I get home, I know I can’t lose time doing things I hate. I have to relax long, and I have to do everything by 10–11 p.m.
Here are a few ideas you can use to enhance your leisure time.
Find at least a few hours to relax.
If you don’t find time for yourself, you will feel frustrated, and your mood will worsen. But if you find time to do what you like, your body will recharge faster.
Prepare for the following day.
If you write down everything that stresses you about the following day, the stress will lower, and you will relax more. So prepare for the next day in the evening.
Slow down as the night approaches.
As you approach bedtime, plan tasks that require little to no effort. Read a book, meditate, or drink a cup of tea. Also, limit blue lights and stay away from digital devices if you want to sleep better.
The 6-Step Evening Routine for Content Creators
My evening routine starts as soon as I get home because I don’t want to risk working all evening on my projects and give up my health. Usually, I get home at 7 p.m, so I have four free hours I can use however I can.
- Cooking and eating is the first thing I do as soon as I get home. I hate eating too late because it could affect my sleep. So I always try to cook something fresh and light and move away from food. While cooking, I watch videos on Youtube or Twitch. And I stay away from any news that could affect my mood.
- Then, I clean up my mail for the second time in the day. I am not allowed to open my e-mail more than twice a day, or it would make me lose too much time. So I do it once in the morning and once in the evening.
- If I have any energy left and simple tasks regarding content creation, I do them. For example, I might schedule a post for publication or send a piece of work to a client.
- At 9p.m, I stop everything I’m doing and take up to two hours of pleasure time. Usually, I watch YouTube videos or any TV series.
- Before the final act, I create a post-it with a brief to-do list for the following day. Usually, I write things related to my morning routine, but you could also add meetings and tasks you shouldn’t miss.
- And then, for the last half-hour, I read a book while drinking hot tea. The combination of the two makes me fall asleep faster and sleep better. So I can wake up recharged and ready for my morning routine.
You can become a great content creator nowadays. You only need two fundamental routines: one for the morning and one for the evening.
The morning routine helps you boost your productivity.
Your mind is empty, you don’t have anything to think about yet, and you are not stressed. So creating content is simpler because you have the full creative power of your mind.
The evening routine is for relaxing.
You don’t want to feel overwhelmed by your projects and risk abandoning them. So use your free time to recharge your batteries and prepare for the night.
I haven’t abandoned my content creation dream yet. But I couldn’t have continued without these two routines. So if you want to become a great content creator, even if you have a full-time job, try them yourself.
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Cover photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash for You Only Need Two Routines To Become a Great Content Creator.