We live in a crazy world, don’t we? All day we sit around constantly being barraged by Slack notifications, tweets, pings, emails, popups and every manner of (mostly) digital noise right in our faces.
Often it’s only when you have actual creative work to do that you realize that it’s really difficult to unplug from the noise, clear your head, and focus on creating something unique. It’s easy to just operate your business in a reactionary state:
Reply to this email
Favorite this Tweet
Respond to this customer request
Check those analytics
What good is any of this doing? If you were just starting out today and had to hustle for all of your customers would you be operating your business like this? For your sake I hope not.
Instead in those early days you’re focused on the exact right things: Doing what needs to be done to get customers, emails, and sales. Making stuff happen, right?
So why now that we’re experiencing a bit of actual success do we deviate from that plan and just sit around all day and react to the next so called ‘crisis’?
Try This Instead
Watch what some of the best content creators our there say they do to put together the blog posts, podcasts, and other content that we all love:
That’s right. Some of the most plugged in people in the interwebs go offline, and maybe even take out pencil and paper to do some of their best content creation. I’ve seen this recently too with putting together the initial content for our Epic Podcasting course. I found it so hard to sit down and write an outline, much less copy-worthy Keynote slides, for the modules of the course, that I’ve had to face this issue head on.
So what have I learned?
- First, I close all of the other tabs in my browser. Yep, I somehow get away without having Gmail, Trello, or Slack open for an hour a day. Shocking, right? This instantly eliminates about half of the distractions that my computer throws at me. If I can avoid these then I can move on to getting real work done.
- I write down the 5 things I want to get done with creating that content. Pen and paper, baby. I keep a small notebook in my computer bag, and use it only for guiding my creative process. As a left brained creator I have to have some outline of things or I just sit and stare at the screen, hopeless.
- I write everything I can in 45 minutes. Call this Pomodoro or whatever you’d like, but this essential vomiting on the keyboard is great for me. I write everything I can in a relatively short amount of time, and then I go back and worry about how good or bad it was later (after a break – away from the computer). This does 2 things: it focuses my attention because I know I have a finite amount of time to work, and it gives me free reign to write whatever the hell I want for those 45 minutes. No judgments or criticism even from myself.
- Begin with the end in mind. Why am I writing? What is this email about? Who is the course intended for? If you don’t have rock solid answers for all of those questions, and have your customer avatar firmly in mind before you get started then whatever you create is going to be garbage. How can you write for someone if you don’t know who they are?
I know I’m not the world’s best copywriter, podcaster, or content creator, but I have come a loooong way in the last year or so, and am honing my craft. For us left brained types I think it’s almost easier than our right brained counterparts. We have the structure and analytical approach that allows for consistent creation over time, but just have to allow ourselves the mental freedom to do so. If you can achieve that, well then you’ve got something worth bottling.
How do you create?
So what’s your trick? How to do you separate yourself from the constant barrage of interruptions in your day to create content that’s worthy of your audience? Drop a note below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.