Not to toot my own horn, but I’m one of the most productive people I know. And if this intro sounds a little egotistical, don’t worry because I’m about to rip into myself. For someone like me, burnout doesn’t really exist. I’m the type of person who always needs to be productive, but I’ve managed to find a work-life balance that works for me. Despite all of the work I do, I still spend an ample amount of time with my son and my beautiful girlfriend.
So what am I doing with all of this productivity?
For starters, I have a full-time 9 to 5 job like most people, but I’m also a private contractor managing content for a rehab facility. On top of that, I produce daily content. I have two YouTube channels, I write here on Medium, I run a podcast, and I manage all of my social media accounts. In total, I have about 100,000 followers (non-unique) across all platforms with YouTube being the largest one of about 79,400.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I really want to be my own boss someday. Due to that goal and my need to be productive, I don’t feel right if I don’t create at least one piece of content per day.
I’ve always referred to myself as an “organized mess”, and I’ve worn that title like a badge of honor most my life. I don’t like being confined into boxes, so I enjoy the freedom of creating on so many platforms. If I feel like making a video, I make a video. If I feel like writing, I write. If I want to just talk, I do a podcast.
The issue is that I have no schedule, so this organized mess thing isn’t working. My consistency is a major problem, and a lot of it has to do with my anchor points.
I first learned about anchor points reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, which is now one of my favorite books. In short, an anchor point is something discussed in economics as well as behavioral economics. It’s when we get a certain result, and our mind fixates on that result.
A great example is gas prices. I live in Nevada, and gas prices aren’t the best, but they’re much lower than California. Since my anchor point is Nevada prices, I’m extra annoyed by California prices. Another example is my weight loss journey. I’ve lost 20 lbs in a month before. So when I don’t lose 20 lbs in a month (my anchor), this frustrates me as well.
Although I know this is a cognitive trick my brain is playing on me, it doesn’t stop me from being irrational.
This anchoring is the most noticeable in all of my endeavors because I’ve seen success on every platform. There was a time on YouTube when I couldn’t post a video without getting 10s of thousands of views. When I started writing daily on Medium in January, I made over $400 my first month and I had multiple articles get thousands of reads.
Basically, I put all my eggs in the YouTube basket, and when views start to dip, I put all the eggs in the Medium basket. When I get less traction on Medium, I put all of my eggs back in YouTube or one of the other platforms. I’m constantly putting everything I have in one place, and it’s not a smart use of time.
I’m basically being the epitome of working hard and not smart.
I fancy myself a pretty self-aware person, so I see exactly what I’m doing. Every now and then, I pull my head out of my ass and realize that if I just stayed consistent across all platforms, everything will have steady growth. Aside from that, I’ll get more practice and be able to hone my skills a bit more. Even though I understand this on an intellectual level, I don’t do it.
But that changes today.
Tonight, after venting to my girlfriend about how many ideas I have and how unstructured I am, I decided to make myself a schedule. As much as I hate being inside that box; I need to get inside of the box.
I guess a part of writing this is more for me than it is for you. I’m all about helping others, so I hope you can learn from my experience, but I need some accountability as well. I’ve created a schedule, and it goes as follows:
Sunday: Mailing list
Monday: Medium post
Friday: Medium or YouTube
Saturday: Medium or YouTube
This will allow me to cover all of my basis while still interacting with my audience on Instagram and Twitter. I made Friday and Saturday either/or days for me so I don’t completely freak out about the schedule restrictions I’m giving myself.
There are days when I just have non-stop ideas in my head, so I sometimes produce multiple pieces of content. As another form of accountability, I told my girlfriend that if that happens, I’m not allowed to create any content unless I do the scheduled content first. So, if I want to make a YouTube video on Monday, I can only do that after I make a Medium post.
One thing I’ll have to iron out is writing for publications here on Medium. I write for a few publications, so those pieces are saved as drafts, and the publications post those whenever works for their schedule. My concerns is if I get people used to my posting schedule, that might throw me off a bit, but I’ll figure something out like I always do.
Anyways, thanks for reading this stream of consciousness, and hopefully it helps if you’re an organized mess like me. Wish me luck, and stay tuned!
If you need help with your mental health, I highly recommend BetterHelp. They’re an affordable online therapy service, and by using this affiliate link, you help support The Rewired Soul.