For the months of September and October, I’ve been experimenting with bulk creating content for my blog and podcasts (check out this recent podcast episode on creating a content calendar if you’re interested in hearing more about my method). In particular, I set aside a weekend early in each month, brainstormed some ideas of what I wanted to write and record about, and got to work. (I’m actually writing this post, along with several others, on a plane as I travel to a consulting gig in late September).
So far, I’m loving this method. Here are some of the key benefits:
1. I get into a rhythm. After a couple years of blogging and podcasting, I’ve created some pretty solid systems for how I create content. Those systems really shine when I’m bulk creating. I found that on the days I set aside to podcast, for example, I was able to get into an editing rhythm with the audio I had recorded that made the process go pretty fast.
2. I create time for my future self. By bulk creating content all at once at the beginning of the month, I was able to free up the time that I would have spent in the coming weeks creating those posts and episodes. I had more relaxed evenings and weekends, and I was able to brainstorm some new project ideas and take more client meetings with the time that was freed up.
3. I test my creativity. For those of you who haven’t done the math, I’m releasing 4–5 blog posts and a minimum of 12 (and up to a max of 22) podcast episodes depending on how many weeks are in a month and what shows are in season. Coming up with enough ideas to fill the slots for each month has been a fun challenge since I need to dig deep to find topics that will be interesting and useful for my audience.
4. I schedule everything in advance. By creating all of this content at once, I also take the time to get everything scheduled so that it auto-releases on my email newsletter, blog, and podcast hosting platform. That means that I can spend more time throughout the month sharing about the content since it’s all posting on a pre-determined schedule and I know what’s coming up when.
5. I have fun creating. By setting aside this time for bulk creating, I also look forward to that creative period with anticipation. Setting aside a whole day to write and record feels luxurious! Sometimes when I write or record closer to deadline, I feel more pressure than fun, so planning ahead in this way ensures that the process happens on a timeline that I can enjoy.
There are also some other areas where I have been working ahead to gift myself time:
Bulk cooking. By prepping meals on the weekend, I’m not cooking much in the evenings or prepping food for lunches each morning.
Website creation. When I know I have a new project coming up, or a revision I want to make to my website, I start the process early so that I have all the time I want to make it great. I did this for the SoTL by Design website as well as the website for my new book Managing Your Professional Identity Online. By doing a lot of this work ahead of time, once the project launches I’m not scrambling to create a web presence in the midst of other promotion activities.
Systems creation. This is one of my favorite ways of gifting time to my future self. When I’m working on a new service that I know I will do over and over again (for example, scheduling coaching appointments or taking on a new website design client), I create a system and set of templates so that I know what I need to do each time. Not recreating the wheel for each new client saves a ton of time and energy.
As you can see from the examples above, gifting time to my future self is a great motivator for me. Although it may seem antithetical to the creative process to crank out content like an assembly line, I’ve actually found that it increases the challenge (in a good way) to my creativity. Another amazing bonus is that bulk content creation makes my life feel a lot more relaxed in the midst of still getting a lot of tasks crossed off my to-do list.
To think on:
- How do you gift time or energy to your future self?
- What could you prep in bulk to save time for your future self?