Scheduling for content creators

As a content creator, the thing I struggle with the most is time management. I realised this particularly in 2024 when I set concrete goals. Two blog posts per week; Focus on YouTube; Publish 5 YouTube Shorts every week; One podcast episode per week. I set ambitious goals but didn’t have a plan.

As a family man with a full-time job, I know I need a plan. I need structure. Daily habits. Tools to help me organise my process. It’s all new to me and I’m having a hard adjusting to structure and sitting down each morning, writing, recording, and editing videos and podcasts. Stopping to fulfil my paternal duties, and get things done around the house. I’m writing this on Monday 8th January, 2024. It’s exactly 10:00 AM. Do I want to be writing this article? No. I don’t.

So, I’ve gone from being a content creator who approaches things willy-nilly to one who’s seeking structure and trying to build a business, and my brain hurts. You know those headaches you get when you give up sugar and flour? Yeah. I’ve been walking around with that headache for two days. But! I’m getting things done. I want to share the things I’m doing to bring structure to my life as a content creator.

1. I’ve set goals. They’re clear. They’re concrete. Two blog posts per week: One on Monday at 8:00 AM; and one on Thursday at 8:00 AM. One podcast episode. Because these goals are concrete, I will know when I miss them.

2. Prioritise writing. As a YouTuber, I’m tempted to think in terms of video first. In 2024, writing is the priority. These articles become the stepping stone to YouTube Shorts, Podcast episodes and long-form videos. As I write new ideas spring up and I jot them down for later.

3. Task Management Tools. for the last 3 or 4 years I have used Google Keep to write articles and jot down ideas. Google Keep is a note-taking service. I like it because I’m not restricted to writing on a local desktop file. I can access Keep from my phone or desktop. In 2024 as I turned my attention to having a content plan and I had to arrange, prioritise and track tasks, I immediately began feeling the limitations of Keep. I’ve heard about a productivity software and note-taking service called Notion, and I’m looking into it.

In the meantime, to track tasks and their status I’ve used Google Sheets to create two spreadsheets. One is a publishing schedule for articles and podcasts. The other is a publishing schedule for videos. Let’s talk about the fields in the first spreadsheet. There are seven fields: Article name; status; publish by; published on; podcast status; podcast recorded on; podcast edited on; and podcast published on.

This simple change has done a lot for me. Yes, based on how I’ve always done things, it’s a little boring, but I now have one holistic view of my content plan. Colour-coding rows help too. For example, a row highlighted in yellow means the article is written but the corresponding podcast episode hasn’t been recorded. Green means both the article and podcast episode are published.

Timeboxing/Timeblocking. I learned about timeboxing during my undergraduate studies. The concept sounds great, but I hate timeboxing. When I’m working on something that’s all I want to work on until it’s done. Imagine if a video takes days to record and edit, and a blog post and article are due. Problems. Timeboxing involves setting a maximum unit of time for an activity in advance and then completing the activity within that time frame. As much as I hate timeboxing I now use it to batch research, write, edit and record videos and podcast episodes. Every morning I dedicate an hour to writing. There are timeboxes for recording podcasts. Others for recording YouTube Shorts. Timeboxes on Thursdays and Fridays for editing.

I hope you’ve found at least one little gem that makes your life easier as a content creator. If you have any tips on managing your time please feel free to leave a comment.

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