If you haven’t already worked out, creating a podcast and running a production schedule to benefit your business means you have a never ending to do list, especially in the beginning until you can find someone to outsource those little jobs that bog you down in content or up-skill to the point where you can do it with your eyes shut.
The funnest part is the creating and recording, and when the intention of your podcast is to be more visible and productive it’s important to create a flow that allows you to tick off those tasks so you can switch off at the end of the day.
Be specific about your day
A few years back I took on the word productive instead of busy, and it instantly stopped me from feeling tired. So now when it comes to ‘doing’ the productive work, the best place to start is ‘being’ really specific about what it is I want to get done that day. I found treating the publication of my podcast like a normal job, with tasks and deadlines for each phase of the project, strategy and accountability meetings and a calendar with a clearly marked date.
List 3 big tasks, and 3 smaller ones under each
Creating your podcast is simple, hit record and publish but as you will come to understand, to leverage the content you’ve create, 50% of the work is in promotion so that the people know about it. Just by breaking down the tasks into phases in a schedule, you will see the podcast come together which will motivate you more to want to finish and publish.
- Plan and Prepare your content. 25%
- Record & Edit 25%
- Promote 50%
The big tasks will need your energy, creativity and focus.
The little ones need a lot less time to complete.
And there will be times in the schedule where you can’t get to the big without doing a few more little ones, and this is what causes the overwhelm.
Prioritise your tasks
Prioritise the things you NEED to do knowing it’s leading up to the big thing – like interviewing your favourite person on the planet.
Deadlines are great motivators but be flexible. You have time and can move launch or release dates if you need to.
My most productive and creative times are between 6-10am – two coffees in and I am on fire. My typing hits the highest words per minute, I’m constantly downloading ideas, concepts and to do’s that serve to remind and inspire me later in the day. Like this blog. Harnessing that creativity can be difficult if you don’t create a schedule for yourself and allows the time.
Start with the thing that’s most creative
Even the most naturally creative people find it harder to be productive through the day when it comes to developing ideas, writing, designing or marketing.
Dive into the project you’re working first thing and just let it flow.
A good clear space represents a clear mind.
Have a note pad to the side to jot down those ideas or reminders and then refocus your attention.
Set a 30 minute timer with big tasks so you feel good about the place to you get to at the end of that time.
Mind on what matters not your screen
Block out 2 hours for the ‘creative’. Research has shown that interruptions like notifications, messages, and phone calls distract you from the flow. Just now I am seeing the emails pop into the top right hand corner and they certainly have the power to compel your intrigue. If you haven’t watched the Social Deliema do yourself a favour and get a reality check. Since turning everything off my production schedule has improved out of sight. I have specific times for phone calls, studio time, email checking and returning messages. If I don’t do that for myself my focus and attention doesn’t even get a chance to be creative.
Close tabs, set auto responders and honour the time you are spending on your podcast content, especially when it comes to your guest.
NOTICE IMPORTANT MESSAGE
Research shows that our brains take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes after switching to a new task before it really fully focuses – Give yourself time and minimise interruptions – Read More
Block your tasks with time. Whether you are writing valuable scripts for your podcast, helpful content for a blog or an impactful posting for your social media, try writing it before you log into your website. The chances are once inside the back end you’ll be hijacked by the endless ‘doing’ of updating your site.
I normally batch write my podcast and the accompanying blog for the month in one task block. The blog becomes the basis of a the topic and whilst I provide a lot of value, the intention to to get enough interest that they then go and listen to the podcast where there is so much more and my message is connecting with the added dimension of my voice – a powerful influence that increases trust and likability.
Now if we were to take this task this is the breakdown.
- Big Task : Plan topics
- Little Tasks: group them, come up with headlines and CTA.
- Big Task: Write the blog,
- Little Tasks: Link helpful research, embed images, links to the other blogs.
- Big Task: Edit and Publish
- Little Task: Insert back links, check the SEO and readability scores to improve ranking. Drop into your website and www.blogger.com
This process is intended to take my reader on a journey, a four part adventure each month that covers many aspects of podcasting from legals to promotion, creation to hosting, piquing their interest and educating them in the process. I position my call to actions to bring the puzzle together, so at the end they are inspired to take action.
Take a Break and Get Active
Regular and Constructive. Getting up from the laptop and taking a walk or engaging in a simple activity will not only give your mind a break but your body will thank you too. The sympathetic system instantly prepares for activity when you move, pushing into every cell the energy it will need to function. Staying sedentary all day is like draining the bath water with the plug half in.
Standing up will get blood flowing to your body and brain. Whilst physically packing up the project when you’ve finished the task also sends a reward to the brain that you are done, flooding the brain with feel good chemicals. There is just something about the rituals of completion, whether it’s putting all the paperwork in a folder, dropping the envelopes in a mail box or closing the tab on your screen. My favourite is the tick in the box next to the task on the list. It’s a refreshing feeling and allows your brain to reset and refocus on the next task.
Be kind, think positive.
We all have those days where we don’t get it ALL done and I am definitely and underestimated with good intentions.
In fact, most people are. Realistically there are three phases of the day unless you’re an early riser and you are in the 10% of the population who understands the benefits of this and is probably crushing what you do and are not reading this post.
Things take longer that we expect or think they will.
Life is a series of navigating the attention seeking tasks. Blocking out the distractions and prioritising. My great friend at the To-Day List shared the concept of choices and trade offs which as a technique I am implementing but as a human I struggle with, because I want to do it all.
I talk about identifying the hijacker in my day. Who or What is demanding my attention. It might be a conversation, it’s more than likely a deadline and with four kids it’s often a personal issue.
Don’t judge me where you walked in.
Whilst I work hard on disciplining my productivity, I’ve found communicating what I need, to be the key. With parenting best intentions, training my children to respect ‘my time’ that reduce the negative interactions and their own frustrations is not easy.
It’s a parenting deliema for sure. Be there for them as they grow, but prioritise what’s important to you, give them the attention they need but allow them space to think and solve the problems they face. It’s a constant push pull that eventually builds boundaries and resilience and I’ve now coined this process as, my Pip Raetio’s.
Because some days I need to be there more, but on other days I have work to complete and no two days are the same. Again communicating expectations to maintain a deadline, but being flexible enough to reschedule is absolutely crucial.
Key take away
Look back at what you have achieved. Celebrate the wins and ticks. Find a resource to help maximise your time and take care of yourself so your energy stays high.
The more you practice creating discipline and kindness, the better productive you will be. I would love to know what your rituals, routines and rewards are for acknowledging productivity.
We are not always going to execute our plans perfectly. 100% is a subjective measure, and every single time is a goal post that keeps moving. The most important thing for me to remember is to be positive and open to understanding and learning about myself and take away from the experience the opportunities to do it better the next time.
The Plan For To-Day with 5 R’s.
Get organised for your week and identify the the GOAL.
- Refocus each day on the Big Task. One a day = 3 a week for me. (yes I only work 3 days a week)
- Review on what you have done
- Reinforce the routine and rituals
- Revise what you need to do
- Reward yourself at the end of each day with self care routines.
There is always tomorrow so plan before you finish this day.
Tools down, but before you go, glance over those 3 little tasks that are working towards your big one. If they aren’t quite done, re-write them on a new list in order of priority.
Inevitability, things get left behind. Emails go unanswered. Phonecalls and messages are returned and what you thought was a done deal hits a roadblock. The big question here is ‘is it urgent or important’. Now sometime this can affect production lines, manufacturing or approvals not received can delay others schedules. Respecting your own time is important, maintaining relationships by respecting their time is often what makes ‘working’ with others work.
How do you strategise your week?
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business and sharing what your podcast is all about, it’s what will bring in money and clients so you can do what you love. Keep your eye on the prize and focus on the goal.
Spend time on planning
Create space at the beginning and end of every week to look at what you did and did well. Spending time to find out what your audience is responding to will help project you forward. Engage with them on your socials, ask questions and request feedback. Also, look at the launch dates of your future projects, services, courses and products and determine what you need to get closer to these launching or being promoted.
Knowing what designs and language is connecting, is how you’ll stay motivated keep. I use a simple table to collate ideas, the research and the CTA (digital assets)
The best productive workflow will quickly form by looking at your list of tasks and understanding the time it takes. We have a month calendar for our podcasters that keep them on track, on time and in the routine. We say give yourself 89 days to create the habit. This philosophy is based on problem solving, solution finding optimism and can be used whenever you add a new spinning plate to your slate of projects.
Just give yourself 10-minutes each week to look over what’s working for you and what’s helping you successfully market your podcast, and identify – without judgment – what’s not.
Then ask your audience, a close friend and your family. If you can’t find your PipRaetios give me a call, shoot me a message and I can help you outsource, streamline and most definitely build your confidence.
Launch whilst no one is listening and build.
In no time at all you’ll be able to find a system that’s better suited to helping you feel productive at work and creative days where you can get everything done.
Read out about live production for The Bean There? Podcast – a team of talented hosts collaborating on social issues and interviewing guests at our local cafes, connecting listeners to the community.