We all have too much to do most (sometimes all) of the time: trying to grow our businesses, working with clients, maybe managing day jobs and, you know, living our actual lives and all that other stuff. So having to create content on top of that can feel a little inconvenient, or like it should be the least of your priorities. So how do we find the time to create content?
But what if you could (a) spend less time doing it, (b) get more results from it, and (c) love every single minute you get to spend creating it? A dream, right?
Creating content consistently and in a strategic way is important because it can have some pretty big payoffs in terms of return on investment for your business. It’s one of the best and most affordable sources of leads and ways to build your brand awareness.
In this post, you’ll learn four foolproof methods to help you find more time to create content for your business, as well as details on how to use them most effectively.
Prefer to watch this blog post instead? Click on the video below!
#1 – Create a Time Budget
It may not be a lack of time that keeps you from creating content, but just a lack of managing or budgeting it. My Monthly Action Plan Generator is the perfect tool for this because it helps you gather your action-planning tools, create a summary, and build out an action plan.
The Monthly Action Plan Generator overlays on top of your quarterly or monthly strategies so that you can create plans that are doable, realistic, and aligned.
It basically puts some strategy behind how you spend your time, which will help you find dedicated time specifically for content creation. It’s helped me improve how effectively I use my own time, which is why I call it my secret productivity weapon.
Could you use a secret productivity weapon too? Download the Monthly Action Plan Generator below 👇
#2 – Fight Procrastination
Procrastination is a killer when it comes to content creation. Sometimes the hardest part of writing any piece of new content is usually overcoming the fear, dread, and I-don’t-know-where-to-start thoughts – at least this is true for me.
Funnily enough, once I’m finished, I almost always wonder why I put it off since it is almost always actually very easy to put together in the end. So how can you overcome the hump of simply getting started?
I love this quote because it completely hits the nail on the head: “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet.” – Anonymous
So besides the obvious advice (avoid the internet… at all costs), here are my favourite tips for busting through that procrastination rut when I’m trying to write a new blog post:
Pre-write Without Expectation
Once I’ve settled on a topic (but before I’ve done anything else for the piece), I set a timer and just write. I organize my thoughts and get my own ideas on paper.
This really terrible first draft is one of the ways I’ve cut the time I used to spend on a single blog post in half. It’s also a good way to make sure that you’re sharing your own ideas and serves as a pre-done outline for the real-deal post.
Separate the Content Planning and Content Creation Phases
Avoid deciding what to write and actually writing it in the same sitting. I like to plan all of my content for the month/quarter on an editorial calendar (see the Monthly Content Planning Kit) before I even think about writing it.
If you try to both at once, you might find yourself staring at that dreaded blinking cursor and a blank word doc.
If you find you’re still having trouble getting started, you can always try interviewing yourself.
If you are curious about this strategy, read more about How to Use My Content Interview Process. It’s an interview process that helps you generate content quickly and easily through self-interview. There are some fine details, but it looks a little something like this:
- You create an outline (this could be prompts or a series of questions).
- You record yourself responding to the outline like you’re talking to a friend.
- You transcribe the audio and use this as the basis of your content.
You may be surprised at how seamlessly this process can help you structure another piece of content like a blog post.
#3 – Batch Your Content
Content batching is the method that I pretty much live and die by. If you want some insight on my process, read the post on How to Batch a Month of Content in 5 Days where I walk you through exactly what batching looks like for me.
You may not have realized this before, but there’s a huge cost to your time when you switch between tasks. Not just the actual time that it takes to shut down and open new programs on your computer and/or get the right materials in front of you, but also the time it takes mentally to shift your focus.
In American Psychology Association, D.E. Meyer reports that on average shifting between tasks wastes as much as 40% of someone’s productive time.
So by batching, we’re able to focus on the steps of the creation process for multiple pieces of content because the tasks are similar.
For example, resizing and designing photos for all of your posts that you’re working on at the same time.
Or doing all of your scheduling and formating at the same time in WordPress or social media scheduler (see all of my favourite tools here). What parts of the process can you start batching to save yourself up to 40% more time?
#4 – Work in Your Biological Prime Time
Chris Bailey talks about saving your biological prime time (BPT) for your most important work in his book The Productivity Project.
Content creation goes best when we’re at our most creative and focused, so your BPT is the perfect time for these activities!
Everyone’s BPT is individual to them. I’m at my best and most creative first thing in the morning from about 5am to 9am. At 3pm I usually experience a major energy dip, so I’ve learned that trying to write a new blog post or create something new in the afternoon isn’t the smartest use of my energy and time.
“An hour with a fresh mind is worth five hours of fog.” – Doug Kessler
It’s worth figuring out your biological prime time (you might already know or there are some great tips and techniques in The Productivity Project to help you) and save your creation time for these hours.
Save the busy and admin work for when you’re in low energy periods (or take a break completely – radical, I know, but it’s the perfect time to take a break).
Carve Out Time for Content Creation
If you can learn to create a time budget, fight procrastination, batch your content, and work in your biological primetime, you’ll be crushing content output in no time. With the right attitude and intention, you can successfully use these methods to help you make the time, even when it feels like you don’t have any to spare.
Keeping up with your content creation is important for your business, so don’t let the opportunities your content may bring you pass you by.