The Natural Rhythm of Work (even when it's scary)
This post is part strategy session, part personal/biz update. Summer officially started yesterday and it's an interesting time for productivity content. Even in "normal" years the summer is a bit slow on YouTube views and email opens, i.e. people have more time off and because of that work is less intense.
The summer of '21 is looking even less interested in "getting stuff done" based on a well-deserved release of energy from the past 16 months of pandemic closures. It's not a complaint, only an observation. Even when I worked in software, the summers were slower at ConvertKit and Podia than the early part of the year.
The Natural Rhythm of Work
What I'm learning and applying this summer is to work with the natural rhythm of productivity instead of fighting against it and burning out. I'm focusing on two things in my next six week sprint.
First is the (vague) goal of optimizing content for the rest of 2021, the second is not stressing about being "less productive" for a couple months. For a bit more reading on this, check out the post Start Living a Little of Your Best Life.
Optimizing content is a big goal for me right now. In just the past 6 months I've created nearly 150 pieces of unique content. That's about 20 YouTube videos, 20 podcasts, 30 Ship30 essays, and over 50 email newsletters like this one. That's not to pat myself of the back, but to peel back a lesson I've learned the past couple months...
Consistency without Strategy can be Counter-Productive
Whoah, that's sounds like a big pivot from me. I'm Mr Consistency, Mr Show Up, etc. If you've been on any of my workshops, courses, or webinars it's one of the fundamental lessons of my content.
To be clear, this lesson is more about creative output than foundational life habits. You can get really fit being consistent without being too strategic, same with eating well, journaling, meditating, reading, bullet journaling, etc. It also doesn't apply to anyone starting a creative habit, like trying to write every day, create videos, record podcasts, or make music.
Lots of caveats there, but here's the point for me and how I want to help you... once the habit is established and people are paying attention (like you dear reader), to pump out content that doesn't have a strategy, a story, and clear direction is confusing for you and exhausting for me.
My Next 6 Week "Sprint"
In the next 6 weeks I'm taking my core principles of productivity from the last two years and creating short (free) email courses, curated guides, and a library of easy-to-search content.
For example if you want to find everything I've made that's related to the bullet journal, you'll be able to search and sort by sub-topic. If you want to find my content on habit building, same thing. You'll also be able to take short (free) email courses that give you crash course on the bullet journal, goals, note-taking, and more.
I don't want all these things I made to go to waste because I didn't organize them well enough for you. Basically, I'm creating a third brain of content and collections that help you quickly get access to whatever I've written on a specific topic.
Here's where it's scary 😱
To be honest, this is a little scary (in a weird way). One of the biggest fears for online content creators is that if they take (too much of) a break, people forget about them because there is so much out there to connect with. So I (others) keep cranking away so you don't forget about me.
But consistency without strategy comes at a cost, often confusion too. Instead of trying to grab another bullet journal plan with me video from the bottom of the idea barrel, it's better to make sure you have visibility and access to the existing 50+ bullet journal videos.
A perfect time to experiment
The second focus for me this summer is to relax and follow what's interesting. To work within the natural rhythms of productivity and attention. To welcome the downtime and use it strategically to set up for a great fall and transition to the new year, when people are naturally looking for more productivity content.
Specifically, I'm going to create more content for creators, write an ebook, and experiment with new YouTube styles. If views and opens are "down" anyway, then the downside of trying something new is naturally limited as well. And who knows? Maybe in those experiments I hit on something that opens up a whole new group of views and readers.
Reading that back it may not sound like I'm taking much of a break. But building topical paths for you, more ways to access ideas, and personally trying new topics (creator economy) and videos all makes me excited to show up each day. Because in past summers I was too often consumed with frustration about why something wasn't working.
This summer is about strategy, curation, experimentation, and fun. It's about using the natural rhythm of work to still be productive, just in a different way. I'd love to hear if you experience this during the summer or other natural ebbs and flows in your business and life. I'm really looking to go with the flow rather than fight it.
Have a great day,