Hi Friends and welcome back to the channel. If you’re new here my name is Bram van Houtum and I help brands become heroes on Instagram.
In today’s video, I want to talk about productivity.
3 Habits of Insanely Productive content creators
Maybe you are just like me…
my attention span has always been shorter than a goldfish.
The problem is, there is so much going on in this beautiful world. And this doesn’t always make me a productive content creator.
Especially when I’m in a creative flow, I can come up with 10 different ideas in under an hour and I lose track of sight.
And this brings me to the first habit: sometimes it’s better to let go.
There are also days I have a huge writer’s block. I just feel completely empty and I don’t know where to start. When this happens I simply open my computer and browse to my favorite industry blogs, websites and social media channels for inspiration.
If after 30 minutes I still feel drained I simply agree that it’s now not the right time and place to continue. This may sound harsh but I’ve been creating content for the past 20 years and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that creativity is something that happens.
It’s a bit like love. You can create an ideal setting, cook a nice dinner, put candles on the table, put your best shirt on, but you cannot force your heart and your brain to love someone.
The same goes for creativity. You can have the best tools, software, and hardware to create mind-blowing content, but if you’re not in the right mindset, you’re finished.
That’s why it’s not productive for me to force myself into that mindset. Whenever I have a writer’s block I simply do something else and let my subconsciousness do the work.
What I mean with this is that I stop consciously create new ideas, I do something else. And this can be as silly as cleaning the office or to go outside in the forest for a long walk. What happens is that your subconscious is still working in the background on that idea, without you even knowing it.
This method has saved me dozens of times. Especially when I was hitting a deadline. But it also comes with a downside. As we almost cannot control our subconsciousness a new idea can hit you at uncommon moments.
More than once I woke up at 3 am with the best idea ever. As you can imagine it great that I’ve got a great idea, but for my partner and my own good night’s sleep it’s not really helpful.
What I do is write out an outline of the idea in Notion or Evernote. These are both note-taking apps I’ll dive into in a moment, and I continue to sleep.
tip number 2: Sleep is very important for our brains (and for productive content creators)
Everyone needs sleep, but up to this date its biological purpose remains a mystery (and that can really grind my gears and honestly keeps me up at night)….
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I was a DJ and Producer for over 18 years. I’ve traveled the world and my music reached the top 10 charts more than once.
When I was younger and a new hook (or melody) hit my brain at 3 am I simply jumped out of bed, opened my laptop and continue to work on that idea.
But as I got older, I also noticed that sleep is a very vital part of us, especially for our brains.
Honestly, I always said that sleep was a waste of time. On average we sleep one-third of a day, and it is as essential to survival as food and water.
I noticed that without good sleep it’s harder for me to concentrate and respond quickly.
After doing some research I also found out that sleep experts report that lack of sleep can lead to depression, weight gain, and other health problems. Which, of course, I do not want.
And while I thought sleep was a waste of time, I did put things into perspective.
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, while babies sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours. Also, my cats sleep at least 12 hours per day (well honestly I believe that one sleeps at least 20 hours, but I cannot check it because I need those 8 hours myself) so I’m okay with 8 hours.
We’re drifting away a little bit, in any case, I hope you understand sleep is important. But the real question is:
Is lack of sleep-depriving your creativity?
As a productive content creator, you want to be free. Free from distractions, free from roadblocks, and have a free mindset.
We develop our own rituals in order to get into that necessary creative mindset.
And it doesn’t matter if you create a stunning blog post which feels like stories, record podcasts which keeps the listeners hooked till the end, or creating mind-blowing content for social media. A creative spark is what fuels all the ideas, and keeps your audience engaged.
Even better, scientific data from Medical News Today proves that creativity is beneficial to our mental and physical health. And it also shows how important sleep is to be creative.
And yes the next thing I’m going to say is a cliché, but productive content creators with poor sleeping habits often rely on coffee to keep them going.
But this “writing fuel” isn’t the healthiest way to fight against a lack of sleep.
In fact, the high caffeine content found in traditional coffee beverages can increase blood pressure, as well as nervousness and anxiety.
Not only that, here in The Netherlands it’s pretty common to drink a cup of coffee after dinner. So for example, if you drink coffee at 7 pm, the effects of the caffeine are still going strong at 11 pm.
If you’re a die-hard coffee consumer you get resistant to the caffeine, and you still can fall asleep at night, but this doesn’t mean everyone can do that.
In any case, I do believe you shouldn’t be drinking coffee late at night if you want to be creative.
To stay awake and alert as you compose your most recent masterpiece, getting adequate sleep is a much healthier method than caffeine intake.
So here are my final thoughts on getting enough sleep for productive content creators. If you feel you hit a writer’s block more than often you might want to check your sleep cycle.
With better sleep you not only can become more creative, poor sleep habits are also linked to a variety of health problems, from depression to obesity.
In order to be a high-quality and highly productive content creator on a consistent basis, without burning out, sleep should become an integral part of your content creation process.
Tip 3: take notes
As mentioned earlier I used to get out of bed at 3 am to work on my idea. But as this is counterproductive, I now use note-taking apps for all my ideas.
And honestly, this can be as easy as a pen and a piece of paper, the standard note-taking app on your phone, or you can use paid applications to really get the most out of your creative habits.
Personally I have too many note-taking apps. But they all serve a different purpose.
For example, these video outlines were made in Bear. What I like about bear is that I get a dark theme, no-nonsense interface. All I see is a black background and white text, without any buttons.
For me, buttons mean distraction, and distraction = killing creativity. Especially for podcasts, it doesn’t matter which headline size I use, or which font to use, or if there’s a quote which needs to be highlighted.
All I do is write down my thoughts, and if it’s a new chapter, I put the title in bold. That’s one of the many easy tips I can give as a productive content creator!
The second app I absolutely love is Notion.
Notion is a powerhouse, and much more than a note-taking app. I use notion to schedule and plan my webinars, podcasts and YouTube videos. I also use it for my content.
I keep track of my goals, I share my ideas and it’s very easy to categorize the thoughts I have. Also, the search function is one of the best I’ve seen.
Also one feature I absolutely love is the resonance calendar. Whenever I stumble across a great inspirational blog post, piece of content or for example YouTube video, I can send it with a click of a button to my resonance calendar, add some quick notes and it’s saved. It automatically copies the full content from that website into notion, which means I can easily edit it to my liking.
Last but not least I use Evernote. I’ve been an Evernote user for ages, but it feels like everything I do in Evernote, can be done in Notion. I use Evernote for my meetings with customers, mainly. And it’s also the place where I store pieces of content I absolutely love (especially copywriting).
What I liked about Evernote is that its integration with mac, pc, android, and IOS is flawless. I can start edit on my phone, open my computer and continue.
But it also feels like Evernote is the windows XP that’s not been receiving updates to make it feel like a 2020 application.
Don’t get me wrong: the things Evernote should do, it does perfectly. But as time goes by I noticed that I’m using Notion and Bear more often.
One last honorable mention is the basic note-taking application that comes with your iPhone.
Over the past years, they’ve updated it a lot, and I like it. I can say to Siri “Hey Siri create a note called shopping list for my birthday”.
It has a checklist function, which I use for grocery shopping, you can add attachments, create folders to organize, and the gallery view is amazing (especially when you use images from unsplash to categorize things).
Also, just like the other apps, it’s integration with the MacBook’s and such is flawless.
Being more creative is more than just the above 3 tips. But I feel these 3 tips can accelerate your business today and are all easy to implement. The key takeaways of this podcasts are:
- Sometimes it’s better to let go, do something else and the idea will come. Don’t worry too much and you’ll become a productive content creator!
- Getting good night sleep can mean the difference between day and night for creating content
- Last but not least: take notes of your ideas. Track them and put them in a big file. You’ll thank me later
That’s it for this week’s video! Thank you so much for watching. If you liked the video please give your thumbs up. If you haven’t subscribed yet please consider doing so (I will leave a link in the description). If you like this stuff please leave any questions in the comments and I’ll answer them as soon as possible. Thanks for watching and see you in the next video, bye-bye!