What is the most helpful productivity tip I have to offer for artists and creators like musicians, video producers, online teachers, bloggers, etcetera, when it comes to creative output?
How do we stay on top of our creative game and consistently put out our best work in the least amount of time and resistance with the highest impact?
#1 PRODUCTIVITY TIP for Artists, Entrepreneurs, Bloggers, YouTubers, and Udemy Instructors!
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There is one huge productivity secret I have that I don’t mention that much, which is why I take the time to do it now.
The key thing is, I don’t consistently engage in what I call administrative tasks, things like checking emails, or reading messages. I find that these things kill my creativity and they are vortex like the more I go into them, the more I keep going into them.
For example, I do not have my email account even synced on my iPhone and I don’t get a notification every time I get an email. When I’m online and I have tutorials and music to create like today, I am not checking my Discord server, I am not checking my email unless I need to for something, and I am not checking Facebook to just go through the news feed, I am focused on what I’m doing.
Now, that sounds easy enough, but this is a daily discipline thing that I don’t get right every day. Some days I am having all these great ideas, and then one thing happens.
I end up checking my Discord server and two hours later, I realize that I fooled around, essentially just going back and forth with messages I didn’t even need to send in the first place.
Then, I end up not making the videos I wanted to at all.
If you want to see my experience with this, I’ve been doing music recently as my primary activity and I’ve made almost an entire album in the last month.
I’ve also been uploading about three videos a day on YouTube, and then if you look at the blog posts on my website, they are coming out as fast as ever, and the best part is I’m not even writing them. They are straight from videos transcribed and edited.
You can see blog posts consistently coming out and all I’m doing is actually filming videos.
I’ve also filmed thousands of videos for video courses.
This productivity secret makes all the difference in the world.
I stopped getting email notifications on my phone years ago because the more we get distracted from doing our most valuable work, the less of our most valuable work we do.
For me, filming videos like this and making music, these are some of the most valuable kinds of contributions I can make.
In terms of the music especially, I love doing it.
People who are watching the live streams love participating and hearing it.
I love listening to my music.
I love the next day, getting up in the morning and knowing I have a brand new song to listen to, I just made.
That’s very valuable work to do.
By contrast, emailing someone back, who is asking about some potential opportunity for me, that’s generally low-value work because 99% of those emails go nowhere to start with and the ones that do often require so much of me, I don’t have as much time for my most valuable work.
The most consistent trap I see for entrepreneurs is never getting consistently into the most valuable work.
For a time maybe, after something bad happens like a job lost, there is all this work, but then the day-to-day mundane administrative tasks tend to suck out all of the time for creativity.
The key is to do that most valuable work because the money from the most valuable work is often ten to a hundred times what anything else is.
The reason this is so challenging for people is because it’s generally not a short-term thing. You might have to do the most valuable work for years before it starts paying decently.
For me, I filmed videos and did tutorials for years before I started getting a good amount of income back from them.
Now, I can literally not do anything and earn thousands of dollars every month in autopilot.
In fact, my channel in the short term might do better if I didn’t do anything.
The real joy is that I get to keep doing that most valuable work that I love. I get to keep showing up and teaching and making video tutorials, without having a boss outside of me to be accountable for.
This is how I’m accountable.
I do spreadsheets like this to track what I’ve done because I get a sense of accomplishment when I enter in a song I put up. I enjoy seeing the dates I’ve done things and how I’ve progressed.
Yes, I change focus sometimes.
I got into Steem and I didn’t produce much music for a while.
There is a pretty big gap between when I made some of the new songs.
For example, I produced the first song on March 25, 2017, and the sixty-eighth song on July 21, 2018, so there is about a year and four months, whereas right now I’m producing a song almost every day.
You can do the math, 68 versus nearly a year and a half.
That’s the same thing with the YouTube videos.
You just do the work that’s most important and stay free from those distractions.
I have felt guilty so many times for essentially wasting the valuable parts of my day on messages that often got me into things I wouldn’t have gotten into otherwise.
Now, a lot of us rationalize this, like if we don’t show up on our Discord or our email every day, we are going to miss opportunities.
Now, I don’t see that he actually practices it, but “The 4-Hour Workweek” is where I learned this.
Don’t check your email every day.
Now, of course, for certain business types, this may or may not work, but if you don’t like your business type, it’s up to you to choose a different one.
I was in the business of serving clients in 2013 and I had to check my email almost every day or clients would lose it, or so I thought.
Then, I learned I didn’t want to deal with clients who expected an immediate email response from me on Sunday while I’m at Disney with my family over something fairly minor.
Thereafter, I realized I don’t even enjoy serving clients.
I enjoy creating and producing more myself.
When we do our productivity tips, often we will get a chance to focus more on our work and that promotes less tolerance for doing things we don’t like to do. I eventually quit serving clients and I don’t serve clients anymore.
I’m grateful that I took the leap of faith because what most everyone I’ve encountered wants are the rewards up front.
In my experience, you put the service and the contributions in the most valuable work up front, and the rewards will come.
You might look at my music and ask, “What rewards are you getting out of this?”
Technically, because of where I’ve posted it, I’ve made thousands of dollars on my music.
Practically, if I didn’t have a following at all, I wouldn’t have made anything off of it.
At this point, you would ask, “What point is there in doing your music like this? Why bother being productive in something that doesn’t look like it has any potential in the short term to make any money at all?”
I love doing this. I love making music, it’s so fun.
Doing things that I love and the interactions, I’ve on making music I love, that’s valuable.
That’s called “play.”
I have fun playing around and getting a song out that I can listen to.
What I’ve noticed in my business, is when I do things like that and I stick with it, while it doesn’t pay, and of course, I set things up so it can pay, these tend to be some of the best paying things.
For example, the first probably several hundred videos I uploaded on YouTube did not make me hardly any money or any ad revenue.
Most people uploading on YouTube never get past those first few hundred videos.
Since then, if you count all the sales I’ve made, and everything that’s happened as a result of YouTube, I’ve earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, as a result of having a YouTube channel.
That’s what happens when I cut out all the distractions.
I just stand up and do work I love.
I love doing this for you because I see what a big difference this can make for you.
Most entrepreneurs I see, it’s the day-to-day distractions that are cutting out the majority of the potential, along with a willingness to do work where there is no joy, to serve clients without it being fun, to just do things to make money.
If you take the distractions out and you take out a willingness to do things, just to make money, you have got the foundation for guaranteed success.
Success in having a nice life that’s fun, that’s worth participating in, where you earn enough income on a daily basis to do what you love and make a big difference in other people’s lives. It doesn’t have to be a hundred million people’s lives or a million, it can just be a few.
If you have got a thousand people that love what you do online, that is plenty, especially these days to make a part-time, if not a full time living off of it.
Thank you very much for reading this post.
I hope it’s helpful for you because in the years that I’ve worked online, this is one of the most important lessons.
Those day-to-day distractions, those day-to-day little productivity missteps and the little choices add up over years to a massive difference.
I’m grateful today that I’ve consistently chosen to take leaps of faith, to do work I love and if I respond to an email three days after I get it, that will be soon enough, that I didn’t want whatever opportunity was conditioned on my 24-hour response to start with.
I’m grateful that when I keep an open schedule, I will have time to do what I love, and when I do what I love, I will make enough money doing it.
Thank you very much.
I love you.
You are awesome.
If you found anything in this helpful, will you please leave a like or share it, because you will feel good helping me?
I know that because I feel good helping you.
Edits from video transcript by Michel Gerard at www.michelgerardonline.com.