Three things you need to create great content and how time management drives them all

Time passes (courtesy stimpy023 at Flickr CC)

It’s a simple formula, really.

To create and publish great content (blog posts, Facebook Page Wall notes, videos, tweets) you need….

1)  Lots of good ideas about something that interests you, a way to record those ideas and time to do so

2)  An editorial calendar to coherently organize and schedule the ideas – expanded into content – for publication, and time to think about and work on the calendar

3)  Structured blocks of time to create all of the great content that you’ve thought of, then organized and scheduled

Three simple things, and time ties them all together.

Number One is doing fine for me;  I have a whole notebook of blog post ideas that I carry around, and I keep notecards by the bed in case of late-night rockets of brilliance to the brain. Read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life for more insights into organizing your ideas.

I used to be pretty good with Number Two, then fell off of the planning wagon, got tired of pulling content out of my left ear at the last minute, and stumbled wearily back to the calendar.  The key is to schedule time to think through and craft the calendar, organize the content ideas and fit it all into your workflow. Go read Becky McCray’s post on the six most important things; it will help.

I am not doing so well at Number Three.

My basic schedule for keeping up with 3 blogs means a post for one of them each day, Monday through Friday (this blog is scheduled for every Tuesday and Friday. Ain’t happening, is it?)

This means I need a more functional schedule. It also means I am considering dropping one of the blogs for which I’ve run out of creative energy. In my Navy shipboard engineering days, the electricians called that “load-shedding”….dropping noncritical items off of the power grid to ensure power to vital systems and equipment.

It does not mean I need to “make time.”

You can’t “make time.”  That goose is already cooked. No one gets extra helpings of time or special favors from the Wizard of Time.

24 hours. That’s it.

As usual, strategist and thinker Chris Brogan has a thoughtful take on time. Here is the direct link to his video on YouTube if you can’t see the box below.

I found it helpful, and hope you will, too.

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5 Responses to Three things you need to create great content and how time management drives them all

  1. Couldn’t agree more – if you don’t have the energy and the passion to do the work, then why are you doing it? It isn’t helping anybody.

    That’s not an excuse or a co-op for those reading and wanting to drop their blogging for their small biz. I’d encourage you to ask yourself what really is the problem – is it a lack of ideas? Ask Sheila or me, we’ll give you five for free. Is it getting yourself organised? or is it that lack of time. (And if it’s time… how are you going to fix it?)

    Great post, Sheila – particularly enjoyed the ever-present military reference 😉
    Andy Hayes | Travel Online Partners´s last [post] ..More Proof Travel Brochures Aren’t Dead- Just Different

  2. Thanks, Andy. I don’t always follow my own advice very successfully, but at least I know what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing!

  3. BusyTraveler says:

    Thank you! I really needed that today.

  4. Kami Huyse says:

    So which blog are you dropping? 😉
    Kami Huyse´s last [post] ..When a Good Thing Comes Together- Helping Neighbors in the Gulf of Mexico

  5. Hi BusyTraveler – I’m glad it helped!

    Hi Kami – Well, I’ve sent my “need to make a change email” to the host/editor but have heard nothing back, so would rather not say till I do. It is one of the travel blogs, though. Am considering posting occasional travel posts on this blog, maybe holding certain days of the week as “travel blog post” days, so that I don’t stray too far from my tourism/tech/social media main focus.

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