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My Secret for Finding Content Creation Time

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Consistently producing and sharing content is essential for any Thought Star — yet finding time to create content can be a challenge when you run a full-time business.

I’ve certainly had my own struggles with finding content time. I’d have multiple tasks to complete in a day — for example, writing something for the Highspot website, editing a Highspot special report, and reviewing a client manuscript. If time ran short and I could only do one, guess which one it was? Clients invariably came first.

Talk about the shoemaker’s children. I slowly (embarrassingly slowly) came to realize that if I didn’t make a change, Highspot knowledge products would never get done at the rate they needed to.

From Focus Days to Content Days
My business partner, Ross, is an associate coach at the Strategic Coach, a program for entrepreneurs. He’d told me about Focus Days — time that’s blocked off for productive tasks — but I hadn’t put them into practice because something about the concept didn’t quite fit for me.

Somewhere along the way it occurred to me to shift the idea slightly from Focus Day to Content Day — one day a week where I’d do nothing but internal Highspot work. With that subtle change, the penny dropped, or rather, what felt like a whole sack of pennies.

It felt ridiculously freeing to have one whole, uninterrupted day to dedicate to internal projects. I could take that extra 30 minutes to noodle an argument or that extra hour to finetune a report, and I didn’t have to feel guilty about what I wasn’t doing. Client work would get done — the next day. But for that eight hours, if I was working on an internal piece, I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.

Since implementing Content Days, my productivity has soared. Best of all for me, though, have been the emotional benefits. I feel excited and energized at the end of every Content Day. Where before I’d feel guilty for “stealing” time away from client projects, now I feel great about staying on task.

On the flip side, on non-Content Days, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about the internal projects awaiting my attention. I know they’ll get their time. That lets me focus fully on client work, which has boosted my productivity on that side as well.

Make It Your Time
Regular content creation is critical for a thought leader. If you don’t already dedicate time to the task, make it a goal to start.

Can’t spare a whole day? Try half a day. Or two hours twice a week. But be firm with yourself about keeping the appointment. Block if off on your calendar like a meeting, and make sure your assistant and the others around you know you’re not available during those hours.

If Content Time doesn’t feel right for you, experiment with the focus. Maybe for you it’s Book Time, where you allow yourself the freedom to work on anything that will advance your book project. Maybe it’s Writing Time or Blog Time. Adapt the focus until it fits.

Let us know how you make out. If you already have a focus system, what are the factors that make it work for you?