A regular writing routine helps you create high-quality content faster. This is how to set up a routine that works.
A few weeks ago, in a lively LinkedIn discussion thread, I mentioned that I’ve made it a habit to regularly dedicate a full day or at least a half-day exclusively to writing.
Though this seemed like business as usual to me, the comments generated expressed surprise and asked intriguing questions and messages.
How do you find the time?
Sounds like something I should try out, too, but I don’t know how to make it happen.
That’s how this article was born: to share my tested and proven content creation routine with you so that you can enjoy uninterrupted content creation time (and more free time as a result) – and your followers can enjoy higher quality content more often!
Writing day routine – This is why you need one
Let’s take a step back first and talk about why it’s important to have a content creation routine and block time for this task regularly.
In reality, many of us write blogs in the evening after kids have gone to bed, or type social media posts in trains, trams and doctors’ waiting rooms.
However, when our mind hops from one thing to another like a well-caffeinated grasshopper, our attention doesn’t follow right away and stays divided between different tasks.
This damages both the quality of our work and our productivity. As Cal Newport writes in Deep Work, “The common habit of working in a state of semi-distraction is potentially devastating your performance.” (Read more on the book and other literary gems.)
In contrast, when we focus on a creative task like writing blog articles or recording videos for four hours in a row, we get more done than spreading the same time throughout the week in 30 minute intervals. It means more time for other priorities (or napping!) and higher quality that your followers will appreciate.
Set up your writing routine step by step
Understanding the importance of uninterrupted working slots is one thing, making them a reality is another.
The first step in setting up a creative routine that works is to schedule your content creation time. Block one day or two half-days from your calendar each week and make sure your team, clients and family knows you’re not available at these time slots.
Trial and error will show, which times and how long the slots are that work the best for you. Personally I prefer batching my creative work in the mornings when I’m at my most alert and focused. The same way, half-days tend to work better for me than full days, but we are all different.
Just one word of warning! Be realistic with how much time you need to get everything done. As much as I would like to write five blog posts in three hours, it rarely happens. In a few weeks or a couple of months, you’ll see how many creative slots are needed each week or month.
Block distractions to create high quality content quickly
Imagine yourself sitting behind your desk, four empty hours waiting to be filled with focused and productive content creation.
Sounds a bit distressing, doesn’t it?
Procrastination and resistance tend to kick in at this point when your brain realises you actually should be creating that stellar content plan or dazzling visuals right now, before noon.
Try out these tricks to get started:
- Meditation or a brisk walk before starting
- Listening to some music while you work
- Work in a coffee shop or in a co-working space to avoid distractions
- Enlist an accountability partner or a friend to work with you
- Beat writer’s block and start from anywhere but the beginning
- Plan your work the previous day to get started right away
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Try, fail, repeat – Necessary steps when trying something new
Setting up a focused creative working routine doesn’t always work out the first time you try it. A non-negotiable deadline pops up and shifts the priorities. An unrefusable client meeting cuts in the same day you were supposed to work on content or a family emergency destroys your concentration.
When this happens, try again. Start from the top: schedule time, maybe try finding a better moment, equip yourself with a toolbox to get unstuck and sit down to work.
When you get into the groove, content creation will feel more enjoyable. And first and foremost, your audience will see a difference!