How to Make Time to Create Content

A question that's come up a lot recently is: How can I make time to create content.

As a Creator myself, I can relate to that question a lot.

I very much live to create. I create code. Words. Music. Food. Drinks. Space. 

I know for myself, I need time to create. This week, there are 9 distinct blocks in my calendar. Two of them are gym sessions with my trainer. Two of them are meetings with my team. Two of them are coaching sessions (where I'm the one being coached). One is an interview with a prospective designer. One was a meeting with our accountant. And the last one is a master classes for a programs that I'm a part of, that I can choose to skip if I want to (I did).

This is a PACKED week for me. I like to keep my calendar down to a bit less than this. It's hard, because I do want to work out, and I do want to work with my coaches, and with my coaching clients.

But having large chunks of uninterrupted time is important for me as a creator. That's when I'm in my flow. That's when I make things happen. It takes focus. It takes time.

In order to really be creative, I also need to let things slide. Emails can go unanswered for long periods of time. They will get an answer eventually, but it'll be on my time, not theirs. I need to pick a focus area. I cannot both write code and songs and emails and create food, all at the same time. I have to pick. It goes in waves for me.

It's the law of raspberry jam. I can either put a lot of jam on a small slice of bread, and have a really juicy and satisfying bite. Or I can try to spread the same amount of raspberry jam over thousands of slices of bread, and it doesn't really do much good for anyone. I prefer lots of jam on one slice at a time.

So that's my strategy: Keep the calendar very clear (so-called "maker mode", as opposed to "manager mode"), shut out all distractions, and make!

I had lunch with Gay Hendricks a couple weeks ago. He writes about a book a year, and has done so for the past 25 years or so. He gets up each morning at 5am, and goes straight to the computer to write, without eating. In fact, he doesn't eat until around noon, as he finds that digesting food slows down his brain. I believe him. His books show clear signs of elevated levels of brain activity. When we met for lunch at 12.30, he'd been up for seven and a half hours and had yet to eat anything. Poor guy. We had to drive around looking for parking, and then the restaurant botched his order of a starter, so he had to wait even longer. 

The creating-on-an-empty-stomach strategy is not how I do it, though. As Raegan and Mandi can both attest to, when my stomach gets under a certain level, my brain shuts down. They hate it when we have team meetings on my fast days. "Arw Calvin, can you please eat?" they say. But I'm headstrong. 

All of this to say: If you want to create content, do it. Set aside the time. Do it first thing in the morning, or last thing. Make sure you prioritize it over putting out the latest fire, answering emails or texts, checking Facebook, or even, for some people, eating.

New Features in Simplero

The last week or so has been infrastructure week at Simplero HQ. I've been working with Nick, our nerd in Copenhagen, on a LOT of server infrastructure stuff. We've upgraded to Rails 5, we've switched out the templating we used for email templates from embedded coffeescript to Liquid, which is way more popular, and which will lay the groundwork for themes in the future. The process was a bit rocky, which is not unexpected when you make such sweeping changes, but we're all back to stability now.

We're hard at work on new stuff making it much much easier to get your opt-in forms onto your website, and make them look good. Stay peeled for that.

A couple of new features made its way in, too:

  • We've dramatically increased storage quotas on all plans, most have been doubled!
  • You can now choose what we say in emails when we don't know the name. Until now, it's bee "Reader", but now you can change it to whatever you'd like.
  • We've added a helpful link to your subject line fields with tips to get your emails opened more
  • Broadcasts now get sent immediately when you send immediately. Before it could take a minute or two.
  • We've made improvements to our content distribution network. Fingers crossed that we're good now...
  • Fixed a bug with replies to emails when handled by Simplero that wouldn't make it through
  • Show Simplero ID on space membership page
  • Added a payments summary to the checkout page so customers can see exactly what they'll pay when
  • You can now remove the "Powered by Simplero" branding on the "Basic" plan and up.
  • Customers on all plans can choose to instead add their own Simplero affiliate link to it, and thus you earn a commission when someone signs up using that link. Both can be found under Settings > Colors and graphics
  • Fixed a bug with updating access restriction for a page in a space

Random Links from Around the Interwebs

This appreciation exercise from Katy Hendricks is absolutely wonderful. Go do it. Right now.

Hilariously bad phone number web forms.

Maraschino cherry owner killed himself when he was about to be busted for running a pot growing operation. Can't make this stuff up.

Have a fantastic week.

Lots of love,
–Calvin

 

 

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