One of the reasons we even worry about productivity is because we have things on our to-do lists, we don’t even want to touch.
Go ahead, look over your to-do list. How many items do you actually feel motivated to tackle? Chances are, there are only one to three items that give you any sense of excitement.
Invoicing your clients is essential. It’s always nice to get paid. Answering your emails might give you a tiny dopamine fix. Having to call your bank can probably wait. And the fetch quest tasks (research options and submit to client, partner, boss, etc.), well, they don’t exactly make the fires of passion well up in your belly.
Maybe the way we’ve been thinking about productivity has been wrong all along.
Because if we just focused on the things that excited us, we’d have a hard time peeling ourselves away from our desk or lab. We wouldn’t be watching the clock, waiting for it to turn 5 or 6. We’d be so deep in flow, we’d have to be deliberate about having a hard stop.
“But I still have things I need to do that I don’t want to do, David” you say. “What you’re suggesting is highly impractical.”
True, you can’t outsource exercise. If you want to maintain your health and fitness, you’ve got to put in the work. There is no other way. It’s the same way with invoicing, emails, calling the bank, and so on.
And we can’t very well escape communication, whatever form it may take. Even ruthless time manager and author Dan Kennedy accepts faxes.
But if we’re serious about productivity, we can’t just think in terms of getting things done. Because that’s not where the important work happens. The truth is the important work only happens when we prioritize and schedule it. Otherwise, it has a way of getting swallowed up in the deluge of urgent tasks that force productivity instead of inspiring it.
If you want to inspire productivity, you’ve got to work on something you love.
Just yesterday, I completed a new 8,000+ word eBook. I wrote it in three days, and I happen to think of it as a timely, important work.
I had my reasons for wanting to get it done, mostly because I plan to release it by tomorrow (April 1, 2021), and because it’s replacing a legacy product.
If I were tasked with writing an 8,000-word listicle, unless I was especially excited about the subject matter or had a hard and fast deadline for the piece, I would probably needlessly stretch it out over the course of four or five days.
“It’s so boring,” I would whine. “I just want to be working on my own stuff.”
Now, I’m not saying that you will love everything you work on, even the things you call your passion.
It’s funny – on some level, I actually hate my new eBook. But I got into flow as I was working on it, and I didn’t want to peel myself away from it until it was done. And in this case, I took hating it as a sign that I was engaging in important work.
The point is that we all need work in our life we can’t help but engage in. And, if possible, our lives should revolve around it. Usually, “must do” tasks can be batched on one evening or maybe a couple hours during the weekend. We can create our businesses around the things we love, and not doing so is robbing you and your audience of something amazing.
What is one small change you could make in your life to do more of what you love?
For years, I’ve been fascinated with content syndication and distribution.
I would often think about how many places I could put my content, as well as where I could go to be seen, even if just by one person who found my content valuable.
Now, I don’t dedicate the same amount of time and energy to it that I used to. But once I’ve established a publishing routine, a content syndication and distribution routine are usually soon to follow.
Is it worth putting your time into promoting your content? Would it be better to spend more time writing instead? I would suggest you come to your own conclusions on that, and the following may help.
Here I will share the 18 social networks and platforms I’ve been experimenting with.
My “Green Light” List
As I’ve shared before, I’ve committed to growing my following on Medium and Twitter this year, so they have been excluded from the following list.
All other social networks and platforms have been quarantined for further review, though there are two or three on the list that are about to make my green light list.
By the way, when I talk about my green light list, it’s just a simple traffic light system:
Green for sites that I’m focused on and am seeing results from
Yellow for sites I’m not sure about yet
Red for sites that haven’t done a thing for me (and in some cases are to be avoided completely)
With that context established, we’re ready to dive in. Here are the platforms I’ve been experimenting with and my thoughts on each.
Facebook sucks. I’m sorry, it just does.
It’s trying to be the next one-stop-shop like Google, with its dating this, marketplace that, and gaming other (and now they’re looking to branch out into articles too?).
Just do what you do well, Facebook, which at this point is nothing. Even social aspect of Facebook is beyond cumbersome, and Telegram is a far superior Messenger.
Don’t worry about Zuckerberg. He will find a way to keep it afloat, with his big government and big pharma collusion.
So, why bother with Facebook?
There are still a lot of people on the platform. Social Media Today says their growth has stalled (I honestly think it’s on decline), but those who are hooked are still hooked. So, you’ve got to be there if you want to capture that audience.
Look, I know some people do well on Facebook. So, I’m not discouraging anyone from trying, and like I said, I’m trying too.
But if you so much as dare post anything that links outside of Facebook, you’re basically penalized for it, which makes it a horrible place to invest heavily into as a writer. Even their ad platform is needlessly convoluted, and constantly changing.
The occasional (but rare) engagement on my posts and direct messages are what keeps me going back to this dirty, polluted, and stinky fishing hole.
People are still going gaga over Instagram, even as they add new (but confusing and half-finished) functionality.
For Instagram, I take my most engaged tweets and turn them into attractive but simple 1080×1080 images. And I schedule these out to publish once per day. This doesn’t take long to do at all.
I have seen some engagement as result of this, but my following hasn’t grown. At this point, it’s still too early to tell, mind you. I guess we’ll see where it goes.
A lot of writers and entrepreneurs are seeing results from sharing on LinkedIn, and I am too. I’ve seen decent engagement on my articles, and my connections continue to grow weekly.
The dirty secret about LinkedIn is that it used to be a boring and stuffy environment, so posting anything that’s the slightest bit eye-catching (like a video) had the chance to go viral.
I say used to be, because many people are seeing the term “LinkedIn” in a story like this and are staking their claim on the platform.
So far, I haven’t seen explosive engagement on LinkedIn. But I would at least say it’s been worthwhile, especially since it has led to other writing opportunities for me.
I guess I’m not exactly “experimenting” with YouTube. I’m staying steady with it. It’s just that it’s not on my “green light” list.
Gradually, I have been seeing my subscriber base grow on YouTube, but it has been slow, and I have a channel with hundreds of videos.
To be fair, most of it isn’t content developed to appeal to the average YouTube viewer, who comes ready to watch and expects production value. I mostly republish my podcast content.
Either way, you can’t deny that YouTube is huge, and in the last year, I have only found myself using it more and more. I would suspect it’s been the same for you.
Which tells you something. You should probably post something on YouTube.
I recently realized that there’s virtually nothing about my five books on YouTube, and it’s probably one of the first places people are searching for them, so I’m planning to create a video series for each book.
My WordPress blogs are set to auto-post to Tumblr.
Much to my surprise, I’ve been seeing my following grow incredibly consistently on Tumblr without effort.
If I continue to see the same kind of growth, it’s only a matter of time before I green light Tumblr.
VK is Russia’s answer to Facebook, and if you’re just learning about it now, you’re a little late to the game. The site started in 2006.
It takes me all of 10 to 30 seconds to share my content on VK, so I do it, but so far, I haven’t seen any action on my posts.
That said, Google obviously has its eyes on it. When you click on the “Share” button on YouTube, there are several sites that pop up, and among them is VK. Whatever is prioritized by YouTube is bound to be a signal for Google too.
As with anything else, pinning a new post to Pinterest takes all of 10 to 30 seconds. But I can’t say it has led to engagement, and my follower count has basically stayed the same since I started.
Of course, Pinterest is a visual platform. If you’re just going there to pin your Medium post, you’re going to end up pinning the stock photo you picked for the story, and that’s not attention grabbing enough for Pinterest.
If you want to do Pinterest right, you should create custom graphics or curate and organize other people’s best images.
Mix is another signal that Google (or at the very least YouTube) pays attention to. It’s basically a social bookmarking site. It reminds me a bit of StumbleUpon, and as it turns out, Mix is a literal outgrowth of StumbleUpon.
But unlike StumbleUpon, Mix won’t send you much traffic to your articles or website. I think I have over 150 posts on Mix now, and I haven’t seen much movement at all.
As of now, I can’t say it’s worth it, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
I literally just got started on Clubhouse, so at this point I’m not sure whether it will add any value to my content syndication and distribution efforts.
I’m skeptical of any notion that experts are sharing knowledge and insights on Clubhouse they’ve held back on elsewhere.
Still, I will set aside my skepticism long enough to give this one a go (as I have done with every other platform).
But as someone who is quite active on Twitter, I couldn’t resist the idea of creating and monetizing a newsletter. And Revue makes it incredibly easy to set up your newsletter.
I have been sending out my newsletter (Creative Alchemist) once per week for about three weeks now, but I don’t have a single subscriber.
Of course, even if I did end up with a big list, I would still be proactive about backing it up, because you just never know what could happen to a platform like Revue.
Anyway, I like the idea of Revue. I just haven’t seen any traction from it yet.
If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to with Revue, go here.
11. News Break
As other writers grow bearish of News Break, I continue to grow more bullish of it. And if I were thinking purely in terms of revenue, I would probably be putting most of my time and energy into writing for News Break over Medium. My Medium revenue has a long way to go to catch up to my News Break revenue.
That said, there’s a good chance you’re still going to get more views on your stories on Medium, so there is a tradeoff.
For the time being, News Break has been added to my green light list.
If you’re thinking about becoming a News Break writer, click here.
I like the idea of being in people’s pockets. No, not literally. People are weary of coming within six feet of each other as is.
No, what I mean is that I could be a notification or alert away from someone’s attention. And Telegram gives me that. I like it better than text messaging (which generally needs to be personal to get results), and like I said earlier, it’s far more usable than Messenger.
But as I’ve found, it may not work for you unless your audience uses Telegram, and you already have a significant following.
In the time I’ve been using Telegram and have been encouraging people to subscribe to my channel, I have gained a total of five subscribers. Well, that’s something, I guess.
With the 2020 and 2021 media hysteria, we’ve seen the rise of free speech and alternative social media sites, and Brighteon.Social is just one among many.
Brighteon, by the way, is a video sharing site much like YouTube, and Brighteon.Social is their Twitter alternative.
When I first started experimenting on Brighteon.Social, I didn’t expect many people to be there, and I figured the conversation would mostly revolve around politics.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I have come across some weirdos. But much to my surprise, people started engaging and sharing my articles, and I have grown a small following too.
Again, I have not seen explosive growth, but if the momentum picks up from here, I could see myself green-lighting Brighteon.Social.
To be honest, I’m already quite excited about Odysee, a free speech video sharing platform that resembles YouTube more and more by the day (and it’s a bit like YouTube was 10 years ago).
Odysee runs on the blockchain, and your channel is monetized the moment you start it. You can earn LBRY Credits (or LBC) by completing small actions like verifying your email address, watching videos, growing your following, and more. Of course, you can also receive tips from other viewers.
As it stands now, I’m mostly uploading older content over to Odysee. If I were serious about making a go of it, I would be more heavily invested in creating engaging video content.
Still, I’ve been able to earn over 300 LBC in the short amount of time I’ve been on the platform, and that’s the equivalent of about $84. Way more than I would earn on YouTube for the same number of followers and views.
If you’re thinking about joining Odysee, click here.
Parler is the most notorious free speech newcomer on the block, and yes, it’s up and running again.
I’ve only started posting there recently, so I have no idea whether I’ll begin to see any engagement on my posts or if I’ll be able to grow a following.
Likely, I will share in a follow up piece.
What follows, from here, are all new free speech-oriented platforms that, for me, tend to blend. Which is to say, I haven’t seen much traction on any of the following, despite remaining diligent with daily posting.
I’m not ready to write anything off, but so far, I can’t say I’m bullish about Minds or the other two that follow.
Now, I will say this about Minds – they give you the ability to monetize your posts, something I have yet to experiment with. To be able to do this, though. you will need to become a paid member.
So far, I think I have a following of two on MeWe. That’s something.
I have a following of one on Gab. Wow, dude.
Other Platforms I Might Begin Experimenting with
I have some interest in the following, though my hands are quite full right now:
If nothing else, experimentation can be a lot of fun.
It doesn’t take a long time to share your posts on various social networks and platforms, so if you wanted to make it a part of your routine, it’s good to know it wouldn’t be overly effort intensive.
Of course, if you want to make the most of every platform, you’ve got to customize your approach to each. So, that’s not worth it unless you’ve got a freelancer or team to handle it for you.
I look forward to writing a following up piece on this to report on my various experiments.
This week’s theme has been “dissatisfaction.” It’s not something I wanted to focus on or give too much attention to. But when emotions surface in your life, I think it’s best to sit with them, and allow them to play out as they will.
As we move into a new week, my focus is already shifting to ideas. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
So, here’s this week’s #StrategySunday breakdown.
Here is what I went over during this planning session:
I went over my content responsibilities for the week.
I reviewed current products in development. Two products are inching closer to completion.
I went over my admin duties for the week.
I looked at what I’m looking to accomplish musically. One project is nearing completion.
I reviewed my project queue. I’m a little behind on one project and I’m looking to wrap it up this week.
Was there anything that came out of this week’s reflection and planning session?
I shared about how it’s easy to get caught up in stats and outcomes this past week. What I’m thinking now is that perhaps the only number worth worrying about is how many blog posts and products I publish.
I am finding that dedicating some time to personal development and reading grounds and balances me. It’s also relaxing. Although I’m not affirming anything new here, it’s a good reminder.
Were there any ideas that came out of this week’s session?
If the only number I pay attention to is the number of stories and products published, it might mean doing less overall. Although syndicating and distributing content only takes 10 to 15 minutes per day, I’m not sure if this time well spent (though it does give me something to talk about in future stories). Still evaluating.
I’m thinking about moving some money into crypto and gold. Investing into crypto is basically like gambling, so I’m just looking to put a bit of surplus into it, not using money that I’m unwilling to lose.
Although I’ve gone back and forth on this, I’ve started thinking about turning Music Entrepreneur HQ into a content site again, especially considering a new podcast idea I’ve been working on, as well as some of the things I’d like to do with Content Marketing Musician. I will need to put more thought into this.
Although this is not something I would or even could action now, I’ve been thinking about a 100-day music publishing experiment to see how many songs I could launch in that time and how much I could grow my overall listenership and revenue. Again, I’ll want to deliberate further before committing.
Thanks for joining me, champ!
If you need more inspiration, refer to yesterday’s weekly digest.
That’s it for this week’s #StrategySunday. Wishing you the best of weeks!
Is a worthy endeavor always supposed to be simple, easy, or fun?
Does it bring you joy to run a marathon? It’s a relief when you finally make it to the finish line, sure. But isn’t the training grueling? Isn’t the run to the finish line a battle of the mind?
Follow your passion. Follow your bliss. Do what makes you happy. Keep only what gives you joy.
Yes, I agree. But if you go into every project thinking it’s not going to require some grit and determination, you’re headed straight for a wake-up call.
Starting a project is exciting. But finishing it is a battle of the mind.
It’s no secret that I have been on a slight downswing as of late. But that was prompted by an increased sense of self-worth, which always seems to be followed by dissatisfaction. They go hand in hand.
So, I find it kind of funny that everyone finds my dissatisfaction so alarming. “Maybe you should try something else,” they say. “Success or failure is a matter of how you look at it,” they declare.
Of course, these are statements worth examining. And I have.
But when you know you were made for more, should you ever be satisfied with where you’re at? Content, perhaps. But never complacent.
The next challenge is bound to be even greater than the current one. So, if you don’t prepare and build resilience now, will you even be ready for the next boss you’ll be facing?
My dissatisfaction is well-earned. Not because I’ve been doing this “publishing thing” for a while, but rather because I have poured myself into a variety of projects that have mostly turned out to be disappointments over the course of 10 and in some cases 20 years.
I seek to shed such notions, and that time will come. My perspective will shift. I will see things anew.
That moment is not now. Now is the time to prepare and to develop resiliency for the next boss I must face.
And with that, here’s what I made for you this week.
David Andrew Wiebe
I publish daily to inspire creatives and creators just like you.