Optimize your Time, Prioritize your Energy

gui commited 2 years ago · ✍️ Content Creation

I'm not gonna lie to you. It's not easy to produce content and still keep your job. Oh, and no, I'm not gonna sell you any shit. I'm just a regular guy, with a regular job, sharing real shit from real life.

I work full-time for my company, I work out daily, I'm married, and somehow I find time to write to this blog and (rarely) record YouTube videos, so I guess I can share a thing or two.

So, let's start with the harsh truths:

⏳ It's going to take more time than you think

The thing is that people (and even myself before) don't realize is that creating good content is very time-consuming! Even the parts that you may think are easy aren't easy at all!

I should spend around 12 hours (if not more) to finish a blog post. Posts like Logging in Python like a pro took me a whole weekend including Sat, Sun, Mon (holiday) between thinking about the topic, considering options, writing, and reviewing.

The point is: Quality takes time, and no one wants to produce a sloppy piece of work. If you want to produce high-quality content, I bet you're going to spend more time than you think.

And no, it's not just me. Michael Lynch, and Matt D'Avella claim the same (and they're way better than me).

That's just an undeniable truth that the universe keeps bringing on, so accept that:

Good work takes time.

At the same time, it's not that bad! I spend less time on Netflix now, which makes me happier and more productive. It's easier to stop procrastinating when you know what you want to do.

🤹 You need to counter-balance and optimize

I really mean it. If there's something you can automate, automate it away. Don't spend any other second doing something manual and boring that consumes your energy (even though you don't realize it).

After all, creating content while having a job is no good excuse to leave other important aspects of your life behind (like your health and your marriage), you need to counter-balance.

Counter-balance is a concept presented by Gary Keller in my second favorite book: The One Thing where it says that:

To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. This requires getting extremely out of balance in relation to all other work issues

And it's true, recently my life has been a lot of redistribution of how I spend and use my time. There are moments that I need to drop everything to stay with my wife, sometimes I need to pause my ambitions and go to church, there're even other moments that I need to leave my dino 🦖 alone for a while to focus on my job.

These things are critical to me! If my wife is mad at me, or if I'm doing bad at my job, I don't have the mental energy to do anything else, so these areas are pillars to any other work I do.

Furthermore, other minor areas of your life shouldn't be forgotten, for these, you must optimize.

I don't stop working out, although I decide to skip gym some days when I'm in the mood to finish writing, or working on something. Regardless of that, I still optimize my health by automating my meal prep, I buy it in advance. Yes, I buy all my meals one week before.

That's how it looks like 👇

my fridge
My fridge
my meal, lunch and dinner
My meals (lunch left and dinner right)

I don't have to decide what to eat after a long day of work, I decided 1 week before that I was going to eat well, and I do it, I don't ever think about it. I recommend you don't ever ask yourself: "What am I having to eat now?" after a long day of work. It's proven that the odds of you making a bad choice are higher. You're exhausted, you're out of energy, you must recharge to make good decisions!

By the way, that's what we're going to talk now: Energy.

🔋 Prioritize your energy

Besides time, you have a core asset that drives all your actions and inner desires. This is your most important asset, that's what makes you wake up in the morning and kick ass. This is worth more than time.

No matter how strong, self-driven, or motivated you are, you'll get exhausted, and it will (temporarily) mine your desire to create.

A healthy man wants a thousand things, a sick man only wants one.
- Confucius

We have different kinds of energy, and all of them share the same vital one.

How I see and imagine energy

If you're out of your vital energy, just FORGET IT! You aren't making much, and if you push it, you're going to produce bad content. It's sad to realize that we have less control of ourselves than we wished to have, but that's the truth, and we need to accept reality.

🔌 How to keep your Creativity levels high

You gotta find your recharging hacks. If you're out of energy, it doesn't mean you can't produce. Sometimes, I'm depleted of deep work energy, but I still got some creativity flowing through my veins! It means I should (preferably) not read/code/work on a hard problem that needs deeper thinking, but I'm good enough to write!

The trick is that you MIGHT FEEL out of vital energy even though it's not true. You spent some of your vital energy, so your brain craves for rest, that's fair. Give small doses of recharging to get it pumping again!

To me, these hacks are as simple as:

Note that frequently I'm saying "my/your brain", and not "me/you". That's intended because it's not really us, we can't control motivation levels, mood, or anything else. If it were me I would be working nonstop 🤪, and it doesn't matter how much emotional intelligence you have, you control reactions, not feelings.

Before being a creator, we're humans, and the most I realize I'm a human 🙆, the least I expect myself to behave like a robot 🤖.

Being around great creators is my ultimate hack, and the internet made it possible for me to get close to GREAT PEOPLE! From Rodrigo on Python to Naval on Wealth. They're all one "follow" click away, and then I'm suddenly exposed to their ideas and knowledge.

💡 Bonus tip: Work in a flexible company

Of course, working in a flexible company is the best hack ever, and helps a lot. I'm grateful that I can work remotely (so no energy/time is wasted on commuting) with great people (recharge hack!) from all over the world - It drives me!!

By the way, we're hiring! If you want to join us, get energized, and make the difference, get in touch!

📆 Schedules help, but saving ideas is key

We're driven by our habits. We eat, sleep, work (often) at the same time, and creating content is (initially) a hobby, so I can't tell myself that I will be able to write every day at the same time like James Clear, because I have other things on my plate.

Production issues arise, deliveries delay, and I must counter-balance.

Schedules helped me to think that Sat and Sun mornings I'll write something (either posts or newsletters), but that's it! It helped me to get started, I can't ensure I'll finish a post over the weekend.

What really helps me is to save ideas for later! I jot all shitty ideas into my Notion, and sometimes it happens to be good 🤷. Don't ever miss an idea, you don't have to execute it, you just have to save it.

Notion ideas
Some shitty ideas (some are good I swear, I just don't know which)

🥇 Does it really worth it? Should I create content?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Even though it's hard, you should do it! It maximized my serendipity levels and made me happier.

I feel great when I receive emails from people, like:

Emails that energize me!


Emails connect me to great people

And you know what? It could be you!! You can join the psychopath club and create!

How to know if it's your thing? Well, trying.

📖 Learn from my mistakes

I constantly share my mistakes (even the embarrassing ones). Other bite-sized mistakes I share more actively on Twitter:

You should do the same, it inspires people around you!

Take as an example my delusion on producing content for Youtube 😅. I'm investing a lot of time and effort into it, see:

I'm sharing from planning and creating a scenario:

To recording and editing:

And you know what? Probably I'm gonna fail. But I'll learn, grow, and share my mistakes. If you're curious to watch my journey you should totally follow me and subscribe!

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