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Definitely, Bit Off More Than I Can Chew

by Michael Brockbank 7 months ago in workflow
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Taking On too Much at Once and Not Getting Priorities Straight

Definitely, Bit Off More Than I Can Chew
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

There's no doubt that I have a lot on my plate. At times, it feels like I ran through the line at Golden Corral piling on a bit of everything in the hopes I can choke it all down. Well, without the violent uprising from a lack of steak. And recently, I think I definitely defined my maximum capacity. Still, I refuse to let anything die off simply because of my inability to give up, even when it's clear that I should.

I've had a lot of experiences where I succeeded because I never surrender. So, that's my default mindset. Keep pushing until it works.

My Day is FULL

Overall, there are three major brands that I am developing. They are WriterSanctuary (my flagship), Crossing Colorado, and Colorado Plays. The other two blogs are merely side projects that are kind of growing. But the first three are the ones I care the most about.

Then, I have my second book that I am pushing to have published by May 1st. And if I maintain my plan of writing more than 1,300 words per day, I should still be able to get it out by then.

I'm trying to develop the YouTube channels into something fun. WriterSanctuary has a much larger following than the other two, simply because I put far more effort developing videos for it over Crossing Colorado and Colorado Plays.

A friend of mine wants me to edit her book, which I am working through. Unfortunately, my time allotment for the day only allows for an hour's block in my schedule.

I have a penchant for pushing myself to maintain certain challenges. This time around, it's making sure I write every day for 30 days on Vocal. So far, it's been fun and I've seen a bit of movement in reads as well as income.

I've also been trying to squirrel away some time to maintain the weekly audiobook episodes I have on YouTube for Creative Sanctuary. They are a lot of fun to create, and although I don't have a massive audience, the few who listen every week keep me making more.

I'm trying to get back into live streaming on Twitch for Colorado Plays. It's the brand I'm developing in which 30% of all of its income, no matter where it comes from, goes directly to the Extra Life charity for Children's Miracle Network. We also stream live on Sunday nights on YouTube.

Oh, did I mention I'm also the Content Marketing Team Lead of a prominent web hosting company? I research new content, edit writers' work, submit images for headers, manage their YouTube channel, write blog posts about the various webinars we create, write WordPress tutorials, and much more.

These are just the things I can think of off the top of my head and what I have scheduled in Asana at this very moment. Needless to say, I've got a lot going on throughout any given week.

Why Do I Take On So Much?

To be perfectly honest, I'm not 100% sure why I do this to myself. I'm wondering how much this has to do with how my brain is wired.

One of the things that made me successful while writing for Textbroker and other content mills is my ability to jump from topic to topic. I've always been exceptional when it comes to switching my focus, which is why I am a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Essentially, I can be good at anything I decide to do. And since my focus shifts wildly, I often create another platform in which to explore knowledge and learn all I can about the topic.

I also have quite a few interests that are close to being equal in importance to me. And now that I've put so much time and effort into so many of them, I feel like I have to see everything through.

Every time I think about dropping one so that I have more time in the day, I start to get depressed and angry with myself.

I'm telling you, I HATE giving up.

Spreading Yourself too Thin Means Less Effort Overall

When you spread yourself extremely thin as I have, you don't get to spend a lot of quality time building up brands, businesses, or blogs. Time is spread across all of the things you wish to accomplish, which means it will take longer to reach certain goals.

For example, instead of just focusing on one blog and writing a new post every day for my audience, I perhaps publish five to nine each month. That's because my time is taken up by other projects.

Essentially, I am reducing the potential traffic to that site by 75% each month by not having enough topic-centered content.

Sure, everything I am working on is growing year-over-year. Well, except WriterSanctuary's YouTube channel, but that's another tale of its own.

Algorithm issues and all.

But the growth isn't spread as equal as the time I am spending. This means it's going to take exceptionally longer for each brand to develop to meet certain milestones.

Take WriterSanctuary, for instance. It has grown each year since 2016 in terms of traffic. Yet, over the past six years, it still hasn't quite reached 10,000 visitors per month.

A lot of people will reach this milestone within two years if they work at producing high-quality content.

My point is that taking on too much can reduce the overall development of every single project. So when things aren't growing as fast as you'd like, it's probably because of the amount of time you're able to put into them. Especially when it comes to blogs or YouTube channels.

Prioritizing What I Absolutely Want to be Done

Currently, I am prioritizing my friend's book editing and writing my second book. That's because these are technically the only two that are on specific time frames. This means that as soon as I'm done with my client work, I spend time on those two projects. That way, I can get both done in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this also means that I sacrifice things that I absolutely don't need right now. Thus, slowing down the growth of something.

At this moment, I'm sacrificing blog posts so I can get my book published by May 1st. Sometimes, I might also have to sacrifice a YouTube video or live stream. In reality, there is just not enough time in the day to do what I want.

Why don't I hire some help? Because I don't quite bring in enough for full-time writers. I can barely afford the one I have for PracticallyLivingGreen.com, which is one of my project sites. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring on some additional help. I would love a video editor as that would free up two hours of my day. But for now, it all comes down to what I can handle on my own.

Focusing on One Project at a Time?

I am seriously debating on focusing on one brand at a time to get each one stable. So, if I build up WriterSanctuary to bring in enough to pay for additional writers, I can move on to the next. Instead of spreading myself all over the Internet, which sounds kind of wrong, I could focus on hitting specific goals for each brand before jumping onto another.

Yes, I've been thinking of that over the past several years. And in theory, it sounds great. But there is just one glaring problem with this mindset...

Me.

I have the hardest time staying focused on just one topic for an extended period of time. Just take a look at my Vocal feed. I write about several different major niches. I'm just not sure if I can maintain a mental balance while narrowing in on just one thing.

Although, it would probably be better for me in the long run. The sheer amount of stress relief that would come if I could simply afford another writer and video editor would be amazing.

Is It Possible for Me to Find Balance?

I think I might have to spend a bit of time really looking at where everything is going and how I'm managing my day. The more I talk about stabilizing one brand at a time, the more I realize the overwhelming benefits. Not to mention it's something I tell clients all the time. How do I expect a client to listen to me if I can't follow my own advice?

See, that's the beauty of journaling like this. I doubt this particular post will get a ton of reads on Vocal, but it helps me put things into perspective. As I write the words, my brain is already mulling over what I just wrote.

I suppose it's in my best interest to take some time today and figure out if I can find balance in my day without completely getting rid of everything I enjoy doing. It's not going to happen overnight, but the idea of affording additional help is VERY enticing.

workflow

About the author

Michael Brockbank

I am the owner and operator of several blogs including WriterSanctuary.com. As a freelance writer since 2012, I have covered a range of topics and completed over 8,000 projects for clients. Follow me @WriterSanctuary on Twitter.

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