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037: Stay Productive without Burning Out!
Wherein I share my insane schedule, and how you might do just 25% of it to get more done without burning out.
Do you struggle with staying productive? I often get asked how on earth I get so much done or stay motivated while also holding down a full-time job.
This week I want to go through my current productivity schedule and some of the thinking behind it. How you can make a ton of progress without sacrificing a personal life.
Hopefully it inspires you to start moving!
First, let me show you the main pillars for Draw or Die beginning this week:
One of my goals from now through 2023 is to build up the Youtube channel.
I’m going to supercharge that with this schedule:
7pm EST Wednesdays: “The Warm-Up” / A half hour of drawing power. Watch live & warm-up together with weekly drawing exercises.
8pm EST Thursdays: The Live Video Podcast. Join and chat as we talk all things artist life, do some live drawing and will talk to other artists in the future. Listen to the replays while you draw!
Fridays: The Weekly Video. These will range in topics, from motivational to reviews. Like this one about creative discipline. (if you want me to cover something specific, let me know in the comments here!)
Sundays: This Newsletter, you’re reading right now.
Daily Mon-Sat: The daily drawing prompts (subscriber only)
Now, keep in mind….
I have a full-time day job, Mon-Fri. This is my main priority through the week.
I’m married and I want to stay that way 😂.
I'm also working on my own art projects, AND occasional gigs that come in.
So how on earth am I doing all that, let alone without burning out?!
#1… I honestly enjoy ALL of it. You’ve heard the saying right? If you find something you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work at all to me. I can get lost in it, and I often do.
#2 I stick to a routine schedule.
Here is the schedule I sketched out last Sunday to figure out how I would be able to cover all I wanted to do:
What are you looking at there?! Its Monday-Sunday. And the top of the page is “morning” (top of the morning to you!) , and the bottom of the page is the evening times. The quick icons denote what I should be working on. And I put the main pieces of content inside the main blocks on the days they land on.
I try to think about my week as essentially M-F I’m in “work mode” anyways. I can get a couple hours in the morning before work, and then evening hours to work on my projects. Essentially, M-F is “business mode!” And if i want to achieve my goals, it’s essential I carve some hours out in the AM and in the evening.
Important for those with day jobs: I never work on my personal projects during the work day. If something is posting during the day, it’s because it’s been pre- scheduled or because my wife is helping me stay organized.
CONQUER THE MORNING!: I wake at 5am every day. Usually I have to start my day job by 8am, sometimes earlier depending on meetings. I find doing a little something for me first, even just a little drawing, really sets me in a better mood for the day. I don’t like to get into crazy penciling or ideation of visuals, because I hate being pulled out of the zone.
Mondays: the AM BLOCK, the little letter or ink icon means I’m either doing some drawing OR writing scripts for secret projects. I find writing in the morning to be best because my mind is usually racing with ideas and inner dialogue.
Monday Evening: I record “A-Roll” for future videos. Ideally I should be recording as much a-roll as I can from 6pm until tired. (PS, if you don’t know what A-Roll is, it’s basically the main talking parts of a video, or main visuals)
Tuesday AM: Same as Monday. Tues after 6pm: Video editing night. As much as possible. Also will try to record some promos or B-Roll as needed.
Wednesday AM: Drawing or Writing. Wed after 6pm: Drawing secret project. Mostly penciling. Work until tired.
Thursday AM: Write the show notes / agenda for Video Podcast. Thurs at 8pm: Go live with Vide Podcast
Friday AM: Write or Draw. Friday Evening: Begin the weekly Newsletter. OPEN CHOICE. Work on what needs working on. Loose ends.
The 6H Block weekend…
This was an idea proposed by my wife, and I like a lot. As we still want to be able to go “do things”, we realized it’s very rare we are gone from morning to night on a weekend day. So the idea on Saturday and Sunday, it’s pretty easy to find a 6 hour time block for working on what needs working on, but it can shift from morning to evening.
It’s essential that it be 4-6 hours in a row in order to get something meaningful crushed out.
Saturdays: Finalize Sunday Newsletter. Content and Schedule check. Make sure the daily prompts are schedule. Remaining time: draw what needs drawing!
Sundays: Finalize my A-Roll scripts and what I’m recording on Monday. Remaining time: Draw what needs drawing!
All of the main pillar pieces of content, the core-4 go into into a little Trello Board calendar so I can see it holistically, and Aleasha can help coordinate scheduling and helping manage the biz side.
The little trello calendar also syncs into my calendar on my phone and watch so I can be reminded what I should be working on on a specific day. It keeps me out of falling into rabbit holes!
That seems like a lot, right? It is. But again, it’s also what I choose to do, what I enjoy doing, so it doesn’t feel like work to me.
I find having this kind of schedule is WAY better than “flying by the seat of my pants”.
What about you? What kind of schedule are you holding down? Or do you find this inspiring to start taking back some of your day to accomplish your projects? Your schedule doesn’t have to be as packed as mine. I’m a a maniac. BUT if you did even 25% of this, imagine how much progress you’d make in a month on your projects!
Remember, the more you delay the things that deep down you want to do “someday”, the more you will NOT do them.
“Someday” may never come!!!
So get cracking! Don’t delay! Start today!
The Weekly Drawing CHALLENGE!
“The GHOST OF X-MAS PAST!”
I encourage you to draw this out, and tag #drawordieclub on social of your choice.
I’ll be looking and pulling up live accounts on the Thursday podcast each week to show off what you’re up to! Can’t wait to see what you draw!
Daily Drawing Prompts to keep your pencil and mind moving. Try it for free.
Back to the drawing board for me! No place I’d rather be…