Why I'm Over Productivity Hacks
Less batch-created content, more rich content about the human experience.
Another day on Medium, another article about how to create six months' worth of content in 4 hours or how to write two best-selling e-books in a day. As someone with barely any survival skills other than storytelling and writing, the lure of making money from my skills is an alluring opportunity. However, upon reading these articles, I'm discovering new terms like "batch-creation", "automation", "time-blocking", and "listen to the analytics, lean into the content that performs the best".
Okay, time-blocking is pretty decent.
While I appreciate creators sharing how they manage to churn out articles and social media posts through the content mill, I'm tired of reading bland, flavourless content.
Concepts like batch creation have several significant flaws:
- Firstly, it needs to include the timeliness of the end product. What you're writing about may not be relevant at the time of publication. At the moment, I have about 10 Medium article drafts with headlines and bullet points that will never see the light of the day because I had jotted them down when inspiration struck when I was out and about, but they're no longer relevant. It's critical to remember that our readers and followers are savvy in a landscape where we're all competing for eyeballs over our content, and publishing outdated content risks your reputation as a writer and even a subject matter expert.
- Besides timeliness, concepts like batch creation also lose the spontaneity of life that happens beyond the screens. As humans, we are drawn to the human experience. The quickest way to relate is to share anecdotes from life, creating a connection to your piece of content.
- Finally, my biggest gripe with batch content is that it ignores and negates our whole human experience outside of your niche topic. We're constantly told to "find a niche" and write about it. However, that advice pigeonholes our identity to be the expert of that niche, negating our experience and thoughts outside that niche.
This is a shame because I see such wonderfully crafted Medium bios that include the creator's identity as a parent, carer or ex-football player. Yet, if these creators included some content about their experiences, joys and heartaches beyond how-to articles, I would've clapped, followed and maybe even tipped!
Productivity hacks have taken the joy away from timely, spontaneous content that explores the rich human experience. Written words are some of human’s most beautiful creations. Yet we are relegating them to an early 20th-century industrialisation that focuses purely on output. Creators are chained to their desks, churning out thoughtless articles to please the social media algorithm overlords. In return, we consume more bland articles until automation, such as ChatGPT, encourages the creation of worse content with no nuances.
It might seem like I'm entirely dismissing batch creation. However, as a marketer, I encourage “batching” but selectively.
Some of my rules for batch creation:
- Only create content up to 30 days in advance
- Batch create sparingly
- Intersperse batch-created content with the human moments
- Only batch create for business, not for human/personality
Elaborating further on point #4, this means I would batch create for Sincere Copy's social media and blog, but Sam Scribes will always remain a smorgasbord, a mongrel, a smattering of everything that makes up my messy life as a marketer, creator, wife, mother and individual.
Algorithms and readership be damned.