I’ve been trying to keep to a podcast publication schedule. I advertise it everywhere I can. Every other Wednesday a new podcast is uploaded to iTunes. That’s what I say. That’s my goal.
In reality, every other Tuesday, I realize that I’m supposed to have a full podcast written, recorded and edited by the end of the day the next day. And so I go into a serious work mode trying to put it all together. The only things I know are the outline of the podcast and the theme for it. Otherwise, usually it’s all blank.
I set aside time throughout the days leading up to the podcast being published to work on it. The problem is, I know I have time to work on it, so it gets pushed to the back burner. And it keeps getting pushed back by all the other pressing stuff I’m working on that has closer deadlines. Then- every other Tuesday- I’m in the situation I’m in as I write this blog post, where I have to make up for a ton of lost time.
So why even have the goal? Why not change it to every other Friday? Why not just say the episodes are coming out “periodically” then get to it whenever I have time? I sometimes ask myself these questions as I stay up super late every other Tuesday and Wednesday (and often Thursday) nights.
The answer is simple. Because having a deadline that you put out the world makes you accountable. And even though I’m only accountable to myself and anyone who reads this blog, checks out my website or listens to my podcast (so…still just me…), at least I know I am working towards accomplishing a specific goal. I need to have the goal in order to do it. If I push the deadline back, I’m just going to have more time to procrastinate. I won’t make better use of my time leading up to the deadline. I need to feel the stress and frustration I feel every time I open up a completely blank outline on a Tuesday night and think to myself, “Ugh, I did it to myself again. Next week, I’ll plan and work ahead. I won’t do this to myself next time. I’ll get better.”
Even if it’s a cycle, I need to leave myself the opportunity to live up to the task. I don’t fare well when I don’t have big challenges in front of me. I need to feel like I bit off more than I can chew, otherwise I have no interest in eating anything.
I just came up with that metaphor, and I gotta say… I like it.
Plus, I’ve noticed that when I do stick to a more regular schedule, the numbers of downloads for my podcast tend to steadily increase. And if I go too long between episodes, the numbers will significantly decrease.
It’s not easy. I didn’t create a podcast format that is just me rambling for twenty minutes. I didn’t create an interview podcast that I can just knock out at some point for an hour the week before it’s due. I don’t plan these things too far in advance. I created a challenge for myself- multi-dimensional- jokes, sketches, characters, one-liners based off the previous weeks headlines, beat poems, a rap… all these require a lot more time and attention than sitting down and having a conversation with someone. And they require more editing… but I ain’t got time for that.
I love the challenge. So I’m going to keep my ridiculous deadline of new podcast uploaded every other Wednesday to iTunes and I’m going to keep challenging myself to be more efficient, more effective, and have more fun every episode.