How to create and use an editorial calendar | Krista Goncalves Co.

How to Get Shit Done With An Editorial Calendar

We all need to get shit done. Lots of shit. Mountains of shit done on any given day.

It’s the work we simply have to do, so we can get on with what we really want to do — these are the impact-making projects we feel are truly our purpose in life.

Which, if you’re anything like me in my business (aka, a “passion junkie”), then it’s more of the latter.

I’m going to keep this post nice and simple for you because it’s all about prioritizing, staying focused, filtering out the noise, and getting shit done = GSD’ing.

Here’s your no-nonsense list of ideas for how to GSD by effectively using an editorial calendar, and a batch process for content creation…

10 Ways to Get More Shit Done on a Regular Basis With Better Focus

1 | Schedule the shit out of everything

You can accomplish this using a good ‘ol paper planner, a big wall calendar board, and/or various digital calendar apps — if it’s not in my iPhone (with multiple alerts on), it isn’t happening.

PLUS, you need a separate or combined editorial calendar – a must for anyone who publishes content. Which, let’s face it, if you’re not publishing content… well, why the eff not?!

More on creating and using an editorial calendar later.

2 | Eat the worm

The early bird gets the worm, right? Add an hour of productivity to your day by getting up an hour earlier — before everyone else starts imposing on your time and their needs take over. Mom, Mom, Mom… whaaaaat?!?!

If this seems unthinkable to you (as in, you are NOT a morning person), then start waking up 15 minutes earlier for a few days, then another 15 minutes, until you’re up an hour earlier.

“It can be easy to waste time doing things that aren’t needle movers. It’s so easy to get lost if you have a blank slate for the day. I have the most energy in the morning so I try to get important tasks done then.”

Bridgit Danner, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner

3 | MIT’s = Most Important Things

At the start of each day (or better yet, the night before), write down the 3-4 most important things you have to do the next day. Put them in your calendar, and do them first.

Waking up extra early helps to facilitate this! That way, if you get nothing else accomplished besides your MIT’s, then you’ve probably still had a fairly productive day.

4 | Eat the frog

Well, you know how to eat the worm, but how about eating the frog?

Here’s how: schedule out your 3-4 most important tasks (MIT’s) of the day – the night before. Then do the yuckiest of your MIT’s first. When you eat a frog, your day can only get better after that!

5 | Practice Pomodoro

Once you’re into your daily groove of scheduling out all your shit, getting up super early, doing your MIT’s AND eating the frog — be sure to take frequent breaks.

This is not only considered an act of self-care but jacks up your overall productivity dramatically, helping you to stay focused because you’re only committed to working in bite-sized chunks.

Try the Pomodoro Technique or some variation on it. Here’s how:

Work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Repeat for 4 work-break intervals, then take a longer break. You can even set a timer or use an app to ensure you’re actually taking the breaks 😉

“The fact is most people spend too much time working on stuff that doesn’t really matter. They never get into the ‘productive zone’ because they are constantly distracted every few minutes. And they never give themselves the direction and focus needed to really create success.”

~ David Gehl, Entrepreneur Ignited

6 | Batch process & content creation

Group like with like = batch all of your similar tasks together.

For example, don’t peck away at emails as they dribble in throughout the day. Set aside an hour to go through your email inbox and respond to emails –> aim for “zero Inbox”!

Do the same with making phone calls, voice mails, filing, and so on. Use the batch process for any routine, repetitive tasks.

Content creation has a special note here, and as I wrote about recently in The Benefits of Taking Time Off Your Business – one of the keys to vacation-proofing your business as well as just good ‘ol GSD’ing… is batch content creation!

This means when inspiration hits, create as much of your content ahead of time and in batches.

7 | Zero Inbox it

Think the zero inbox is just a myth? Here’s how to make it a reality…

First, and foremost – be honest with yourself about your priorities and setting realistic expectations about your time. We often know after a quick glance which emails warrant an immediate response, a more well-thought-out response, and which deserve a delete.

Learning when to flat-out say ‘no’ is crucial in achieving zero inbox. As Oprah says, “We feel we are not valued until we say ‘yes’ to everything.” (Let’s change that narrative!)

  • For every email that you receive, choose from the following quick triage options:
    • If a message requires no action on your behalf, archive it immediately.
    • If a message requires a simple reply that you can knock out in a minute or less, respond right then and there—and then archive it immediately.
    • If a message requires some level of thought or response that you can’t get to right away, shelf it to a time (and date) when you will be able to handle it.
  • For the last option, schedule up to one hour per day (as previously suggested) to deal with these “response-required” type of emails – maybe emails are your frog and this will be the first hour of your day?
  • So, for emails that you’ve received later in the day/evening – commit to responding to them during your next dedicated email time so that you are not constantly distracted and in reaction mode for the rest of the day when you keep hearing the ping of you’ve-got-mail. Better yet – turn notifications off!

8 | Backward goal-setting is the new forward-thinking planning strategy

Start with the “big goal” or your ultimate objective in mind = your endgame.

What steps do you have to have in place in order to accomplish it? A planning strategy that works from your endgame backward to each action that precedes it is where it’s at!

By starting at the end (your goal) and planning in reverse, you can mentally prepare for success, map out milestones you need to reach, and identify what steps need extra focus so you can achieve your desired results = your endgame!

The perfect example is when you’re doing a program launch.

9 | Purge the suck

Regularly go through all of your current commitments and purge anything (including people!) that is/are either not helping you attain your business goals or is a chronic suck on your time and energy.

You know what – and who they are!

10 | Get more sleep

I’m sure you’ve heard this one a million times before. Well, here’s the millionth + 1 time = get 7-9 hours a night. But, part of the problem with getting good quality, restorative sleep is the damn devices we’re all so addicted to. Yep – you, me, yo’ momma, my momma… turn them off at least 1 hour before bed, which ideally would be by 10pm!

Sleep is essential to our capacity to learn, and to our productivity. Without it, we don’t have our health, and without our health – nothing else matters!

Want to take an even deeper dive into productivity hacking?

Here is a guest post I did for the Holistic Entrepreneur Association (HEA) about carving out your Productivity Time Zones: Me Time, Social Time, Email Time & Planning Time.

READ: Tips To Be A More Productive Holistic Entrepreneur

How to Create and Use An Editorial Calendar Effectively

{Section adapted from Adhere Creative}

Content (lots of it!) is what fuels your online or digital marketing strategy. But, if you don’t have a content strategy in the first place, you’ll struggle to generate leads – as Leesa Klich, Content Strategist writes in “How to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generation Machine!”

BUT, an effective content strategy can’t be implemented without a well-planned Editorial Calendar – also called a Content Calendar or Content Marketing Calendar.

Be more specific! What the f*ck is an editorial calendar?!

It’s a schedule of all your content that’s created and delivered to your people via your different distribution channels (over a specified timeline), like:

  • your blog articles
  • podcast (if you have one)
  • livestreams & other video content
  • email newsletters
  • social media channels
  • ads & landing/sales pages
Get shit done with an editorial calendar | Krista Goncalves

However, the very first step in pulling together an editorial calendar is to determine the TYPE OF CONTENT you will create, such as blogs, articles, ebooks, how-to guides, videos, slideshows, tutorials, webinars, recipes, worksheets, checklists, quizzes, courses, etc.

A basic editorial calendar should include the following:

  • Google sheets, Excel spreadsheets, or some other software to keep all of your content organized!
  • A list of channels for delivering your content, i.e. HOW will your people receive your content so it can be easily accessed?
  • Based on your content strategy, a list of the content that should be published.
    • The list can include existing content and stuff that will be repurposed or “rebundled” for your audience. It can even include content that’s still in the idea phase.
  • The dates for content creation and publishing, i.e. WHEN the content should be created and WHEN it will be published.
    • Allow time for proofreading, fact-checking, and other bits of editing — don’t make the common mistake of hitting publish before proofreading!)
  • A call-to-action = CTA. If your content is truly targeted and of value (provides a solution to your people’s pain points), it will attract your target audience.

REMINDER: Things change! You also need to be flexible with your editorial calendar. Don’t be afraid to make changes or switch up topics and types of content in order to provide better value to your audience. Consider that their needs and wants may change, your business may evolve and the industry may fluctuate.

But, more likely, it will be ALL of the above!

So, there you have it – a shit ton of ways to get shit done with better focus, more timely, and with energy to spare… and an editorial calendar is at the core of it in my world 😉