Word Count – 1713
Time to read – 00:06:51
When you do things you love and love doing what you love, quality is always paramount. Quality, in a way, shows how good you are at it. It projects your expertise to the world, opening doors of opportunities.
Repeating that quality over time with everything you do brings consistency to your work.
A simple example is the food you eat regularly, the household chores and the quality you produce at work. Being consistent can either meet or exceed the expectations of your superiors.
However, repeating the same consistency in your personal projects as I do with my YouTube channel, Music Projects, and blogging is a different ball game altogether. So it will be with you.
Consistency could be why some people succeed and some don’t. Some can impeccably maintain it. Some, like me, struggle.
When we are working on creating a side hustle or simply becoming rich – we aren’t answerable to anyone like we are at work.
At work, a suitable environment already exists to keep us away from distractions. The same cannot be said for our personal projects because such an environment at home is fraught with distractions. However, a suitable environment can be created and maintained as a habit.
Over the years of running my Youtube channel, I had to understand consistency, how much of it is required and how of it I can put in. The idea here is to understand what is causing inconsistencies as a maintainable habit. It is significant because it would also depend on external and internal factors like other responsibilities that you may have.
Let me first take you through the external factors that disturb consistency with my examples.
Things like office work, family time, personal time, an old system, etc., are just a few external factors. If your office work has too much workload, unable to give sufficient work-life balance, your personal projects will go for a toss.
For example, in February of 2022, my office launched a new process. Due to too much workload, my personal life got compromised. Of course, the compromise was not for long. Unfortunately, it affected my personal projects’ progress in a big way – it was damaging to say nonetheless.
During weekends, I did not have the mental capacity to focus on my personal projects. This external factor affected the momentum I had gained. It was only in July-August 2022 that I could regain the same momentum due to no external disturbance.
External factors like this are hard to predict and control. It gets harder – when your current office work isn’t “consistent”. So, choose your job role carefully when looking at it from a career perspective. The alternative? Leave your current job that offers better opportunities and mostly the peace of mind.
When your work-life balance is consistent, it helps to focus on your projects.
Having the right gear at the right time does help. However, not everyone has the right hardware. We have to make do with whatever we have at that moment. What can be done is to attempt to get the right gear at the opportune time. It means being patient, collecting and investing enough in time.
I was in dire need of a decent enough system. I could move my video editing needs to the PC and continue everything from them. It would reduce the burden I put on my mobile phone. It took me nearly four years to get a suitable system. I say this because I had to prioritise my finances due to family responsibilities.
For the uninitiated – I would screen capture it on my phone and edit it. I was convinced beforehand that editing on the PC is much faster than doing it over the phone. I was wrong.
Some of you may have no choice but to wait. Here being patient helps a lot. Trust me, over time it is rewarding.
The difference between editing on the phone and the PC is not the time-consuming process but the convenience of doing it. In other words, the entire workflow is smooth. Yes, I do take up to two hours to complete a video edit. However, it does lack the quality I had visioned.
It wouldn’t matter. I was only getting acquainted with doing it. So, it would be only a matter of time until I could finally get the quality of videos I was aiming for.
As a YouTuber, Blogger and Music Producer (getting there), it is a significant step to not rush with things. Take things as they come and pace yourselves. In other words, go with the flow. Trust in the timing and enjoy the process.
How much “non-productive” time do you spend? Imagine if that time is better utilised to invest in your side-hustle – doing what you love.
If you want to be successful, it won’t be easy. You must sacrifice some pleasures and other things you enjoyed instead of your personal projects because success won’t grow without your intervention. You must take the plunge to learn how to swim. To be a competitive swimmer, you must devote your time, practice like hell and listen to your coach.
Introduce some discipline and planning over time. I have learnt this the hard way and have come to understand it. Though, not perfectly.
When I started my YouTube channel, I started with one video a week. Slowly I moved to post two explainer videos. I grew comfortable doing it.
I now struggle to maintain the consistency of posting two explainer videos and two gameplay or playthrough videos.
Getting suitable content ideas for the games that I play. I can only get ideas when I play games. Playing games every time is not a guarantee of getting ideas. So, I temporarily resorted to posting one explainer video and attempted to post two gameplay or playthrough videos.
Furthermore, I also need to devote enough time to gaming to understand how things work and why they work the way they do.
I read my voice-overs from a script. I do read word-to-word and rarely ad-lib what I want to say. I can then easily convert these scripts to blog posts by making some changes.
Ad-libbing is another challenge (which is another challenge since English isn’t my first language, even if I am very good at it).
I also have to devote sufficient time to blogging and making music. To do both of them, you need a fresh mind and proper mind-frame to begin. I make most of whatever time I have most of the time.
Someone once said – An ocean begins from a single drop of water.– Unknown
The earlier you start, the more time you have. It does not mean you cannot make the time for your personal projects if you start late.
There’s no such thing as starting late or starting early. Whenever you start – it is always the right time.
Understand and analyse your environments. How much time do you spend entertaining yourself by watching videos online through platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Hulu, and Disney+?
If you can control the urge to maintain this distraction, the better and easier it is for you to focus. If you cannot, then I strongly recommend not renewing your subscription. At least in the initial stages.
Observe where you can contribute your time and effort towards your personal projects. Drastically cut down the time you use for other activities. Under no circumstances should you ignore your other responsibilities. You should do your best to accommodate it in your regular schedule.
Once you can achieve that, you can easily fit Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Hulu, and Disney+ into your schedule as I have accomplished.
Let’s admit it weekends are the best days to work. That’s when we get most of our time. There may be occasions when even that isn’t available. It is helpful, if you can foresee this in the present and plan accordingly. Such situations demand that you focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot. Understanding this thing is the key.
Do not let your personal projects become an obsession. As I said before, take your time and enjoy the process. Introduce some discipline and pace yourselves. Pacing is not the reason for the failure of consistency. Your ability to notice it and doing nothing about it is. Planning is equally important.
Meditate often, if not everyday, as required. It helps to calm your mind and think clearly. If you are the religious kind, praying makes miracles possible. Being “consistent” in prayers works wonders! Try it. You won’t regret. You can thank me later!
You will not be able to repeat your consistency consistently. Some external factors will come into play, particularly those you cannot control.
Consistency is a challenge if one is unable to keep up with it. I would say, unable to be consistent once every once in a while may still be fine. Another significant step is not to let it get to your head. Avoid self-induced pressure, untoward obsession and unruly behaviour should be your focus.
Focus on how much productivity you can achieve if available for a short period.
You are answerable to no one. You are your boss. If you have a vision and the goal to be somewhere, you have to put in the effort to make it so.
A better way to get consistent is if I have enough time. I would be better at consistency only if I were a full-timer. To be a full-timer, I must do my best to be consistent. I can achieve that by introducing discipline in my daily life and not just work. I have not lost my focus, vision and goal of where I want to be – this takes hard work.
Discipline at work and in personal projects are different. You must understand this difference to make consistency work. When introducing discipline – consistency will ultimately follow. You will be consistent most of the time, but not every time.