Are You Working Clean With Your Podcast Production?
I love to cook, and not just simple weeknight meals.
I love putting on complex productions every weekend for my friends and family that involve many courses, complex dishes and side items that I've never tried before. I learned to love this from my days in the restaurant business, where I grew to love that I was part of a memorable experience for families from around the world. Something else my time in the restaurants taught me that sticks with me every day is the concept of working clean.
When I'm cooking, I'm cleaning as I go. I'm methodical and careful with my actions. As a result I never wear an apron, and often cook in the clothes I entertain in, without getting spots and stains everywhere. Also, I have white counter tops, so I have to keep them spotless all the time. If you're thinking white countertops are a good idea, they're not. Not something I plan on having ever again, but I'm stuck with them for now.
Working clean extends beyond keeping the counter organized and tidy while cooking.
It is a mindset. Before I start a task, I make sure I have everything I need handy. That is how I'm able to execute a multi-course meal on my own, completely from scratch. I also make sure everything I don't need it out of the way, and not in a big messy pile. Executive Chef Ed Cotton describes is best. "The last thing you want to have on your shelf is something sitting there for months or even years. If you haven't used it in six months, get rid of it, or find a way to use up items that have been sitting idle." What clutter is in your world as you're reading this?
Working clean is a productivity system and mindset of organization.
Think about your workspace right now. Is it neat and organized, so you can find what you need when you need it? If not, you're burning energy and adding frustration, not to mention wasting time, every time you have to slog through a pile to find something. If your workspace is a mess, what you produce will suffer.
What about the inside of your head? Are you able to call up the information you need when you need it, or do you struggle to recall details, or to stay focused on a project? Getting the mental clutter cleaned up is something I do daily. I embrace the random thoughts that pop up all the time, and dump them off in Google Keep as the come. This allows me to remain focused on the task at hand. Try it yourself. You may enjoy adopting a mindset that you always need to work clean.
I wasn't always organized.
When I started my podcast, I was working at a simple home office desk. As I settled in and the days turned into weeks, clutter started to pile up. I couldn't find the notes from my last interview when I started the editing process, and would waste time and energy looking for them. My computer became disorganized, with files landing on my desktop or living in my downloads folder (big no-no's in my world). This clutter was a symptom of my mindset - I wasn't working clean any longer. My work suffered, my podcast suffered and I found it more and more difficult to be productive.
How did I fix it?
I piled everything up on the floor. It felt great to take action and get the crud off my desk. I cleaned the desk and decided what I needed to execute from that workspace. What 'dishes' would I be preparing? I banished bills and other snail mail from the desk. Notebooks for projects unrelated to the podcast are out of the way. I extended this into my digital life, as well. Everything I need for guest correspondence with guests lives in a folder on Google Drive, with a backup in Evernote. Episode publication checklists, descriptions and tags have their own folder, as do raw and edited content for each episode. I never have to wonder where something is, or what I should do next. This makes it much simpler to stay on schedule and focus on what is important - connecting with my audience.
What is your tactic?
You may not like the concept of dumping everything into one big pile and sorting through it, or may not be a fan of performing an email 'reset.' That's ok, you don't have to be! Once you declutter your workspace, you can declutter your mind and really gain some clarity. Do you have a favorite technique for 'working clean' in whatever you do? I'd love to learn about it, drop a line to me on the Podcast Professors Facebook page.