On Making Time (whether for Explore or for something else entirely)

Time. It’s a beautiful gift—but sometimes it feels like the enemy, right?


I love how careful many of us are being with our time these days. But even though we guard it preciously, we still often feel like those minutes and hours are slipping through our fingers and we are left wondering where they went.

If time feels like a struggle for you right now (whether it’s holding you back from signing up for Explore—the last day to sign up is Thursday!—or it’s getting in the way of other big dreams), I want to offer a few suggestions:
 

Hop on over to Unroll.me, enter your email address, and start unsubscribing.

I'm sure you hear this advice a lot. But do you actually take it? It can make a huge difference.

Scroll through that list of things you're subscribed to, and be honest with yourself as each name comes up. Do you remember signing up for this newsletter? When was the last time you opened one of these emails? Is this something you need in your life right now?

If there are things you know you’ll want later on, make a document of them—you can always resubscribe later! But if you can reduce the number of emails coming at you each day, you might find you have a bit more breathing room.
 

Make friends with the filter feature in your email.

Now let’s go a step further. I don’t know about you, but the only emails I want in my inbox are the ones I need to read now. That doesn’t include newsletters (as much as I love the ones I subscribe to). Set up a folder (or several if you want to get all segment-y) for newsletters. Then as they come in, take a moment to filter them—so that they skip your inbox and go straight to one of your new folders. Then you can check them out when you have time and they’ll stop pulling on your attention. Do the same for any other updates that are important…but not urgent (I’m looking at you, social media notifications) and start breathing easier.
 

Make one big to-do list and then put things in order of importance.

My brain has been spinning with all the things I want to do to plan for the New Year—and it was making me crazy. Then I finally sat down, wrote them out, decided how much time I thought each would take, and then put them in the order I wanted to do them. I suddenly felt like I could handle it—because I could see it. Do this with all your to-do’s or just one project, but either way, make sure you know what you’re committing to—and know you can do it!
 

Take a walk.

I know, this one seems like it would take time rather than make it. But the thing is, when you go out for a walk, you can use that time to make connections, see patterns, and all that good stuff—things you struggle to do when you’re sitting in front of your computer (there's just too much distraction). Whenever I feel stuck, I write about why I feel stuck (to make sure I feel clear on the details) and then take a lap around the block. Every single time, I come back with a decision made, an idea that feels a bit more solid, or a fresh perspective on something that previously had me feeling stuck. So try sitting down for ten or fifteen minutes and mapping out something you’re struggling with—and then taking a walk. You may just find you have a little breakthrough, and that you do it in less time.


So there you go! Four ways to give yourself the gift of time—and space, and freedom, and breathing room. (They all go hand in hand.)


And I’d be honored if you decided to spend a little of that time with me in January. You already know about Explore, so I’ll just remind you that Thursday, December 17 (at 5pm Central to be precise), is the last day to sign up. If you've already joined in, I'm super excited to do this with you!

Saying No to Comparison Content

Please note: This challenge is now in session! The next round will begin soon. You can join me in October by signing up at the end of this blog post!

I won't be posting on the blog throughout the rest of September, and look forward to connecting with you in this space in October! But make sure you stay tuned. Fun things are coming!


The other day (yesterday? Was it only yesterday? My how time flies), I posted on Instagram that I was feeling trapped in the comparison zone.
 
And boy oh boy could you relate.
 
As I’ve been working on those changes I announced a few weeks ago, I’ve been coming up against this idea again and again:
 
So much of the work we do on our content is a result of comparison.
 
We live in a time where we have access to endless amounts of fantastic content. And because we consume so much of that content every day, it’s easy to start thinking that everyone else has it all figured out.
 
And we get nervous. We think we need to keep up. Our hearts start beating faster and we just know we’re falling behind.
 
So we see a creative doing something that seems to work for them and we think, Okay, I’ll try that.
 
But then we see another idea. And another. And another.
 
And suddenly we’re buried under Okay, I’ll try that—with no room to come up for air, with no room for examining why we’re trying what we’re trying and whether or not it truly works.
 
I don’t know about you, but suddenly I’m feeling a little claustrophobic.
 
The work I do is about peeling back the layers of other people’s ideas to get to the heart of what works for you.
 
And today, I’m announcing something new to help you get started.

Content-Freedom-Challenge_Erica-Midkiff_Content-Coaching

The free four-week #ContentFreedomChallenge starts on September 7, and I would love for you to join me by signing up below.

Each week, you'll receive two emails from me—one with an in-depth challenge and worksheets that will help you focus on what feels right for you, and one with support and encouragement.

In these four weeks, you will:

  • Dig deep and get clear on what you want to share. Clarity is the foundation for meaningful content.
  • Set yourself up for success. Create a plan for consistently getting your core message out there.
  • Share freely and confidently. Learn to write in layers and deal with fear head on (instead of letting it control you).
  • Make space for your voice and your ideas. Take control of what you're consuming! You can't create great content if you're overwhelmed by everyone else's.

I’m really excited to help you step back from the comparison game and look at what’s right for you.

So if you're ready to take control of your content, sign up below! I can't wait to see you on the other side.

When you sign up for the challenge, you'll also get weekly blog posts from me (resuming at some point in October once the first round of the challenge is over)
as well as occasional email-only updates, announcements, and so on!
Check out the terms of service and privacy policy so we're on the same page.

Consume Mindfully

"There’s a ton of content out there. And I mean a ton. The good news is that you can get answers to most questions, learn almost any skill, and gain inspiration and wisdom from the experience of others.

But the bad news is that this power, this constant availability of information, can be beyond overwhelming. There’s a never-ending barrage of thoughts and ideas and facts and images and opinions coming at us—good, bad, and completely irrelevant—and it’s hard to sift through the noise, carefully choose what to consume, and then (the real kicker for me for a long time) know what to do with the information and ideas and inspiration you glean.

I know all too well how icky it is to feel overwhelmed by content, so I understand your struggle. But I have found some ways to keep my head above water, and I’m here to share them with you so you can do the same."

That’s from the introduction of my new (free!) guide, Consume Mindfully: Clarity and Consistency for Information Overwhelm.

I typically help creatives, well, create content. But how's your relationship with the content you consume? If you're anything like me, even if you try to prune regularly, you find yourself inundated with thoughts and ideas and images and more, more, more. It's overwhelming. In Consume Mindfully, you’ll explore your current situation, make decisions about where you want to be, take action now to make consuming and using information much easier, and learn how to maintain your newfound freedom.

If you're interested in taking charge of the content you consume, this is for you. But it isn't a quick fix or even a short process—this is real, nitty-gritty, actionable work (my favorite kind).

And did I mention it’s free?! (Ok, I know I did. Just wanted to remind you.) If you’re interested, sign up for my newsletter below to get your copy! (You can find out more about what you can expect from my emails here, and read my privacy policy here.)