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the 168 hour gig

the 168 hour gig
By Shivan Sivakumaran • Issue #81 • View online
Kia ora e hoa,
It’s not 40 hours of work or 20 hours of work; it’s not a 4-hour venture. It’s a 168-hour gig.
The hours spent outside are just as important as the hours spent working on your pursuits. Hence the 168 hours (the total hours in a week — 24 x 7).
Initially, I thought YouTube was simply talking in front of a camera. That’s just what you see — the part of the iceberg above the water. What is invisible is the work behind the scenes — the part of the iceberg submerged by water.
What’s weekly time spent on a 5-minute video over average?
  • There is idea generation and scripting — 1-2 hours.
  • There is filming — 1-2 hours.
  • There is editing — 5-10 hours.
  • Then, there is uploading — 0.5-1 hour.
I have now outsourced editing (life-changing), so the task is now a 2.5-5 hour gig.
What do with the rest of the hours per week?
Consume social media, play video games, go drinking, watch TV, spend money on things I don’t need, watch naughty videos, self-pleasuring, stay up to date with the news, the list goes on.
I could also work more hours at my day job.
I could probably do all these things and still have enough time for the YouTube journey.
But it’s not as simple as hours spent on the job. What you do outside that time is just as important.
Ideas don’t just come to you when you sit down. They appear when your mind is wandering: walking the dog, reading a boring book, just about when you fall asleep, driving to work, while you are at work. So you need to be able to capture them.
When thinking about my YouTube channel, I wake up and constantly think about what content to create and how I create content that I like to make, I’m proud of, and will provide the most value to the audience. Then, once I identify that pain point or issue worth acting upon, I note it down later.
Later comes another instrumental part of the process: sitting down, creating the script and planning the video. What am I going to say? How am I going to make this enjoyable for the audience? What thumbnail am I going to use? What is the title of the video going to be?
This requires my entire focus, deep focus; my best work needs to come out during this time. But on the other hand, if I’m shallow and unattentive, this will reflect poor planning and scripting, which manifests in the quality of the video itself.
After comes filming; what everyone will see. I need to get into the flow of speaking on the camera. Otherwise, the editor will have a hard time.
Not only do you need to think week to week, but you must have an overall strategy. You must plan content. That means you need to have some idea of what your audience wants (if you don’t know what your audience is, that’s okay, you need a series of ideas to work on). If you don’t, every video will feel rushed to satisfy the one-week quota rather than having the quality you are capable of.
Ultimately, I am trying to say that everything you do outside your pursuit all boils down to making the hours you do work on your pursuit the best it can be.
Coming back what you can do during those unseen hours. Instead of consuming and instantly gratifying or working more, we can sleep better, meditate, read meaningful material, be with friends, have more time with family, be in nature, exercise, journal.
These are essential activities for your wellbeing — your base. And on top of that base, you can build on your pursuit.
But first, you need to make all those 168 hours of the week count.
Stay focused and talk soon.
Ngā mihi nui,

  1. Book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving I’ve started reading this book by Pete Walker. It talks about how adult mental health problems stem deep from how they were treated as children.
  2. Article Write Plain Text Files I think I have mentioned this before but I think this needs repeating. I’m guilty of using fancy text editors like Notion to capture all my content. But a simple text file is sufficient to draft up content. It’s better too because you are less likely to get distracted.
In this video, I discuss how two lenses up'ed up photography game. Often we think the camera body is what improves the quality of the photos. This is true but the lens is far more important. And a prime lens is going to also improve how you take photos as well.
Take BETTER Photos with ONLY Two Lenses
Take BETTER Photos with ONLY Two Lenses
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Shivan Sivakumaran

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