Marathon streaming is a bad habit, and there are better ways to use that time to grow your stream. This article will explain why this streaming for lengthy periods can be bad for you, and provide some alternatives for spending time in ways that will help your channel grow.
The Problem of Burnout
Many Twitch broadcasters love what they do. To most, it’s a dream job that often doesn’t feel like work. A lot of streamers will broadcast for 8-12 hours a day. The thinking behind this often falls along the lines of “if I stream more, the higher my chances of discovery.”
On paper, it sounds like a great plan, but in practice? Not so much.
The reality of streaming is that there is such a thing as streaming too much. We’re all susceptible to burnout. In the streaming community, “burnout” is a term often used the feeling of mental exhaustion that comes as a result of overexerting your mental and creative capabilities. When a streamer gets burnt out, they have a hard time doing what they love. Games stop being fun, you have a more difficult time engaging with their audience, and in the worst cases, you might feel stressed out and depressed.
Understanding how to balance your personal limits with the most economic use of “On Air” time is the key to succeeding as a streamer over a long period of time. Here are a few key ideas to help you balance your stream schedule a bit better:
Make time for self-care
There’s a reason the average work day is 8 hours – you need to be able to balance work, rest, and personal care. If you’re broadcasting for more than 8 hours, you’re not giving yourself enough time to take care of yourself. The peace of mind that comes from balancing your life outside of streaming will make you feel more relaxed when you hit that “Go Live” button.
Focus on “off-air” growth
If you’re live for more than 8 hours a day, you probably aren’t getting much time to connect with others. An important aspect of growing as a streamer involves networking with your audience and your fellow content creators. Consider trimming your stream schedule to make room for social interaction with your peers, and you’ll find more opportunities for growth than an extra 1-2 hours of streaming can normally provide. Spending time interacting with a streaming community would be a particularly good use of time, by the way.
Improve your Content
A common mistake made by broadcasters who spend too much time streaming: not time to look back at past streams. Spend time to go over your past broadcasts, and find ways to improve your content. Even if there’s nothing “wrong” with your stream, consider investing in finding ways to improve your production value. Your audience will notice the effort, and it helps keep things fresh for them if you find ways to add on to what you currently create.
It can be easy to get focused on putting yourself out there as much as possible. Remember, it’s not about quantity – it’s about quality and consistency. If you feel like you are losing motivation or not having any fun, dial back the number of hours you are streaming. You can grow as a streamer when you’re offline, so devote some of those extra broadcast hours to self-care, networking, and “behind-the-scenes” work.