Editor with an eye for website branding and digital product development for solo entrepreneurs. Dedicated remakeable. Reader. Blogger. Seamstress. Scarf nut. (Among other things.)
I'm not to the point yet where most of this applies to me -- I'm still working on getting this business up and running. But in terms of maintaining motivation and inspiration, the best tool I've found is my own writing. Nothing inspires me to refocus and get to work like reading my 5-year vision from Your Next 6 Months (Forever). I also keep articles and newsletters I find resonate well to read when I need them. (Like I should probably keep this one for when I'm out of the "Ooh! New(ish) business!" phase and getting into the daily grind bit...should I be so lucky as to get there...)
2 weeks ago on Advice for People 'Living the Dream'
I kind of love the idea of enlightenment as always being in flow :)
Also, totally agree with the idea that "should" shouldn't be involved. There's a subtle difference for me between a project I want to do at a particular time and a project I suppose I should probably tackle. And a particular project isn't always one kind of thing or the other. For instance, coming off a not-so-relaxing vacation that followed a behind-the-scenes busy period of work, I've ended up absorbed in the project of sorting through and reading the books on my shelves to further cull my collection in anticipation of a possible move -- something that's been on the list for a while but I never really got around to. Now it's all I want to do...which makes it gloriously restful for me. And that is something I need at the moment. Ha! Look at that. Now I see why the pull is so strong.
Generally I'm pretty bad at monitoring my arousal levels. If I'm working well, I want to keep going. If I'm enjoying myself playing, I want more of it. And true rest is really hard for me. Friday nights in the bath with a book have become a mainstay, but I know I need to identify other activities and build them into my day.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Work vs Play vs Rest
I'm a total convert to this consolidation concept. It's made such a huge difference for me to just recognize the need to pause and give myself permission to spend whatever time I need getting caught up.
1 month ago on The Art of Consolidation: Keeping What You've Captured
I need to try Focus@Will again. When I tried it before, it seemed to give me weird headaches...but that could have been something else I've since resolved. I love the idea, though, and it did seem to work! I'm working on figuring out how to use Evernote effectively, too. It was really ugly when I tried using it a few years back, and I didn't like it for the kind of info I was trying to store (like recipes, which I prefer on a more visually-based platform like Pinterest).
Other than that, I do love Google Drive. And Toodledoo. And...there are probably more, but I haven't used them in a month, so now I forget :)
1 month ago on 8 Recommended Tools and Services for Streamlining Your Workflow
Snacks! Heh. My favorite distraction is to wander off to the kitchen to eat a few almonds or carrot sticks or a square of chocolate. Also, I keep a notebook next to my computer where I write down small things that pop into my head while I'm working. Otherwise I'm afraid I'll forget them and end up taking care of them right away, in the middle of whatever else I'm doing.
A great approach (so far) for me has been to loosely designate blocks of time for different activities. I stay out of my email on weekends because Monday mornings are my catch-up time. I've been experimenting with having one focus/project for my mornings, one for my afternoons, one for my evenings, and then all the little other stuff can wedge itself in between. Having this mental clarity of what ONE thing I'm working on seems to help.
1 month ago on The productivity advice that you never listen to (it’s the only thing that works)
@MargaretTLT The universe is conspiring, and all that :) Let us know how the experimenting goes!
And thank you...I plan to do my best to enjoy the trip!
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Stop flailing. Start iterating.
@CWBusiness I know, right? And so much less scary-sounding than "pivot" or something (though "pivot" always makes me think of dancing...). "Clunky start" is great, too, because that's exactly it. No one can manage a perfect, flawless start the first time around. The difference lies in just how clunky yours will be. Might as well get going :)
@brewdroid You'll get there! Just commit to trying something. Give it long enough for you to know whether it's working or not...and if it's not, then it's time to try something else, based on what's worked and what hasn't. At least...that's what's been working for me. Good luck!
@michaelwroberts I definitely think iteration can be big. Sometimes you have to make the fine-tuning adjustments, but other times you need to do something more drastic. I think what's important is that you make your changes in a thoughtful, mindful way, based on what's working and what isn't, instead of just randomly changing something because it's there and changeable. I think that's my definition of iteration :)
And thanks, I will!
@joeyjoejoe I bet you learned some stuff from Enlightened Resource Management, though. No one said iteration had to be tiny :)
And thanks, I'm sure we will!
I never realized this until you said it, but this is so true for me: "That cornered sensation tends to emerge when our best-laid plans get derailed by a landslide of reality." I've been going along thinking, "I've got this, I'm good..." and then suddenly not so much.
For me, I'm learning I need to be ruthless about keeping what I, personally, me, am trying to build, what my vision for my life, business, whatever actually is. I don't stand up well to storms of public opinion. I'm easily swayed by one unintentionally harsh word. So it's way too easy for me to lose my footing and have no idea how to get back on track.
What does that look like to me? More of this "examined life" business I've been exploring, I think. Regularly revisiting and updating what I'm envisioning or trying to build. Carefully comparing what I'm doing to what I want to be doing to make sure they line up. (I just put YN6MF into Evernote, by the way, and now am itching to do some nice, fresh planning!)
Thank you for shining a light on a side of invisible brick walls I'd not considered, by the way.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Channel Your Inner Giant-Killer When Your Back Is Against The Wall
@sarahemily I think you can iterate while circling. I imagine one of those nautilus shells, where you're moving one notch closer to the core at the same time as you're going around in a circle. Totally not flaky. Besides, you're one of the most consider-y and conscious people I know. And look where it's getting you...to a waypoint of your own!
2 months ago on Stop flailing. Start iterating.
@Karen J That is a great word! Love it.
@tammyrenzi Dot connecting is a great way to describe the insights that can come out of iterating, I think. Or even consciously flailing. If you're watching for the connections, the little things that line up, and learning from/reacting to them, then even the biggest piece of crap has something to teach you, eh?
I hope I never throw in the towel and go back to spending my evenings staring at the TV. I like all the stuff I'm doing now -- even the stuff that doesn't work -- so much better :)
@PilotFire It's a good choir to be in! I love that quote. It reminds me that even the stuff that doesn't work out serves a purpose, if you let it. 2 down, 9,998 to go...ha!
@cjrenzi Oh yes, definitely -- I'd say composing counts. Music, words, whatever. That's what drafts are, eh? And even theme and variations in a piece of music, in a way. Not that one is better, just that you're willing to play a bit, try some options out.
Even if what you get out of something crappy is that you tried it and it totally failed, like @PilotFire mentions with Edison's quote above, you're at least a little closer because you know one more thing that doesn't work :)
@deniseurena I worry about them, too. Change is scary...but refusing to change is worse, I think.
Thanks, I will!
@Shanna Mann Thanks! On all fronts. Including pointing out to me what was going on so that I could write the post in the first place :)
@Shanna Mann In moderation, though, examples can be so helpful. One of my problems is visualizing how some theory or other might look in practice. Once I have a concrete example to go from, I can adapt and experiment to my heart's content. Having the example just helps me build a bridge from abstract to concrete, if you will.
2 months ago on Paying Attention to the Inner Journey
I love these kinds of posts, because instead of telling us what to try, you're showing us.
You already know I LOVE this stuff. I've had glimpses of how cool it could be (thank you, morning pages and weekly reviews). But I know there's so much more I could do, if I can just figure out how and then make it a habit.
I never understood, really, what the heck an "examined life" was or why I would want to live one until recently. Now I feel like I can't get enough of this kind of thing.
Also, thanks for the link :)