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Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Nicole Piar

drcf-nicole-piar
 
Nicole is one of the most enchanting and talented people I’ve had the pleasure of encountering online. Her paintings are beautiful and her approach to her day is nothing short of magical. I’m very excited to share this week’s Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer as I’m sure there’s something you will be able to take away from Nicole’s approach, whether it’s her gentle pace, her dedication or to share in her love of cats
 
Nicole Piar is an artist, writer, and illustrator on a mission to awaken a sense of wonder, inspire wild flights of fancy and create a bridge between her inner world and yours. She received her BA in Art from Yale University and went on to be a professional illustrator for the last 10 years. Her magical art balances on the vivid intersection of intuitive visions, healing, storytelling, and dreams.
 
On to the questions!
 
How and when, do you typically wake up in the morning? 
 
I love the flexibility that working for myself from my home studio provides. I do not use an alarm but I keep the curtains open so that my body can respond to the sunlight. I wake up between 6:30 and 8:30 depending on how late I went to sleep the night before. I love the mornings.
 
What do you do before work? 
 
I like to lie in bed for about 10 minutes just adjusting to the transition from my dream world into waking life. My mornings are not all the same. Sometimes, I am so excited to get to work that I start right away and take a break later in the morning. My favorite, most common morning routine is 10 minutes of meditation, picking an oracle or tarot card for the day, taking a shower and eating quietly at my kitchen table while looking at my plants. 
 
How do you stay motivated?
 
My current big project is my Spirit Cats Inspirational Card Deck that I just launched on Kickstarter. This is a set of 44-cards with a painting of a magic cat on one side and a healing message on the other. This project was fueled by my passion for helping people strengthen their intuition and hear the true whisperings of their heart. 
This deck is also a pure expression of my artistic voice. I have put my very essence without apology into its creation and that is intensely motivating. I didn’t set out to make the Spirit Cats Deck because I thought it would sell or even because I thought people would like it. I made it because my intuition was guiding me strongly in that direction and I have learned to trust that magic even if I can’t fully see where it is taking me. 
 
How do you keep on top of tasks? 
 
For the Spirit Cats Deck, I used a few methods. I did my #MonthofCats project where I committed publicly to paint a cat every day, post it on my Instagram and email it to people who signed up. This external accountability is so helpful. 
Then, last November when I committed to expanding these paintings into an oracle deck, I colored a mandala, wrote “Spirit Cats Deck” in the center and affixed it to my wall near my desk. This represented my commitment to focus solely on this project whenever I wasn’t working on client-based illustrations. This  helped me to say no to side-projects and invitations from friends and family that would interfere.
There were so many different types of tasks required from creative writing and painting to sourcing a manufacturer, to researching how to run and effective Kickstarter campaign to community-building efforts like creating Vision Seeker, my free tarot / oracle card e-course.
To get it straight in my mind, I mapped out a big picture of deadlines for the next 3 months in Trello. This was a very strategic, left-brained planning session that helped me assure that I wouldn’t misallocate my time by working on something that wasn’t needed when another thing was due in 3 days.
Finally, at least once a week and often more, I use intuitive channeling to help guide the next 1-7 days. I meditate to get into a deep, clear and receptive space and then, intuit my plan for the day or week. This helps keep me stay in the creative flow and work from a place of ease. 
 
What do you have for lunch?
 
I usually eat a salad with some kind of vegetarian protein like beans, nuts, cheese, avocado, tempeh or tofu. Alternately, I have quinoa or rice with green vegetables and a veggie protein. I also love sparkling water with frozen blueberries tossed in. Dark chocolate or a cookie for dessert is ideal. 
 
How do you beat the afternoon slump?
 
I like to walk up and over a really steep hill near my house on my way to the beach where I watch the waves and meander through the lagoon. Occasionally, I will drink green tea too in a really cute mug.
 
When do you clock off?
 
This varies greatly depending on how late I started, my illustration deadlines, and what I have going on in the evening.  If I have Lindy Hop dance classes or am going out to dance, I finish by 6 pm. There are also days though where I work untilmidnight or even 1 am though I often break for dinner and possibly a yoga class, Zumba or swimming. 
 
Is there anything you like to always do before bed?
 
Brush my teeth, cuddle my cat and my love. If I had an intense day, I love to take a shower to unwind. 
 
 
Rapid Fire Questions…
 
Pajamas or Grown Ups Clothes?
Colorful leggings and tops with magical prints or odd cuts. 
 
Regimented Routine or Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants?
In the middle. I have my go-to routines but I change it up too.
 
Tea or Coffee? Which flavour?
Tea. Current favorite: Damiana, chamomile, lemon balm, ginkgo balboa, mullein, guayusa, and chai spices blend crafted by my partner and made into a delicious iced tea. 
 
One Big Break or Lots of Little Breaks?
both. 🙂
 
Work Station or Work From Wherever?
90% work from my desk and studio. 
 
Lunch at your Desk or Dining Table?
Dining table or outside on the patio.

If you’d like to get in touch with Nicole, you can have a snoop around her website, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. And I recommend you check out her Kickstarter page and video here. It’s such a great concept and I have about 10 friends in mind who I know would love a Spirit Cat Deck 🙂

 

How To Remember Your New Habits

A quick & easy trick to help you remember your new habits via http://www.naomiliddell.com

 

If you are a member of the internet (and my educated guess is that you are), you will likely have seen one of those jars before.

But in case you haven’t a faintest notion what it is, it’s a Daily Moments Jar. At least, that’s what I call mine. The trend for these jars seems to be calling them Gratitude Jars / Happiness Jars / Memory Jars and the aim of the game is to fill the jar with one little thing you’re grateful for every day. Then when the year ends, you can take them out and ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ over everything you put in there. 

I write something on a little piece of paper and put it in the jar every day. But rather than noting what I’m grateful for, I write down a little moment that made me happy that day. I keep the jar on my bedside table and scraps of paper (most often shreds of failed paintings) and a pen in the drawer. 

However, I’m terrible at keeping up new habits. I have to treat myself like a kid and remove every single obstacle in my way, then make the steps so simple, it’s almost harder not to continue the habit. For a few days there, even though everything I needed was right there, I forgot to fill in my little notes. So when making my bed this morning, I took the jar from my bedside and put it right on my spot on the bed. 

Which means that tonight, I’ll have to physically move the jar to get into bed, making it infinitely more likely that I’ll deposit a daily moment note into the jar to make my future self both satisfied and happy. 

I also hang bags I need to remember on the front door handle, put kitchen items I need to remember to put on the shopping list in the middle of the floor and keep my box of floss in my bathroom sink.

Yes, it’s a basic and almost insulting way to remember to do something as simple as floss… But I’m telling you, unless I have a physical obstruction that screams at me to complete the task, I often forget. 

So the next time you want to form a new habit, think of ways to remind yourself in the bluntest terms.

  • Hang your workout clothes on the shower head so you can’t get showered without working out.
  • Stick a plan of your ideal day to the bathroom mirror and again on the fridge. 
  • Have your supplements and a glass sitting on the kitchen bench the night before to remind you in the morning.
  • Leave your journal on your keyboard, so you don’t get to work until you’ve written a little.
  • Stick a note to your monitor telling you what the first task you need to complete is, so you don’t automatically open email or worse… Facebook. 

These are just a few examples of the random habit obstructions you can create to steer yourself in the right direction. 

Do any of you use this tactic with yourself already?
Or maybe you have more willpower than me and don’t have to physically obstruct your person to remember to do something you genuinely want to do?

Either way I’d love to hear. 

Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Shannon Gallagher from Love Abiding Citizen

Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Shannon Gallagher from Love Abiding Citizen
 
 
Shannon is an editor and content coach who helps purpose-driven doers identify what is true and of value to them and then express it in a way that feels genuine and accurate. She also works with brand agencies as a copywriter and researcher. Her home on the web is Love Abiding Citizen. 
 
Over to the questions!
 
How and when, do you typically wake up in the morning?
 
I wake up everyday at 6 a.m. Many mornings I wake up naturally, but some mornings I need the alarm (and a tap or two of the snooze button). I drink a big glass of warm water with lemon while I make my coffee. I set some intentions for the day, and then I write.  
 
What do you do before work?
 
It depends on the day — I have a six-year-old daughter who lives with me half the time, so I have two different routines. When she’s with her dad, I usually get right to work with my coffee — my writing time will blend right into other tasks. But when she’s home I have to get her off to school before I can dive into anything. So I’ll use my early morning hour before she wakes up to write, then put her on the bus and go to yoga down the street. When I get home I’ll make a smoothie, turn on some music, and get to work. 
 
How do you keep on top of tasks?
 
Full disclosure: I rarely feel like I’m keeping on top of tasks! I love lists and have a few going at any given time. I’ve tried to get into some of the project management apps like Asana and Trello, but I prefer good ol’ fashioned paper and pencil. When I’m finishing up one day, I make a list of the three to five priority tasks for the next day so I can jump right in. Pomodoros are a godsend for my distractible mind. And for long term projects or clients with whom I’m working on multiple projects at a time, I send out a simple Monday morning email outlining the status of everything and the priorities for the week so that I can be sure to have what I need from them and they can know where we stand. 
 
How do you stay motivated?
 
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but structure, structure, structure. I have historically gone out of my way to avoid structure and routine at all costs, and I sort of cringe admitting that it is now such a positive influence in my life and business. I’m a bit mercurial and so if I’m letting my moods and creative impulses run the show I have periods of intense productivity and excitement followed by long periods of zero productivity. But by having a routine — a regular time when I write, when I get outside, when I do client work, when I practice — it helps me keep going even when I’d rather not. Also, taking my weekends off from work (and routine) is huge. It can be really tempting to work when there’s so much unscheduled time and a dozen ideas buzzing in my head, but I’ve found that keeping the computer off, connecting with friends, and letting my days go with the flow, means that come Monday morning I’m feeling rested and nourished and that much more fired up to get shit done. 
 
What do you have for lunch?
 
I don’t really eat lunch, but I dream of sandwiches. I’m on a really restricted diet because of some auto-immune issues, so food sorta stresses me out these days. After my morning coffee I have a mug of bone broth. And then a smoothie around lunchtime. My favorite is carrot juice, fresh ginger, collagen, maca, bee pollen, spinach, banana, and blueberries.  
 
How do you beat the afternoon slump?
 
A walk in the woods, a few sun salutations, or meditation. Sadly, my days of three o’clock lattes have gone the way of the sandwiches, and I do miss them so. But I think the woods are probably better for me in the long run. 
 
When do you clock off?
 
Days when I have my daughter I finish by 3:00 at the latest so I can get her off the bus. When I don’t have her, I’ll generally work until 5:00, sometimes later if I have a late call. 
 
Is there anything you like to always do before bed?
 
No. When it comes to my own bedtime I am strictly anti-routine. But I pretty much always just end up reading a book until i can’t keep my eyes open anymore. 
 
 
Rapid Fire Questions…
 
Pajamas or Grown Ups Clothes?
Depends on the day 
 
Regimented Routine or Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants?
Both
 
Tea or Coffee? Which flavour?
Coffee in the a.m., peppermint tea in the p.m. 
 
One Big Break or Lots of Little Breaks?
Lots of little breaks 
 
Work Station or Work From Wherever?
Wherever
 
Lunch at your Desk or Dining Table?
Neither, if I can help it.
 
If you’d like to see more from Shannon, you can find her over at Love Abiding Citizen, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Medium.

Currently

 

Currently listening to // reading // enjoying // thankful for // making // looking forward to

 

A little snap shot of what life involves these days

Listening To: The Bane Rendition by The Raconteurs and other similar chilled out rock/blues instrumentals. This is typically the type of music I write to. I’m also pretty into The Lively Show Podcast by Jess Lively and for extra motivation, Lambo Goal Podcast by Sean McCabe.

Reading: I’m just finishing up on Cider with Rosie which is a 1959 memoir by Laurie Lee. The writing is absolutely stunning. Then I’ll be getting started on The Queens Code by Alison Armstrong. 

Enjoying: Watching my two year old son slip into his own style. His mannerisms, words and little looks. I just can’t get enough of them. 

Making: time for myself to paint, play and organise. I know the last one is a funny past time, but I’m starting to realise that organising my days and belongings is the best therapy. It makes me feel calm and centred. So I’m making more time to do it. 

Thankful For: Balmy nights, air conditioning, dark chocolate, companionship, creativity, memory keeping, parks, cold water and 0.2 Uni Pin pens.

Looking Forward To: my creative retreat. I’ve got it booked close to my birthday, so it’s going to feel like an extra special treat. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might want to read this Huffington Post Article I wrote. 

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Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Saskia Nelson from Hey Saturday

Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Saskia Nelson from Saturday Night's Alright

Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Hey Saturday, the UK’s coolest dating photography business, specialising in creating dating photos that kick ass and win dates for 100s of single people.  She is also the co-founder of Irresistible Dating.

She’s been credited by Time magazine for creating the genre of dating photography and is recognised as the leading industry expert in the UK & US on all things dating photo related.

I love it when I get to interview people with unique or unusual jobs. Saskia is a pioneer in her field and I can’t wait to share her typical working day with you.

Over to the questions! 

How and when, do you typically wake up in the morning?

I’m actually an evening person rather than a morning person and typically work until quite late the evening before so I enjoy a slow, lazy start to my day. I usually wake up about 8ish and lie there snoozing for about an hour with a cup of tea and a book.

What do you do before work?

I check out my Bloglovin’ feed for some daily inspiration to get my creative juices flowing and to get me feeling good about the day ahead.  Working out of my living room, I like to remember there’s a whole cool, colourful world out there and Bloglovin’ is my window on to this world. I follow tonnes of cool blogs like Nectar Collective, Gala Darling, Braid Creative, Dylana Suarez, Yes and Yes, Trop Rouge and this one of course.

How do you keep on top of tasks?

I’m so old school, I use my “Things to do today” notepad.

How do you stay motivated?

I always make sure I include something that scares me and something fun each day. Including fun stuff helps keep me motivated. Some days, if I’m feeling really unmotivated, then I’ll have a cheeky day off and go to Brighton to meet friends and get some sea air or head to the cinema to give my brain a rest from overthinking.

What do you have for lunch?

I usually have soup or salad. I gave up bread a couple of years ago so anything that’s easy and isn’t a sandwich.

How do you beat the afternoon slump?

Every couple of days I do a short lunchtime workout (Gillian Michaels – so it might be short but it ain’t pretty!) or I head to Battersea Park or play some deep house music really loudly and have a dance, all of which then re-energises me.

When do you clock off?

I usually clock off about 7 – 7.30pm when my boyfriend comes home from work. In the early days of running my business, I’d hang with him until he went to bed and then I’d get another couple of hours of work in. I’ve recently given up caffeine though and don’t seem to have the stamina for that any more – thankfully.

Is there anything you like to always do before bed?

I unwind by watching Netflix & boxsets! Naughty I know lol. I’m currently watching Banshee, Prison Break and The Tunnel – all amazing. Getting absorbed in these shows really helps my brain totally switch off from work, which is why I enjoy it.

Rapid Fire Questions…

 

Pajamas or Grown Ups Clothes?

Haha, something in the middle. Sweatshirt and track pants!

 

Regimented Routine or Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants?

I have definitely fallen into a routine even though I like to think of myself as edgy and different.

 

Tea or Coffee? Which flavour?

Mint tea

 

One Big Break or Lots of Little Breaks?

Lots of little breaks

 

Work Station or Work From Wherever?

Desk, Bed, Kitchen table, coffee shop – I like to mix it up.

 

Lunch at your Desk or Dining Table?

Depends on my mood – again I mix it up

If you’d like to pay Saskia a visit, you can find her website here and you can find her socialising on Twitter and Facebook.

 

21 Ways To Get Rid Of A Creative Block

A list of ways to release frustration and bust through your creative blocks.

 

I got a bad case of creative block this week which almost sent me into a blind panic.
I don’t often fall victim to it, so when it happens, it’s damn scary. 

“What do you mean you don’t know what to write about?! You have three blog posts to write, a Sunday Love newsletter to send out AND you have a four hour block, two bars of chocolate and a document of 50+ blog post ideas… What more do you want lady?”

The self berating was almost instant the minute I realised I couldn’t get a word down on the page, or the screen for that matter. So I did what I do best, I began researching. Looking for ways to get me out of my funk. It was successful! Because here I am writing. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite ways to get rid of a creative block. Many of which have been in my arsenal for years. Most I’ve tried. Some I’ve yet to. 

If your creative juices are currently flowing, enjoy the list but make sure you save it as a ‘get out of jail free’ card for when the dreaded block comes to visit. And when that day comes… You’re welcome.

  1. Go for a shower – Make it cold if you’re warm or hot if you’re cold. It’s all in the contrast.
  2. Do tumbles – I’m serious! You’ll see some suggestions for weird ways to move your body on this list. Trust me. It works.
  3. Meditate – I know, predictable. But for good reason.
  4. Clean your workspace – Ain’t no inspiration coming to visit you if your desk is a dump. 
  5. Go for a walk – Aimlessly.
  6. Listen to a podcast while cleaning – The combination of mind stretching, body moving and space preening works a treat.
  7. Have a treat – Go drink tea and eat chocolate, you deserve a rest while you bang your head against the wall.
  8. Colour in – Those colouring books that are all the rage now? Perfect for busting blocks.
  9. Dance – Music + movement = medicine.
  10. Go for a drive – It seems that motivation and inspiration like it when I’m moving at unnatural speeds with constant changing surroundings.
  11. Bribe yourself – If I write this blog post, I can absolutely buy that overpriced top I’ve had my eye on. 
  12. Jump – Skip, trampoline, pogo… Anything that gets your body moving vertically. Shake it off.
  13. Drink as much water as you can physically take – Dehydration is really good at secretly putting us in slow motion.
  14. Change your surroundings – Fresh eyes, fresh vibes, fresh thoughts. 
  15. Phone a friend – Talk it out or don’t talk about it at all, just connecting with someone will help clear your mind.
  16. Read a book – Getting lost in the work of another creative can help restore your faith that it’s possible. 
  17. Have a nap – The ultimate reset button.
  18. Create something other than what you’re trying to – If you want to write, draw. If you want to draw, paint. If you want to paint, cook. 
  19. Lie on the floor with your headphones on – This feeling is what they mean when they say music soothes the soul. 
  20. Get dressed up – Do your hair nice, wear something fancy, feel good about yourself. 

    I’ve saved the best for last…

  21. Open up a blank document and just start writing. Literally like this:

    So, it’s me. And I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just writing. And it doesn’t make sense, because that’s ok. This week I’ve been thinking about Bowie and chocolate. But mainly Bowie. I also feel like cooking. There’s food. And it still feels weird to be writing and I have no idea what I’m going to do. This block is a bit scary. But I’m going to keep writing until something comes out that’s worth writing about. Even if it’s rubbish. I can always elaborate on it later. 

    That little ramble is taken from the blind journalling (as I like to call it) entry I did after realising I had writers block this week. I just kept writing and writing and writing for about three pages. Total nonsense, but in the end, I was able to pull out a few ideas and develop those ideas into blog posts. You’re reading one of them now. 

I hope you found this list in some way useful. I know I’ll be pinning it for future reference of my own for sure! 

Are there any go-to ways you bust through your creative blocks?

Anything I left out that should be in there? I’d love to update this list with your ideas. 

The 2 Things I Do, While Waiting For My Tea To Brew

2 Unusual little tricks to try when waiting for your kettle to boil from http://www.naomiliddell.com

I’m not a coffee drinker. I adore the smell of coffee, but I really don’t like the taste. 
I think this stops me from being a part of some cool business owner club where everyone goes for coffee and talks about their space ship coffee machines… But alas, my obsession is not coffee. It’s tea. 

The problem with this mild tea obsession is that something so simple that brings me pleasure and requires me to walk away from my desk, equates to massive procrastination. 

Yes, that’s right. I procrastinate by making myself 65 cups of tea a day (on average). So when I realised that a large amount of my down time was spent waiting for the kettle to boil, and being the productivity freak I am… I had to game it somehow.

So here are the two slightly unusual things I do while my kettle boils :

  1. High Knees Running in Place: Guaranteed to get the blood pumping and shake off the cobwebs.

  2. Wall Sits: This makes me wish desperately that I had bought the super-duper-fast boiling kettle, it makes me pray for mercy every time and eventually fall in a crumpled heap in the floor when I finally hear that ‘click’. But my bum & legs are starting to thank me for this torture. And finally sitting back down at my desk feels really good.

Do you have any micro exercise habits during the work day?
Or do you ever force yourself to do weird little challenges like that? 

*Disclaimer, I do not do this every single time I make a cup of tea. If I did, I’d likely have a backside to rival Kim Kardashian. Which I do not. There are many times you’ll find me hunting for chocolate to accompany my tea instead of wall sitting. But during work days, I try my best to stick to these rules*

Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Erin E Flynn

 

Daily Routine of a Creative Freelancer featuring Erin E Flynn - Follow the whole series on http://www.naomiliddell.com
 
 
Erin E Flynn has been making websites since the dark ages of the internet (1999), and running her own web development business since 2012. A huge fan of streamlining and communication, Erin now helps coach new designers in simplifying their businesses and making more money. When she’s not glued to her computer screen, you can find Erin hiking, camping, or binge-watching Netflix. Find her online at erineflynn.com, or join her Unstoppable Crew to take control of your design business!
 
How, and when, do you typically wake up in the morning?
 
I hate getting up in the mornings, but my husband works a “normal” job and it makes the most sense for us both to be on the same schedule, so we’re both typically up by 6:15 am. The “how” varies: I bought my husband one of these light alarm clocks which is amazing (none of that screeching like traditional alarm clocks–totally worth the price!), so sometimes that wakes me up, or, if my cat (Fred) decides it’s time for pets and playing, he’ll wake me up a little more forcefully.
 
What do you do before work?
 
I’m trying to be one of those people who gets up in the morning, does some yoga, and writes for 30 minutes. Most mornings though, I end up zombie-stumbling to the kitchen and making coffee (aeropress is the best!), then stumbling to my computer and catching up on social media and blogs for an hour or so. It’s not the best way to start the day, so it’s something I’m working on!
 
How do you keep on top of tasks?
 
I write out my to-do list the night before. That way, once the coffee kicks in, I’m good to go.
 
How do you stay motivated?
 
I tend to either be totally into something and completely motivated, or have no interest at all. I really love what I do, so that helps with 90% of my business. And checking things off my to-do list is one of my favorite things (really). But sometimes I have trouble with certain aspects of my business (like blogging consistently) and for that I have to enforce deadlines and sometimes reward myself by doing something fun afterwards. The best thing, I’ve found, if I hit a serious slump in motivation, is to take a vacation. A few days off and away from the computer can really get me motivated to dive back in.
 
What do you have for lunch?
 
I eat leftovers for lunch if we have them, or if not, I typically make a salad. 
 
How do you beat the afternoon slump?
 
I take a break and play with Fred! He’s a very active cat, so around 3 pm he needs to play, and will let me know. I get up from my desk and “fish” with him until he gets worn out. This lets me move a bit too, and wakes me up.
 
When do you clock off?
 
5 pm, on the dot. I don’t like working after my husband gets home. Having a non-negotiable end time means I have to get my work done during the day, and gives us time to spend together in the evenings.
 
Is there anything you like to always do before bed?
 
I really like to journal and read before bed. It helps me wind down and get out some of those ideas swirling in my brain!
 
Rapid Fire Questions…
 
Pajamas or Grown Ups Clothes?
Neither! Sweatpants and tees.
 
Regimented Routine or Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants?
Routine.
 
Tea or Coffee? Which flavour?
Coffee with coconut oil and almond milk.
 
One Big Break or Lots of Little Breaks?
Lots of breaks.
 
Work Station or Work From Wherever?
Work station.
 
Lunch at your Desk or Dining Table?
Desk.
Guys, I’m part of Erin’s Unstoppable Crew and have to say, it’s a very supportive and value packed group. Check it out and Erin’s website here. She is one extraordinarily talented lady.
 

The 10 Minute Rule: How To Do The Work, When You Really Can’t Be Bothered Doing The Work

Otherwise known as the 10 Minute rule: This tip will help you do the work when you can't be bothered doing the work

 

Gavin and I both work really long days. We’re typically up at 5am trying to sneak in an hour or two of work before Ethan gets up, then the day commences. Gavin goes and does a 12 hour shift at his day job (truck driving) and I go and do a 12 hour shift at mine (mothering + freelance brand identity designing).

We also have a mutual agreement that from Sunday to Thursday, when Ethan goes to bed at 7pm, we’ll both work until 9pm that night too. (Gavin on his book and me on my business). The thing is… Exhaustion. 

There are SO many days when one or both of us are so mentally/physically exhausted that the mere thought of firing up the computer is too much to handle. Yet we both know that making daily progress towards our goals is what makes us happy and fulfilled overall.

So how do we combat the urge to couch crash with Netflix?

We have a rule. If you don’t feel like doing the work, you need to open up the computer and commit to 10 minutes of whatever it is you don’t want to do. Just 10 minutes. Set a timer if you like. And when that 10 minutes is up, you can absolutely shut everything down, walk away and do all the Netflix binging you want. 

There are three major benefits to this rule:

  • After 10 minutes of working on something, I’m usually in the zone and want to keep on working. These tend to be our most focused and productive nights. 

 

  • However, when I find myself clock watching those 10 minutes, breathing a sigh of relief when they’re over and following up with some much needed lounging, I still walk away feeling hugely accomplished. Because I pushed through, showed up… And actually did something.

 

  • I’m a big believer in listening to your body and knowing when it’s time to rest. But I feel like that little 10 minutes of work actually boosts my recharge when I take the rest of the night off. It eradicates the guilt and allows me to relax more deeply.

Do you have any tips, tricks or tactics that you rely on to help you do the work, when you really can’t be bothered?
It happens to me so often, I feel like I could do with an entire arsenal of weapons to combat it. 

Hi! I'm Naomi

Hi! I'm Naomi

Life affirming designer and productivity enthusiast.

Designing values based brands and teaching creatives how to balance productivity, creativity and pleasure.

Technically, on honeymoon since 2011

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADJUST YOUR READING ACCORDING TO WHAT INTERESTS YOU…

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