The actual place where I work can vary greatly depending on whether I’m traveling, at home or working from a coworking space. But no matter where I am there are certain staples of my workstation that stay the same.
My workstation – what it looks like:
When I think about my workstation there are 2 levels to the way I work. There’s the bare minimal, what I absolutely must have to be able to work, and then there’s my perfect setup, the way I work when I’m home or at a more stable office.
Here’s what that looks like:
The Bare Minimal
There are 3 things I absolutely must have to be able to do my work. Without these it’s just not happening!
I have a 12’’ MacBook and this is where I do all my work.
There are many great options of computers out there but here’s why I chose the MacBook:
Mac over PC because of system stability: I’ve used PC’s for years but when I started doing freelancing I knew a Mac was the way to go. As an entrepreneur you have a million things to get done. What you don’t need is to spend 5 hours reformatting, updating or cleaning your computer. I’m not willing to waste that much time so I knew I needed a Mac.
Why I didn’t go Pro: The MacBook Pro is an amazing machine, and I’ve had one before, but when it was time to get a new computer I choose a lighter, even if less powerful option. The MacBook is slightly less powerful than it’s Pro cousin but the difference in power comes with a heavy weight, quite literally! I needed a computer that could travel with me, so I ended up with the lighter version, and I don’t regret it for a second!
A Strong Internet Connection
This is a must! I have many friends that can work both online and offline, but the nature of my work means I always need internet.
I’ve become an expert at finding Café’s with great internet and I always have my data package for emergencies.
If you’re traveling I’d suggest also looking into a mobile modem. You’ll need to get a data card from the country where you are currently staying, but it’s a nice to have in case of emergencies.
Usually while I’m working I’m listening to a podcast, a youtube video or just some great music, but that’s not why headphones are a must for me. I can still work even if I’m not listening to something, but interruptions are deadly.
So whether I’m listening to something or not you’ll always find me with my headphones tucked into my ears. If nothing else they serve to tell people that I’m busy and not to willing to be interrupted.
My Perfect Setup
Get ready cause this is where it gets really weird! When I’m staying for a while in the same place and I can set up a desk either at home or at the local coworking space my setup becomes a whole other thing.
On the left I’ll have my iPad Pro with my podcasts playing. In front of me my MacBook set up on it’s Stand so that I’m not bending my back or neck to work (just writing this makes me stand up straight). And on the right a notebook and pen to be able to write down any quick notes.
What’s also never too far away is my mug with either coffee or tea and a snack to munch on while the occasional page loads.
I know it’s too many screens (my boyfriend keeps telling me so…) but the truth is that I love it! Whenever I get to use this setup I feel so much more in control of everything around me.
Your setup will probably look different from mine. It will depend not only on the tools you have but also on your specific nature. It all depends on what makes YOU work better. I’d love to see what your setup looks like!
What’s the one thing in your workstation that makes you more productive and you couldn’t live without?
One of my favorite ways of learning new skills and hearing about what’s going on in the world of entrepreneurship are podcasts. With the travels ahead of me I’ve been stocking up on great podcasts to listen to and wanted to share some of my favorites with you. Enjoy!
My Absolute Favourite Podcasts on my List:
The Marketing in Yoga Pants Podcast
Brit Kolo brings us weekly interviews with Entrepreneurs and Business owners that are heartfelt and inspiring. If you’re looking to feel connected with other entrepreneurs and business owners this is the podcast for you!
Website | iTunes
Goal Digger – The Podcast
Jenna Kutcher is the kind of girl that will fill up your heart. In her podcasts, she shares heartfelt stories of both her life and her guests while still packing every episode with advice made just for you, the entrepreneur looking to reach your goals!
Website | iTunes
Online Marketing Made Easy
Whenever I need highly actionable marketing advice I turn to Amy. Amy Porterfield delivers every time, with expert interviews, actionable step by steps and a behind the scenes view of her business.
Website | iTunes
I’ll listen to these podcasts basically anywhere and anytime. Either while I’m working on repetitive tasks or when I’m doing housework like cleaning, ironing or cooking.
Tell me what are some of your favorites?
I often get asked how I stay productive. As a VA I need to jump between tasks rapidly, all while keeping an eye on my email. So today I wanted to let you in and show you what my day-to-day looks like.
First thing is first: Mental and Physical Wellbeing
This is probably the part of my routine that I need to work on the most as I don’t always do it. But when I do I always feel energized and centered throughout the day.
On an ideal day, I get up, drink a full glass of water and sit down to meditate for 10 min. I use the headspace app, they have some great meditation packs and you can use the apps free meditations.
Meditation is hard for me. Staying still for 10 min not thinking is one of the hardest things that I do every day, but even when I’m restless and not really focussed I feel that for the rest of the day my mind is focussed and calm on a level I just don’t reach when I don’t meditate.
I’m not a big fan of running or gyms, so instead of torturing myself I tune in to Yoga with Adrienne and do a 30 min yoga session. Of all the yoga teachers out there I really resonate with Adrienne’s style of fun and mindful yoga.
And if you think yoga isn’t exercise, think again. I’m always surprised the day after on how much my muscles feel sore from this seemingly easy and light exercise form. If you’re an introvert like me and being surrounded by sweaty humans is not your thing, then yoga might just be the right form of exercise for you.
Once the exercise is done I prepare my coffee and turn on the computer to start my day’s work.
Starting my workday on the right foot
Every day I start my workday exactly the same way. I turn on my computer and start by looking at:
- The news – Although not strictly necessary for my job I enjoy staying up to date on the news of the day and knowing what’s happening in the world.
- My Finances – Knowing what your money is doing for you on a daily basis is really important, after all, you’re only running a business if it’s making money.
- My Inbox – My inbox is pretty clean, I have a half a dozen newsletters that I subscribe to and read, most of my other emails are from clients, so I start my day by going over them and making sure that my inbox is clean and all client emails have been replied to.
Now that these items are out of the way it’s time to dive headfirst into my to-do list.
Staying productive through the day
Every Sunday (or if I’m honest Monday morning) I organize my tasks for the week on Trello so I know exactly what I need to do each day.
If you’re curious about Trello but haven’t been able to make it work for you then I highly recommend you check out the Trello for Business course by Think Creative Collective, this has changed the way I run my business and now Trello is where I keep everything in my life and business.
I use the Pomodoro technique to go through my daily to-do list. Splitting the day into 25min chunks has allowed me to move forward on big tasks without being crippled by the fear of having them take up the whole day.
At the end of the day, I go over my emails once more. Reply to all my client emails, and prepare the upcoming day. And then I breathe and relax, the day is done, tomorrow will be a new one!
What techniques do you use to be more productive during the day-to-day? Leave a comment below and let me know.
I’m not the most positive person in the world. In fact, I tend to see the worst in every situation before seeing the good. Part of me wants to tell you that I’m simply being realistic, that by looking at the worst case scenario I can prepare for it.
But let’s face it: Always looking at the worst case scenario can be crippling.
It can keep you from moving forward. And leave you trapped in your current situation with nowhere to turn too.
My partner is the polar opposite of me. He’s the kind of person that could stand in the middle of a complete disaster and find something to be thankful for. Believe me, as endearing as it seems it can also be infuriating!
But the truth is that his positive outlook on life has kept me sane more times than I can count. And has thought me that sometimes focusing on the positive can be just what you need to do to keep moving forward.
Here’s what I learned about focusing on the positive from my VERY positive partner:
There’s always a solution.
No matter how bleak the current state of things may seem it’s probably not as bad as you think it is. Things have a way of figuring themselves out and if you can find it in yourself to trust in that, then you can focus your energy on finding a solution.
You don’t need all of that to be happy.
In today’s world, we’re surrounded by a lot of stuff. And sometimes we might begin to believe that we need all of that to be happy, but that’s a lie. The truth is that we don’t need all those things to be happy. You can find happiness in the simplest of things and those are the moments you need to strive for.
If everything else fails you can always go back.
No matter what the adventure you’re currently undertaking is, you can always go back. You can go back to the office job, you can come home early. You can always return to your safe zone if your adventure doesn’t work out. But if you never leave your safe zone, you’ll never live!
And most important: It will probably be fine!
Most of the things you worry about will never happen, most of the problems you imagine will never come true. So remember this quote by Mark Twain and relax!
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
I’m lucky to have a man in my life that keeps me positive. But staying positive is important for everyone, so tell me what keeps you positive?
I’m getting ready for a 10 day trip to Prague and the Czech Republic, It’s going to be fun and also a challenge it’s the first time I’m traveling since starting my business. So here are my travel essentials for having a great trip, no matter where you are going.
Travel Essentials that I couldn’t travel without:
An awesome backpack
Having a bag that you can carry comfortably and for a long time is important but you also want it to be practical so you can access all your important things easily. I’m absolutely in love with my Everyday Backpack from Peak Design, if you’re looking for a great bag for your travels this is it.
Extra energy (a power bank)
You know that it’s going to be a long day until you arrive at the hostel and the last thing you want is for your phone battery to die out. That’s why I got myself a power bank so that no matter what I can recharge my devices and stay connected to the world.
A great book
I’ll most likely be powering up during the flight and working but having a book with me is a must have for those moments where you just want a few minutes away from the screen to relax and rest.
I forgot these once. No headphones 6 hours of flight and I swear to god I almost went nuts. You don’t want to forget your headphones when you’re traveling, how else will you listen to your favorite podcasts?
These are a must! I once saw a woman boarding the plane with stilettos and all I kept asking myself was why? Why would you do that to yourself? You’re going to spend most of your day on them so find something comfy but not too hot that you can take to the airport without having to take them off at the security checkpoint.
So tell me what can’t you travel without? I’d love to hear your travel essentials!
There’s something to be said about learning as you go, about being curious. In fact, I’d argue it’s the only way to learn.
Before I became an Online Business Manager I worked as a Virtual Assistant for a year. Before that, I work at a company as a web designer and marketer. But there is some order to this chaos.
Where you come from doesn’t need to determine where you are going.
In the world of the internet, they’re plenty of skills that you can learn online. This doesn’t mean that I always know where I’m going next. The truth is that most of the times I’m simply following my curiosity. Not having a big master plan to where you’re going next doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck. You can use your curiosity as a compass to where to go next.
What is something that you’ve been curious about?
Maybe you haven’t pursued it because it wasn’t your field. Or because you feel it won’t serve you. I’d like to invite you to dive into these topics and follow your curiosity.
Maybe none of it will serve you. Maybe it will. But if you follow your curiosity I can guarantee you you’ll be having fun!
What have you been curious about but haven’t acted on? Where is your curiosity leading you to?