28. I turned 28 only 2 days ago, 28 little years on this earth with plenty of tripping and detours. I’ve learned so much already, and there is so much more I still have to learn!
Here are 28 things I’ve learned along the way:
1 – You’ll only know if you like it once you try it (this works for jobs, food and people 😂)
2 – No one will ever understand you completely, don’t take it personally, and hang on to the people that get some of who you are!
3 – Nothing is as scary or hard as you think it is. Not travelling or starting your own business.
4 – Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. The best things in life are hard to do.
5 – Planning is overrated, how can you get started right now?
6 – You can change your mind. On your future, your dreams and your goals, whenever you need too.
7 – life is supposed to be fun! If you’re not enjoying life change something!
8 – Keep it simple. Especially when cooking, and use the oven, it’s your friend.
9 – Comfortable shoes are always the best option. The heels are not worth the pain.
10 – Hot chocolate makes everything better. If you ever feel like the world is ending, have some hot chocolate.
11 – Most things won’t kill you. Remember that next time you’re afraid to try something new.
12 – College is important but not because of what you learn. What’s most important is what you can create in those year and the friends you make. Don’t focus on the grades!
13 – Breakfast is sooo important! I skipped it for years but you won’t believe the energy starting the day on a full stomach gives you.
14 – Enjoy the weather as it is. We complain so much about it being too hot or cold but there’s beauty in both! Sunny days on the beach or winter days by the fireplace.
15 – You don’t need much to be happy. Your loved ones, food on the table and a home. That’s it.
16 – When a kitten decides to sleep on your lap, say thank you and don’t move!
17 – Most of your colds can be cured with rest and a hot tea. But you need to rest, turn off the computer and rest!
18 – There’s beauty everywhere. No matter where you park your car there is beauty there, you just have to look for it.
19 – Wherever you go, there you are. You can’t run away from who you are, so learn to love yourself.
20 – Love is about supporting each other in your dreams. And letting them know that you believe in them.
21 – You can always do more work every day, but that doesn’t mean you should. Remember to have fun.
22 – For most things, there is no right way. There’s the way everyone is doing it but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it your way.
23 – Protect your dreams. The whole world doesn’t need to know your dream, keep it safe.
24 – If someone says it’s impossible there’s probably someone else doing it.
25 – Cherish the people around you, they won’t always be there. And remember them with care when they’re gone.
26 – Be yourself. There is someone who’s looking for someone just like you!
27 – You don’t need many friends. You need good friends no matter where in the world they are.
28 – You only live once and this life is to short for you not to live it to the fullest.
Happy 2018 everyone!
How was your Christmas? No, really, tell me I want to know!
Christmas this year was quite different for me. Since we’re travelling I spent Christmas day with my hubby and our two cats. We went to the nearby town for a short walk and then returned home to enjoy a good book and relax.
I usually have two books that I’m reading. One fiction book that I read before going to sleep and one non-fiction that I’ll read throughout the day in little junks whenever I have a chance.
With the Christmas feel still in the air I’ll be reading a bit more these next few days so I thought I’d share with you what’s currently on my reading list and ask you: What are you reading this Christmas season?
Non-fiction: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
This is a massive book! And there’re so many good nuggets throughout the book. There’s also a lot that doesn’t fit me or my lifestyle, but that’s okay. The beauty of this book is that you can pick and choose what to apply in your life.
If you’re going to dive into this bible there’re two things I’d advice you to do:
- Take notes! Whether you’re reading a digital or physical version, underline what resonated with you, bookmark particularly useful chapters and make sure to write down your takeaways.
- Take action! If there’s a particular habit or framework that you’d like to implement into your life, don’t wait! Take action on it right away and implement what you’re learning!
I’ve been enjoying this book a lot and have already implemented several habits from it, it’s the kind of book I’ll probably return to several times. Once I’m done with this I’ll probably dive into Tim’s new book Tribe of Mentors.
Fiction: Orix & Crex by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite writers of all times! Here distopias are so powerfully written and envelop you in worlds that although far from hours feel possible and real. Margaret calls her work Speculative fiction, a kind of fiction that bases itself on current realities and technologies. That’s exactly what makes her books so powerful, the knowledge that the necessary blocks for her worlds exist in our world.
If you’ve never read any of her books start with the Handmaid’s Tale. I guarantee it will send a shiver down your spine that you won’t soon forget!
These are the books that I’m currently cosying up on the couch with. What are you reading? What’s a book that you think I need to read?
I’m always looking for new books to add to my evergrowing collection!
In our fast-paced world of online business, it’s easy to get swallowed by your to-dos and all your business responsabilities. One of the ways I fight this is by making a plan for my week ahead of time. This helps me not only to stay organized but also to have a sense of calm about the week ahead.
When you know what you need to do you don’t have time to wonder about what you should be doing.
Where it all starts: The prep-work
Planning your weeks starts with having a place to plan it on. For me that place is Trello. For you, it can be a paper calendar or a different scheduling app like ToDoIst or Asana.
I wanted however to make a case for Trello. For many years I had used a mixture of paper planner, calendar and task apps and Evernote. And then I really dove into Trello. I had heard of Trello before but wasn’t sold on it. The interface looks odd and it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the other tools.
But I decided to take another look and know I wouldn’t trade it for a second. It is now the only tool I use, I’ve abandoned paper planers, other checklist type apps and even Evernote. All my ideas, tasks and client information live in Trello. Now I can plan out my days, weeks and months without having to wonder where everything is.
The other great advantage of Trello is its flexibility. You can make it work for your particular business and workflow and there’s really no rules you have to follow in making it work.
Sunday: Get ready for the week ahead
I always plan my weeks on Sunday before, like this when Monday comes around I can focus on doing the things instead of rushing around prepping the things and doing the things at the same time.
The way I plan my week is predicated on the type of work I do but also on so generally good rules that I’ve learned along the way. So here are my two “rules” to planning my week.
First what you do every week
We all have recurring tasks we do every week, for me, that means social media and blog post scheduling both for myself and my clients, for you it might mean something completely different. Regardless of what exactly that looks like for you, these are the first tasks you need to add to your week.
Add them for each of your days and if you can set your system up to do this for you, even better!
Decide how many F*cks you can give.
This idea was first presented to me by Ash Ambirge of the Middle Finger Project. You can read the article here. The idea is this: you only have so much energy every day so as a rule of thumb you never want to schedule more things to do than those that you’ll have the energy for on each given day.
For me what this means is that when planning my week I will only ever add 12 tasks per day, not a single one more. Depending on the tasks 12 may seem like a lot or too little so here’s a rule of thumb: each task should take more than 25 minutes if you have a task that will take more than that split it into smaller steps.
So when looking ahead at your week decide what are the 12 things you’ll do on that given day?
Finally, be flexible
The reason I love digital so much is that it isn’t set in “pen”, you can change and adapt as the week progresses and you should. This means that if a task seemed important at the beginning of the week but doesn’t anymore, remove it, replace it with a different one. If a day is going particularly well and you feel like you could do a few more things you get a choice: you can do a few tasks from the next day or you can take a break and enjoy the day.
Whatever your schedule looks like remember there aren’t right or wrong ways to have a schedule. There are only the right ways for you.
What feels right for you and how can you organize your days so you can give fewer fucks?
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.