― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” (quoted in Mr. Carter)
Image Credit : Tracks, Andrea Boldizsar
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I have not always been a self-proclaimed expert on to-do lists and productivity. I HAVE however, always been a pen and paper girl, for as long as I can remember. I have kept journals and diaries (thankfully, I had the presence of mind to get rid of most of them that were written during the questionable years of my life). My to-do lists have always been written out because I love the feeling of crossing things off as I complete them.
Lately though, I have had a change of heart. I’m finding that a combination of digital organization, meshed a bit with the old standard of pen and paper is really what works the best for me.
My new best digital organization tools are CoSchedule, 30/30 App and Trello. Let me tell you a little bit about my favorite organizational tools that get me through my day, week in and week out.
Trello is hands down, my all-time favorite tool. Not only is it free, but it is entirely customizable so you can really make it visually look the way you want. The lists (i.e. MOVE) function like a binder, with each card (i.e. SCHOOL, VA HOUSE) acting as a divider. Inside each card, you can insert checklists, or a string of comments, even upload files and spreadsheets.
I honestly do not know what I would do without Trello. It is a lifesaver for me and I am consistently encouraging others to use it as well. It is the highest functioning piece of my Egads! coaching business and I’m just a huge gushing fan.
CoSchedule is an AMAZING drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress that puts your blog posts and social media messages on the same schedule. If you don’t blog or use WordPress, then feel free to just skip down, but you’ll do yourself a favor if you DO blog and use WP to read this short review. You know how it’s challenging to figure out which posts are scheduled to go live when, not to mention having to try and adjust those if your plans change? using CoSchedule, you can draft and schedule your blog post AND schedule SIMULTANEOUSLY your social media messages!
The best thing about CoSchedule is that as you drag a post from one date to another, your social media messages move with it. Simply put, write and schedule it once, then move at will with no risk of messing anything up. This is a screenshot of my calendar and everything in green is scheduled, and the little social media icons next to an entry mean that those platforms also have scheduled messages. Yellow represents my drafts … it’s just such a cool tool.
CoSchedule is only $10/month but they have a free 14 day trial (with full utilization right off the bat). It integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Buffer, and even Google+ Pages. From their website:
- Drag-And-Drop Editorial Calendar
- Schedule Social Media While You Blog
- Save Time, Grow Traffic
- Lightweight WordPress Plugin
- Automated Social Publishing
- Simple Team Communication
- All-In-One Publishing Solution
- No More WordPress Hacking
There is no better task management than the 30/30 App from Binary Hammer. This one works for EVERYONE, whether it’s a student, a homemaker, blogger or executive. While it takes a bit of time to set up on the front end, once you have your various schedules (whether it’s a daily schedule or categorized by task type), it is a super user-friendly tool. Pair it with something like Focus at Will for maximum benefit and watch your time management increase by leaps and bounds. After each time frame (that you have set up) expires, an alarm sounds enabling you to stop work and move on to the next task. In time, you’ll see yourself become more productive and able to complete tasks in the time frame set up.
My sweet spot exists with a combination of all three of these products. Trello helps keep my big picture organized. CoSchedule keeps my blogging world running efficiently and 30/30 literally gets me through my day.
Do you have a favorite productivity tool?
I have been on a self-discovery trail of attempting to figure out what exactly it is that I have to offer the world, and in turn, attempting to decide how exactly the discoveries can package themselves into a neat little bundle of something that can, in turn, make me some money.
I don’t have any plans to return to a typical paying job any time in the near future, but I feel like I can harness my energy and turn that into something profitable, that allows me to be available to my children and fulfills my need to give back, motivate others and ultimately change my little corner of the world.
I recently took the PERSONAL BRANDING: Blending Who You Are With What You Do from the ladies at Braid Creative. During the self-guided (but time limited) course, I was struck by the ridiculous number of pages I was filling with notes, but on repeat. Page after page after page. I haven’t been that religious about fast and furious note-taking since … well, I can’t remember when.
I journal like Karen Walrond (where everything goes into one notebook – the grocery lists, the journaling, the note-taking, the daydreaming, the receipt capturing, etc.) and that process is TOTALLY fine and dandy until Tara and Kathleen blow up your space with the need for more and more pages to fill up with their goodness.
I’ve found that generally, one moleskin or other “like” notebook lasts me for about 6 months. SOOOoooo not the case when taking a course from Braid. I filled up half of that puppy in a week’s time and had to dig through my cabinets to find a replacement so I wasn’t left hanging.
Blending who I am with what I do. It seemed like such an odd concept before the course, but even now as I peruse through my notes, it all makes perfect sense.
Some of my key takeaways from the course:
- How can YOU bring more of your authentic personality into your creative career? Instead of lumping in the things you’re learning from other people, allow your true self to shine through and create an offering for your readers and clients.
- Have any of your passion projects transformed or inspired paid offerings? Looking back on the life that you’ve lived, which things that you have done have turned into something bigger? Capitalize on those things! What things do you do that people say “I love when you _________” — sell that!
- How do you strive to maintain a work / life balance? Ooooof. Such a big question, but I loved the answer that Tara and Kathleen gave during the course. Balance isn’t all that profound and issue, but they tackled it head on and dissected it in a way that tamed the beast.
Take a look at the video for the course:
I have to admit that I’m still in the middle of my journey to discovering what it is that I can offer. I have an arsenal of experiences and lessons that is a part of who I am. It’s just a matter of melding that magically with “what I do” that I’m still pondering. The Personal Branding course definitely helped and I think … if I’m honest with myself … now it’s just a matter of being gutsy enough to put it all into practice!
The next Personal Branding course is set to begin May 16th … if you want a $25 discount from the sisters at Braid, use the code BRAIDECOURSE50
(psst. I have a fun interview coming up from Kathleen (one half of the Braid team) … stay tuned!
Balance is the ultimate goal, we hear it over and over.
Women, working from home or working from an office, all hope to achieve balance.
Do you know what balance means to me?Unsplash
It means achieving the “feels right” appropriation of energy to varied moments, responsibilities and tasks … but in equally varied degrees of importance.
What does that mean, exactly?
It means that I have achieved balance when:
- I fix my children a four course meal, with all of the veggies and food groups that they need for the day, but also have failed to get any laundry folded or put away.
- I have written seven blog posts for scheduling over the next couple of weeks, but forgot to vacuum up all of the dog hair.
- I have purged the house of junk and things we’ve outgrown, but am feeding the kids microwave burgers and frozen french fries.
- I have coached two clients through to a new way of living their life, but have completely forgotten to drink my needed glasses of water and totally missed my daily run.
- It means I have saved a TON of money at the thrift shop instead of overspending at Kohls but forgot to make a credit card payment, and the savings becomes a wash.
I think that balance is …. for the birds. It’s a myth, an unattainable goal and I think it truly stresses too many of us to a point of exhaustion.
Balance is a word that should simply be used for whether your tires are operating in sync, walking the line if you’ve had too much to drink and whether your rocking chair stays upright.
What if we, instead of reaching for balance, we instead strive for a different way to measure our success. What if we simply set out to do our very best … in one aspect or element of our life, and leave the rest for tomorrow.
Or what if … we use the word balance to only measure our life decisions against once we’re on our death bed. Whether over the course of our years, we achieved a happy mix of all of the things. Instead of using the word balance to measure our DAYS, we use it to simply measure our years?
Would that tilt be so bad?