Posts made in March, 2014


Round ’em Up: Habit Makeover

Round ’em Up: Habit Makeover


Posted By on Mar 31, 2014

Welcome to another edition of Round ’em Up, where we slurp up the best of the Web and share it with you. Today’s topic is Habit Makeover. Have you wanted to start some new habits, but you’re not sure how? Maybe you don’t know which habits to adopt that will make the most impact! The fact is, a lot of successful people have certain habits in common, and if you can harness those habits for yourself then you just might see some more success in your future, too!

photo credit: Celestine Chua via photopin cc

photo credit: Celestine Chua via photopin cc

Let’s get started! Read on to find some great resources on successful habits and habit change:

– 99U advocates that instead of changing several habits at once, you should focus on one at a time. Though it may seem like a slower process, in this case slow and steady wins the race! By focusing on one habit at a time then you have a better chance of making that change, and sticking to it.

– Would you like to make more time in your day for the things that matter? How about waking up a little earlier? Jeff Goins demonstrates that waking up earlier can make a big impact on your whole day, and he’s got plenty of tips to make it an easier process for even the most seasoned night owls.

– Do you ever wonder how successful people got that way? Farnoosh of Prolific Living offers up 32 simple rules successful entrepreneurs live by. Among them? Failure is okay – fail big if you want to! Just don’t be so afraid to fail that you never try. Forbes has a list of 5 things successful people do before 8am. It comes as no big surprise, but exercise is definitely on that list. And if you’re curious, Mason Currey’s book, Daily Rituals, discusses all the strange and unusual things that successful people have done in order to achieve greatness. Read a review here.

We hope we’ve encouraged you to come up with some new and healthy habits in your life. What are your rituals for success? We’d love to hear them – share in the comments below!

 

Read More

Welcome to #ThinkCreateReflect, where we take a little time to think about the now, reflect on the past and create for the future! Each week we’ll give you a prompt that will inspire your creativity or get your business juices flowing. We hope you’ll join us!

TCR button

 

This week, it’s time for some art journaling! Even if you don’t keep an art journal, you can use a regular sheet of paper or a page out of your usual journal or notebook (heck, even an Evernote note would work!) for this activity.

Make a list or compile a set of images (clippings from magazines, hand drawn goodness, snapshots from your cell phone camera) that you find very inspiring. Keep this page somewhere you can find it the next time you find yourself feeling bogged down in the day-to-day boredom of life, and see if you can breathe some inspiration into your burnout.
What will inspire YOUR next project? Share it with us on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #ThinkCreateReflect!
Read More

MakersWednesday button

For this #MakersWednesday post, we’re going to draw out some of our inner thoughts and feelings. Sometimes sketching out your thoughts can help you find new ways to take action in your life.

2013-11-20 01.05.23

What can you illustrate to help you work through a problem you’re having? Whatever you’re working on, share it with us on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MakersWednesday!

Read More
Work Less, Do More?

Work Less, Do More?


Posted By on Mar 24, 2014

One of the advantages to being an entrepreneur is that you get to set your own schedule, at least to a certain extent. Wouldn’t it be great if you could shorten the amount of time you spend on work each week, and actually get MORE out of the time you do spend working? It’s not as difficult as it sounds.

photo credit: nicwn via photopin cc

photo credit: nicwn via photopin cc

When you give yourself a full work week to get all of your To Dos to be completed, you’re probably going to use every minute of that week – and then some. But if you really think about it, how much of that time do you waste doing menial or unimportant things, just because you know you’ve got all day to finish your list? If you make a few tweaks to your work week you’ll find you can streamline your productive time AND leave plenty more free time than you’ve ever had before.

Ready to get started? We thought so. Here’s a list of tips that should set you on your way:

1. Prioritize your list.

It may sound silly, but if you allow your To Do list to fill up with extraneous items every week, it only drags down your productivity. Focus on your absolute priorities, and put those first. Get them done as quickly as you can and then if you feel like doing more you can always go to a back-up To Do list with less-important tasks on it.

2. Guard your time.

Seriously, guard the time you spend working like it’s the most precious thing you have. If you’ve given yourself 30 minutes to write your next blog post, but you let your spouse/kids/mom’s phone call interrupt you in the middle of that time, chances are it’s going to take you an hour or more to actually write the post. Set specific hours of the day for yourself when you’re going to complete your most focused work and then ask your friends, family members, and even clients not to call you during those hours unless there’s some sort of emergency. You can talk on the phone later in the day when your brain isn’t wired for absolute productivity.

The other side of this is that YOU can’t be your own distraction during this time. Silence your cell phone so it won’t alert you of every e-mail that comes in. Keep your computer closed if you do production-type work and ban yourself from distracting web sites if you have to work online. Keep the time for work just that – time for WORK – and you’ll find a lot more time for play comes out of it in the end.

3. Delegate and automate.

There are a lot of time-consuming tasks that you probably do even though you don’t have to. Hire an assistant or an intern to pack up your orders for shipping, or to track your inventory shelves. Set up an FAQ page on your web site so your customers won’ t email you with the same questions day after day. Set up an automated system for invoices, appointment-setting and email responses so you won’t waste time doing things that someone else could do instead.

4. Take time to relax & refresh.

If you try an experiment and give yourself one day a week to be completely offline, away from your inbox and out of touch with your business, you may find something surprising: when you come back to work on Monday, you’ll actually work harder and faster because you’re feeling so refreshed from your break. Take at least one day a week to spend on your own or with family and friends, away from the To Dos for a while. It will do wonders for the time you do spend at work, because you’ll find yourself streamlining your work process to make sure you get to take that time off every week. You never know – you might even find yourself taking two or three days a week to refresh! Shocking, we know. But you deserve it!

photo credit: danielmoyle via photopin cc

photo credit: danielmoyle via photopin cc

If you’d like to learn more about working smarter, not harder, check out these finds from the Interwebs:

Etsy: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Forbes: In Pictures: How to Shorten Your Work Week

Staples: Shorten Your Work Week by Automating These Simple Repeat Tasks

New York Times: Be More Productive: Shorten the Workweek

Handmadeology: Work Less, Be Happy!

Read More

Welcome to #ThinkCreateReflect, where we take a little time to think about the now, reflect on the past and create for the future! Each week we’ll give you a prompt that will inspire your creativity or get your business juices flowing. We hope you’ll join us!

TCR button

 

This week, it’s time to store up the good in your business so you’ll have it on a rainy day.

Get out a jar, box, or some other type of container that isn’t currently serving a purpose. (Don’t have one? Go to your pantry and pour the contents of a coffee can, oatmeal container or tea box into a zip-loc baggie and use that container!) Go through your web site or Etsy feedback, customer e-mails, and your own memory to think of times when a customer showed you that they love your product, made you feel good about your products, or when someone gave you a compliment about your business. Write down each positive item on its own small slip of paper, fold it up and put it into your container. Add a decorative touch to the container and display it where you can see it easily as you work. The next time you get a compliment, add to it! The next time you have to deal with a difficult customer, pull out and read as many slips as you need to in order to remember that these days aren’t always the norm.
What will go on your little slips of paper? Share with us on Twitter and Instagram using the tag #ThinkCreateReflect!
Read More