productivity

  • The Short and Sweet Guide to Setting 2013 Goals

    2012 is no more. The Mayans were wrong, and thousands of conspiracy theorists the world over are scratching their heads in confusion. We were blown off our campsite (winds up to 160kmph – we were literally blown away!) so had a New Years party in the city this year, and now I have a fridge filled with camping food that desperately needs to get eaten!

    This year is going to be one of the biggest and craziest of my life, both in terms of my business and my personal life. This year I make the transition from city girl to country lass. This year I embark on an exciting new publishing challenge (more about that later), and this year I grow my business bigger and brighter than I ever thought possible.

    The New Year is a time to reflect on the last year, and to plan for the year ahead. But with family overstaying their welcome at your house, kids home for the holidays, and a gazillion other demands on your time, it can be hard to find a few minutes to sit down and think strategically about business. Before you know it, it will be the end of February and you haven’t started anything for the year yet.

    Here’s my solution – a short and very sweet guide to 2013 goal-setting.

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  • Post-Apocalypse Christmas Holiday Plan For Your Business

    Christmas is Coming, if the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t get us first.

    What did you do on December 21, the day the Mayan calendar supposedly stopped? I officiated a gothic Victorian wedding – I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the end of the world!

    Although, I don’t really understand why everyone was so worried. I read recently on the Atlantic Wire that archaeologists found new astronomical tables in the city of Xultun. These new tables pre-date the previous codex, which mysteriously stopped on Dec 21, 2012, and span over 7,000 years into the future. So it seems we’re not doomed yet. It’s just that the Mayan writing down the codex got a sore hand and went down to the pub for a drink instead.

    What Does The Mayan Apcoalypse Have to Do With MY Business?

    Not much, actually, come to think of it. Except for the fact that since it didn’t happen, chances are high you’ll get to enjoy your Christmas turkey, go to the beach (or the ice skating rink) and sip vodka through a straw or whatever it is you get up to on New Years.

    You’re out-of-commission. On Holiday. And that means your business is going to have to tick along without you.

    Is YOUR business prepared for that responsibility?

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  • Creative Office Organisation (For Anyone who operates a floor-based or “piling” filing system)

    I swear by the gods there is a black hole in my stationery drawer.

    Pens go in, and never come out. Art supplies are purchased and promptly lost into the abyss. Staplers that I SWEAR I saw in there only a few days ago disappear without a trace.

    After the umpteenth time I barged into his office yelling accusations of stationery theft, my husband (not-so)gently pointed out that maybe “they’re hiding somewhere underneath the piles of crap on your desk.”

    “‘Piles of crap’? What ‘piles of crap’?” I cry in indignation.

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  • Email: My Secret Shame, and Improving your creative business in the New Year

    I am shit with email.

    There is no sugar-coating that baby, no making excuses or blaming it on the cat. I am shit with email. I come home from work, all ready to write my little heart out for the evening, and there it is, that seething bulk of communication, and I am grateful for every single item that comes into my inbox - new albums for me to download, guest posting, client enquiries, press releases from strange and weird places, ad requests for Gothic Wedding Planner, replies from editors about pitches, newsletters … – so I, in my excitement, read them all, think “I’ll reply to that later, when I’ve given it some thought,” file it away in a folder, and promptly forget that I need to reply to it.

    Sometimes I look at that counter that says “54 new emails” and I go and listen to my husband’s band practice, instead.

    I frequently leave people hanging for days – sometimes even weeks. I accidentally delete things. I send emails and forget to attack stuff. I send enormous files without noticing. I am a bad, bad emailler. 

    If there were email gods, they would smite me where I stand.

    The first thing that I wanted to say was that if you’ve been a victim of my email-suckyness, I apologise. I am so, so, so sorry. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m an unorganised, scatterbrained hazard to myself.

    The second thing I want to say is that it’s going to change.

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  • From punk rock princess to creative business coach: Epic Interrogations with Michelle Nickolaisen of LetsRadiate.com

    Do you know Michelle Nickolaisen? I have a feeling that in a couple of years when I ask you that question, you’ll be saying “of course!” Michelle is one kick ass chick – she’s been a blogger for several years, and her latest effort – Lets Radiate – is a love letter to creative folk who might be struggling with workflow or getting all their amazing projects off the ground.

    What does Michelle do better than anyone? She gets stuff done. She says “I have this great idea!” and then she goes out and gets it done. And she helps other creatives to work through blocks and figure out their workflow issues. And, since I’m bloody good at having great ideas, but not so good with the whole workflow things, I’m truly grateful to have her here to talk about running a small business, finding your people, and getting your business running as sweet as mustard.

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  • Holy Shit, Guys, I’m on Problogger!

    [dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou got a blog – it’s awesome. You’ve been writing and loving it. But one day you wake up … and it’s not so much fun anymore. You think “Eh, it’s just the Monday blues, or the Tuesday terror, or the Wednesday willies. I’ll be fine tomorrow.” But you’re not fine. In fact, strange boils […]

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  • I’m am NOT a Workaholic … I’m Just Sensible

    I hope you’ve all had a gander at Monday’s EPIC INTERROGATION with Laura Simms, creative coach and artistic inspiration mistress. Laura has a lot of great tips for anyone interested in getting into coaching and consulting with our kind of people (those are creatively awesome people, by the way).

    When I asked her if she was a workaholic, Laura had this to say:

    No. I think that word gets bandied around a lot amongst online business people without much regard for what it really means. Do I work a lot? Yeah. Do I enjoy it? Almost all of it. Do I sacrifice other activities in order to work? Yes. Is my allegiance to my work detrimental to my health and relationships? No. I’m not a workaholic.

    Laura’s comment about not being a Workaholic inspired today’s post. First, let’s do a little semantics on the word “Workaholic”.

    The word consists of a root – work (defined in the noun as “Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result”), with the -holic suffix. When applied to words, -holic ususally denotes a negative condition, a person having an abnormal desire or dependence on something – an addiction, usually. Holic denotes an inability to stop oneself from indulging in their chosen vice.

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  • SMART goals for smart-ass creatives

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re joining the Gyrmm & Epic blog for the first time, I highly recommend you pop back to Monday’s Epic Interrogation post and read Sam Browne’s story. Sam’s a remarkable character who’s managed to build a viable creative business for himself to support his career as a musician. He shares some incredible advice, and swears a bit, which we’re totally down with here on Grymm & Epic.

    One of the things Sam talked about was goal-setting and using SMART goals. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is, it’s a goal that is so awesome you’re actually going to achieve it.

    If you set yourself a SMART goal, and it’s something you really, truly want, and you’re quite prepared to work your ass off (just like Sam) and you don’t give up, than it’s inevitable you’re going to achieve it. And when you do, you can walk around with your chest puffed out and be a bit of a smart ass.

    SMART goals have five key elements. If you’re missing one, you haven’t got a SMART goal – maybe a SMAT goal or an ARM goal or even a TECZF goal (I don’t know what that stands for). Here’s what your goal needs to qualify as SMART:

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  • The perils of working for unknown returns

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap] work sixty hour weeks, and I don’t even notice. This probably makes me a horrible wife (and obviously, I have an incredibly tolerant husband).

    Some of this work is quantifiable – I work for an hour, I get paid for it. I finish a client’s job or a Braille book, fill out an invoice and money appears in my bank account. That money keeps us fed, watered, powered up, clothed (and when most of your clothes come from obscure underground shops in Scandinavia, this is no easy feat) and gassed up for adventures.

    But I work the rest of the time for unknown returns, and that’s quite scary. It might take me 30 minutes to write this blog post, but chances are, it won’t net me any money. Not a cent. It might bring in new readers, who might sign up to the email list for the FREE ebook or the RSS feed, and might eventually, one day, buy something from me, or because super internet famous and recommend me to all their friends, who might buy from me. But right now, this 30 minutes of work will net me exactly $0.

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  • Rocking the Daily Routine, Heavy Metal Style

    [dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the new year already in full swing (and several new projects in my inbox) us small business / productivity / being awesome bloggers are talking about daily routines – how to structure them, how to fine-tune them and the kind of epicly awesome results we expect.

    Over the last year, I’ve been working on honing my daily routine, which is now so honed I could cut productivity’s face with the very suggestion of it.

    My routine is perfect for me, but probably won’t work for anyone else. Although, I don’t meditate. I’m not a “raw food” kind of girl. I don’t have some kind of mad skincare regimen or believe in doing 50 press-ups before breakfast (at least, not anymore – back when I was a karate girl I used to, and they were on my knuckles, too).

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