Are Orgs Truly Organized?

Are Orgs Truly Organized?

It’s been a strange Winter, so far. Skipping the play-by-play about what Donald Trump has destroyed in his short time as President, (and honestly, I can’t keep up with it all), I have observed something remarkable which, in turn, brought questions to my mind.

A ton of causes and activist groups have formed, seemingly overnight.

This is no accident, of course. These groups are being helped. Amnesty International offers a manual called Activist Tools on their site with the intent that you’ll find it and use it. […] Full post →

Applesaucing – How to Extract Every Last Morsel from Your Content To Reach New Audiences and Expand Your Influence

Applesaucing, reusing your content for better audience reach

When Fergus Henderson opened his restaurant, St. John, in London in 1995 it adopted the philosophy that when it came to meat, “it would be disingenuous to the animal not to make the most of the whole beast.” And so a new wave of cooking, dining, and eating came into being — one where no part of the animal is wasted. Twenty years after Henderson opened St. John, the way we as creative professionals and content producers view our online projects can borrow a lot from his philosophy.

Applesaucing, a Definition

Your published content as metaphor, if you will. Read more

This Time of Year Reveals “Deep Habits”

This Time of Year cover iamge

This is a strange time of year. The onset of September comes with a host of seasonal and societal cues, punctuated by Labor Day — the unofficial “end of summer.”

And with Summer’s end, also comes the end of vacation season, beach season, sleeping in, barbecues and poolside drinks, long days, short pants, and otherwise taking it easy. Autumn is back — it’s time to wake up!

Back-to-School time reveals our “deep habits”, those behaviors that we can’t seem to shake no matter how old we get. Brushing your teeth is a good example of a deep habit — it’s not just something you read about last year, but rather something that’s become nearly automatic from a lifetime of repetition. I have a deep habit regarding my keys — I always hang them on the back of the door knob after I enter my apartment. This one has followed me since I was a teenager at least, and no matter where I live, I still hang my keys on the doorknob.

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Lessons Learned in Two Years of Podcasting, and What Comes Next

Lessons Learned in Two Years of Podcasting

Yesterday, The Busy Creator Podcast turned two years old, and in reflecting on the journey so far I want to share the lessons I’ve learned with you, the fresh-faced rookie podcasters and even those thinking about starting your own show. Most of these lessons apply for other projects too, such as blogs, video seres, and indeed to most types of business endeavors. Since each lesson carries a certain amount of emotional bruising, please learn from me to ease your own journey. Take each as a call to action rather than a cautionary tale.

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Why Can’t I Concentrate? And what I’m doing about it.

Why Can't I Concentrate?

There’s an undeniable trend lately toward mediation and other mindfulness activities. All the cool kids, aka today’s generation of authors, speakers, consultants, entrepreneurs, etc., have taken up the practice and many are lauding the results.

But meditation can be extremely off-putting in its name only. Vaguely religious, implicitly supernatural, altogether wrapped up in new age, hippy liberalism of decades past.* For addled and neurotic people like me — perhaps the people to whom it would be of greatest impact — it seems a very tall mountain to climb. […] Full post →

Field Report: How Marie Poulin Initiates & Manages Client Projects

Field Report: How Marie Initiates Client Projects

Just about every creative pro has a story of a client project gone bad. The years of collective wisdom have led to the conclusion that designers, photographers, writers, and everyone else who provides services must be strategic about selecting clients and starting a project off on the right foot.

Client on-boarding, project vetting — or whatever you may call it — can be a tricky process, but it’s essential for success. Previous podcast guest and friend of The Busy Creator Marie Poulin, a web designer and digital strategist based in Vancouver, has worked for years on crafting her own studio workflows and systems for working with clients. Stressing the importance and benefits in a recent blog post, she says:

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Common Mistakes in Staying Organized

Common Mistake

The ugly truth is that chaos is the natural state for a creative business. Whether you work solo from home or play a part in the great beehive of a global agency, disorder and clutter will take over you life, if you let it. We all seek to be more organized, but many creative professionals make mistakes in their noble efforts toward order.

Not having a system in place

As readers and listeners will know, I’m a huge fan of systems, but not everyone shares this affection. […] Full post →

Pro Tip for Maintaining Fitness & Balance in Business

Pro Tip

Creative professionals across the spectrum will agree that spending time away from your desk is essential for maintaining balance and staying energised. Here’s a tip to help install some good habits.

Set “away from desk” hours in your calendar. Ban yourself from your desk during that time.

Limiting the amount of time you can spend face down in your work will force you to focus on the task at hand, and not just float around the internet waiting for clients to email you back. It will also help you wrap up for the day and get a good night sleep. […] Full post →

On Waking Up Early

Habits

I’ve been hearing more and more from independent creatives and conventional workers alike that waking up early is a necessary habit for productivity. Since the start of the year, I’ve adopted the practice myself, mainly for going to the gym and even catching up on household recreation (read, watch tv, etc.) that most people do at night.

A recent article on Medium expands upon the virtues of waking up early. The author Matt Donovan (@mattdonovan) showcases the process of his installing this habit, and what it’s already earned him. […] Full post →

The Original Inbox Zero

Many of us are familiar with the term Inbox Zero, but a recent post on Google+ reminded me of the source. It all comes from Merlin Mann and his writings from years ago. Here’s a video from 2007 which still holds true.

I personally don’t remove items from my inbox, but instead use filters and colour-coded category names to sort everything. Nothing is left unread and uncategorised. […] Full post →

11 Productivity Tips You Can Use Today

Habits

From Fast Company comes a snappy little article about productivity — creative or otherwise. Some of these you’re probably already doing, but otherwise, take a quick look and get busy. My favorite is perhaps the toughest one to implement, and one that I am rather trying to adopt myself.

GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
“The promises we make to ourselves are easy to break,” says Laura Vanderkam, frequent contributor and author What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. “It’s much harder to call a friend on Friday and inform her that ‘I failed.’” She set up weekly check-ins and which kept her motivated to complete the first draft of a novel in 2013.

[…] Full post →