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Touch It Once/Toss the Broken Pen | Productivity for Creatives

Productivity for creative entrepreneurs

I recently learned a new productivity / time management tool – I’ve adopted it as my mantra for the week and have been trying my best to put it into practice. It’s this:

Touch it just once.

That means when you take a dish to the sink, wash it.
When you take off your clothes, put them in the hamper.
When you open an email, respond right then.

I’m pretty much the worst at all these things. I feel like everything can be saved for later … but later always has it’s own needs and demands to be met too – like mouths to feed or a TV show to be watched (I’m so curious to see what happens in this last season of Mad Men.) So instead of scanning emails, I’ll dedicate a block of time to reading and responding. And I’m sure my husband will especially appreciate it if my dishes could make it into the dishwasher as I go.

As you incorporate this practice into your life, you may find yourself struggling to only touch things once.

how to be productive when you're your own boss

A couple months ago, during a meeting, I grabbed a pen that didn’t work. I started to put it back in my jar of pens when my sister said “Throw it away.” So I did. And now my life is exponentially better because I will never grab that pen that doesn’t work ever again.

Then the other morning during my typical breakfast of oats & egg whites, I got a little bit of maple syrup on my spoon. In between bites I was trying to find exactly where this maple syrup was on my spoon and wipe it off with a napkin but with each bite my utensil hand was getting stickier. At that point I would normally just suffer through breakfast with the minor inconvenience of a sticky spoon, but I remembered my sister’s command to ditch the ink pen. Except now the dried out ink pen was a sticky spoon. So I got up, washed my hands, and grabbed a new spoon. I enjoyed the rest of my breakfast routine and started my day without annoyance.

So then I started thinking about all the other things I could edit out of my life. The uncomfortable bra that I never wear and constantly have to shove to the back of my drawer – I should just toss it (along with the sock that hasn’t had a match for years). Or my iPhone case that has to be removed every time I plug it into my sounddock – I should just get a better designed case that fits my dock adapter. Then there’s that high school acquaintance whose Facebook status updates always get me riled up – why are we still even “friends”? And of course, there are all the email blasts I get from stores I don’t even shop at flooding my inbox. How long would it take to hit “unsubscribe”?

Today I invite you to move through your day with an awareness to the little details you could just touch once or edit completely out of your life. Take note of all of the little things that deplete you of even the slightest bit of energy. And then I challenge you to touch it once and ditch the broken pen.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

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Braid Creative Sisters | Tara Street on the Being Boss Podcast

Braid Creative's Tara Street on Being Boss Podcast

Kathleen here. When I tell people I own a business with my sister they respond one of two ways: either they say “oooh, you’re so lucky! I wish I could work with my sister!” or “I could NEVER work with my sister.” And the truth is, most days I feel really lucky. A huge perk is that 30+ years of shorthand as sisters has allowed us to expedite our growth as a business. Plus, we always know that we’ve got each other’s back – and that kind of trust makes for powerful business.

Tara and I started working together at an advertising agency. She was literally the boss of me – and that was okay because as my older sister she has been the boss of me pretty much our entire lives. Then when we started our business together we went from being sisters to being the boss of each other – and once we hired a team we both became the bosses of our employees. We have to make a lot of decisions together and often take turns at the wheel when it comes to driving this bus. And to continue with that bus-driving metaphor sometimes our path is smooth sailing, other times the terrain is a little more rocky.

My favorite part about working with my sister (aside from the vacations we get to write off as business) is that she’s one of the smartest people I know. She thinks in layers and can see the domino effect of any scenario in an instant. And when you meet her you’ll probably want her to be your big sister and business partner too.

I’m really excited to have her on the Being Boss podcast this week – because as the younger sister who typically craves attention I’m usually the one in the spotlight. But Tara is the slow burn who knows her stuff and I’m glad she’s getting a chance to take the stage.

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom she shares (click the image to tweet):

own your creative expertise

fake it till you make it creative entrepreneurs

creative entrepreneurs ideas & inspiration

Listen to the episode at www.lovebeingboss.com or on iTunes.

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19-Jan-2016
Meditation Techniques for Creative Entrepreneurs | Braid Creative

Meditation for creative entrepreneurs

Raise your hand if you made a resolution to meditate more in 2016. (I’m raising my hand). Since January 1 how many times have you taken the time to get quiet with yourself? (I’m counting half the fingers on my raised hand.)

Meditation has hit the mainstream and it’s something we’ve all learned is as important to our health and well-being as exercise and eating right. If you’re like me it’s hard for you to make sitting with yourself in silence a priority. It’s just so easy to put off when you have blog posts to write, TV shows to watch, books to read, treadmills to run, Pinterest to peruse, things to design, and a world to take over. As I’m trying to develop my own meditation practice I’ve been giving lots of thought to different kinds of meditating and tools to help me stick with it. Here’s what I’ve uncovered:

THE SIT DOWN & BURN INCENSE KIND OF MEDITATION:
So this is what I think of when I picture what meditation looks like. And this is often the kind of meditation that I put off and don’t make time for. I’ve found that my challenge with sitting down and being silent with myself is that my mind starts to race. I get that meditation is the practice of stilling those said racing thoughts, but it can be such a struggle. So I’ve found that having an intention or even a guided story in my mind helps me find focus and the kind of deep peace I’m looking for with my meditation practice. I share four different meditation “stories”, weekly, in my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions that I’ve found super helpful to developing my own sit-down-and-meditate practice. It’s not a typical guided meditation where you plug in the headphones and listen to someone talk to you. It’s more like a narrative or guide that you read and recount for yourself as you settle into silence.

If you are interested in more hands-on guided meditations check out Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. Or check out this Buddhify app. My life coach friend recommends these freebies at Tender Logic. You can also find lots of free guided meditation resources on YouTube. Also, try seeking out meditation classes being held in your area!

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Different types of meditation for creative entrepreneurs

MOVING MEDITATION:
I firmly believe that while sitting in silence with yourself to meditate is a great way to tap into your subconscious that a moving meditation can be just as powerful – if not more so. (Or maybe it’s my way of justifying not sitting down every day to get all spiritual with myself.) Either way. Moving meditation is my favorite. This might look like dancing, yoga, rock climbing or simply sweating it out at the YMCA. The idea is to climb into your body and find a focused awareness in your breath and movement in a way that silences your mind (even if a spin instructor is yelling at you to push it). I also believe that moving your body with focus and intention helps energy and emotions flow, release, and recharge as needed.

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LIVING MEDITATIVELY:
Okay, so if you really can’t get into sitting down to meditate or moving meditation, try living meditatively. In other words, be present. I practice living meditatively when I’m doing chores. Cleaning, folding laundry, washing dishes, and cooking dinner are all opportunities to practice presence and living meditatively. As you’re going through the motions try and focus solely on the task at hand. Give 100% of your attention and awareness to that bowl your washing or those veggies you’re chopping. Showering and brushing your teeth are also great times to practice living meditatively.

I’ve found that practicing presence and stilling my mind while I’m doing mundane tasks like personal hygiene or housework gives my mind space to come up with creative ideas and solutions I wouldn’t have thought of if I had been sitting in front of my computer working.

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THE TWO MINUTE MEDITATION:
Almost every creative I work with wants to incorporate more meditation, prayer, stillness, whatever you want to call it, into their day. But it can be easy to put off when you think about all the effort that goes into taking time to be still. I myself have been putting off my own meditation practice because the amount of emails I could answer or the blog post I could write in the time I should be dedicating to meditation wins. So lately I’ve been practicing the 2-minute meditation.

Because two minutes is all it takes.

Taking two minutes to center and ground myself has been working wonders for my attitude and ability to focus. I find it especially helpful to take two minutes before I transition from one task to another. So before I go into a meeting, before I sit down to write, before I go pick up my baby from daycare … I simply take two minutes to be still.

Try this: Close your eyes. Feel your feet or sacrum firmly rooted to the earth. Quickly scan your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Inhale to the count of four and exhale to the count of eight. Flood your body with light and as you exhale feel yourself relax a little more. You can do all of this in just minutes. Try incorporating this practice throughout your day over the next week.

P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

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