17 Jan 2015

Evernote – My second brain

No Comments 15daychallenge

Which ONE tool are you going to use to become more productive?
#nataliesisson

It’s day three of the 15 Days to Freedom blog challenge, and this post is about productivity tools. I use a lot of different tools to help manage my work and each one is useful in its own right, but what I look for are tools that let me be truly device neutral.

Being productive
In my daily work, I use:

  • Podio – Great for collaboration and project work
  • Dropbox – Perfect for having access to client files as and when I need them.
  • Evernote – My second brain. It is home to ideas, inspiration and other information I simply cannot track in my head.

Podio and Dropbox are no-brainers for me to keep on track with tasks, but as I want to spend a lot more time investing in my business, Evernote will be my tool of choice for capturing ideas, inspiration and copious notes for work. Read more

16 Jan 2015

Focusing on the MIAs

No Comments 15daychallenge

Identify ONE Most Important Action to achieve in the next 15 days
#nataliesisson

It’s the second day of our 15 Days to Freedom blog challenge and it’s been really interesting to see everyone is responding with their blogs. And today, the challenge is to identify the things we do before anything else in our day that will push us forward professionally or personally.

This one for me has been a fairly straightforward choice: It’s allowing myself one hour each morning to consider and write the blog posts for each challenge. We’re on Australian Eastern Summer Time at the moment, so the new challenge is typically there by the time I sit down to get my day started.

Since I am already in the flow from writing morning pages (part of my morning practice of starting with intent – a personal MIA) – it’s the perfect time to tackle this writing. My intent is that by the time our 15 days are up, I’ll be in a regular groove of writing new posts and will continue beyond the challenge.

15 Jan 2015

Starting with intent

5 Comments 15daychallenge, life

Setting your intention is like drawing an arrow from the quiver of your heart. 
Bruce Black

A few weeks ago, I literally set fire to some of the things that have been holding me back in 2014. There were 15 little pieces of paper with “stuff” that I wanted to let go of from my everyday so that I could makes some space for change.

The idea came from a recent post by author Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote about the ceremonies she used to have on New Year’s Day to help focus on what she wanted for the coming year.

I really liked the idea of beckoning into my life the things I wanted, such as being able to work independent of any location, to have the financial freedom to work as my health allowed rather than always pushing too hard, to be able to take time to travel again and do it without worrying about the hit on my income (as many self-employed folks do). I want a life of being able to “work anywhre” where I’m not tethered to a desk, a location or an ‘hours-for-dollars’ way of working.

But in order to create room to focus on my freedom goals, I needed to actively let go of some thoughts, fears and self-doubt that have held me back. Writing those things down on paper and watching them disintegrate was a very tangible, freeing experience. Read more

10 Jan 2015

Habit is habit

No Comments notes

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
Mark Twain

A few days ago an email from Natalie Sisson popped into my email inbox. If you don’t know of her, she’s the owner of the fantastic Suitcase Entrepreneur website and I’ve been a fan for a long time, because her advice is practical, authentic and actionable. The subject of the email was a 15 Day Blog Challenge: an opportunity to join a group of bloggers who would commit to  showing up to respond to  one daily challenge while re-engaging in the habit of writing every day and building a freedom plan.

Looking back on 2014, I barely blogged and I had been toying with the idea of shutting this site down for lack of time or energy, or if I’m honest, direction. But change is a-coming in 2015 so I listened to that little voice that said “Do this!” and have signed up.

So wish me luck. It’s going to be fun doing this and getting to know other bloggers who want the same or similar things.

 

05 Jan 2015

The F**k It List

No Comments life, rheumatoid arthritis

Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

Okay, so I’m sure that most of us have heard about the concept of a bucket list, which is a list of all the experiences the owner wants to have or have accomplished during their lifetime. Over the holidays, I read about a different concept: the F**k It List.

Phil Watt’s article on Elephant Journal is about the idea of how precious life is, that it can be gone in a second, and that many of us feel compelled to create bucket lists to ensure we achieve the things we’ve always wanted to do in life. But he also workshops the idea of creating a list of things we need to grow in how we think, feel and act, letting go of the things that hold us back from our true potential and the things that we’ve become emotionally attached to but which have no real power over us. Read more

25 Dec 2014

Merry Christmas Spoonies

No Comments life

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”
#HarlanMiller

Christmas seems to have arrived so quickly this year and it’s taken a little while for the festive spirit to find us in this household. We are two members short this year and it’s a little harder to fill the void for some reason. Nonetheless, we’ve persevered and have found our joys in the little things and in being with each other. Read more

13 Oct 2014

Springtime

No Comments life, notes

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”
#Proverb

The crumble of the soil between my fingers felt incredibly good today, planting a few new herbs and gently pruning my small but well producing balcony veggie patch. The first of the paper daisies flowered today; a rich deep purple that reminded me of the colour of my high school formal dress. This is its third year; it’s almost always the first show of colour we get.

My balcony garden not as big as it has been in previous years, but the herbs are growing well, the lettuces have provided me with several lunches and the blueberries are still coming into their own.  Read more

08 Jul 2014

Spoonies

1 Comment fibromyalgia, hashimotos, rheumatoid arthritis

“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.”
#MohsinHamid

It’s been a while since my last update, but I wanted to give a shout-out to the lovely Julie Ryan, who writes and curates Counting My Spoons. She recently interviewed me for her weekly Fibro Warriors series, which is a really great way of learning about fibromyalgia and how these amazing people manage their health.

This has to be one of the best ways I can think of to help others understand what can be a very invisible but equally challenging disease. Julie’s blog was inspired by The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, and her aim is to help educate and inspire us all to connect and share our fibro story.

Head on over to her blog for a great dose of inspiration, empathy and compassion.

 

20 Feb 2014

Energy

No Comments life, wellbeing

“The dog is a reflection of your energy, of your behaviour. You have to ask, ‘What am I doing?’ That’s the right question to ask.”
#CesarMillan

The days are getting shorter as autumn takes its time in getting here. Our clocks turn back on April 6 to standard time and that’s when we’ll really notice the downshift to cooler days and nights. We’ve had something of an Indian summer here over March, with warm days still in the high 20s. Winters in Sydney are pretty mild by comparison to the cities I’ve lived in or visited during my travels. An Edinburgh winter is bitterly cold, an Oslo winter dark and at times oppressive, a New York winter freezing but still incredibly beautiful.

Sydney winters are often dry, bright and sunny but pleasant, around 18-20’C most days with cool to cold(ish) nights. Still, having said that, the energy of the city starts to wind down a little as the days get shorter. Personally, I love it at this time of year because it’s still mild enough that you can be outside and enjoying all the city has to offer and if it starts to get cool of an evening, you just tug on a cardy or a light sweater.

I also find that my energy comes back a little.

Read more

01 Feb 2014

Paperbarks

2 Comments life, spaces, travel

“Time spent amongst the trees is never wasted time.”
#KatrinaMayer

So last week was my fortieth birthday and to help me ease into my next decade, my best friend decided to whisk me away to the south coast of NSW for a four-day girl’s weekend away. 2013 had proven to be both stressful and busy for both of us so it was fantastic to take some time out so soon after Christmas and before the last days of summer left us.

Several months before, my bestie asked: “What do you want to do for your birthday?” After 24 years of friendship, we know each other pretty well and when I moved home to Australia six years ago, we started taking these birthday weekends away together to celebrate in the way that only besties can. The deal is that we each get to plan the other’s birthday weekend, so these weekends are always a bit of a secret and the challenge is to let nothing slip. Zilch, nada. Read more