#boostyourconcentration

3-5

I started writing this blog post when I got an idea on how to design my service packages. So, I stopped writing to take what I thought was going to be a quick note. I ended up writing and designing the whole thing. While doing that, I remembered about my husband’s birthday coming up next week and did a quick follow up on the gift status (can’t say what I have in mind because he might actually read this). In the meantime, I had to prepare a baking order for a friend to deliver in the afternoon (baking is something I love to do on the side). Once I got that covered, I found myself staring at my laptop screen. I blinked, twice. What was it again that I was supposed to be doing? That was this morning.

Sometimes, we refer to it as multi-tasking. It’s not.  It’s stopping from doing one thing to start something else entirely without having completed your first task. So instead of getting something done, you will end up with a hundred pending things without concluding anything. This happens to me when I dump ‘the list’ and go rogue. Bad idea.

By all means, if you have an idea jot it down! But if you set out to complete a task, concentrate on getting it done. Otherwise, you will end up with a million incomplete tasks and stress yourself unnecessarily. So, I thought about it and decided that I need to do at least these 3 things to boost my concentration.

  1. Remove any distractions

This may be challenging. I work in a somewhat quiet environment (except for the occasional shout from the neighbour announcing that dinner’s ready) so that helps a lot. Try and find a spot void of visual stimulation (e.g. TV) and noise so that your full attention goes to the task at hand and only that. If necessary, put your phone away. I, for one, tend to have this bad habit of just scrolling through Facebook for minutes on end. And that is super unproductive.

     2. Do not multi-task

If what you’re doing requires your 200% concentration, do only that. Don’t check your phone for emails or other notifications. Don’t switch to another project just for the sake of having started working on it as well. Keep a scrap of paper or notebook nearby so you can jot down any ideas that might pop in your head just so you won’t forget and get back to them later.  Plan ahead – if need be prepare a to do list in the morning or even the night before and stick to those tasks, one by one.

     3. Relax & Unwind

I understand that it is sometimes hard to keep up with the fast paced life that we seem to be living. But do find time for yourself. Take breaks, go outside for a walk (or a coffee, in my case). It helps to shake work off for a while and just be. You will probably return to your work refreshed and reinvigorated!

If you need a little encouragement, I have prepared a couple of motivational quote cards for you!  Just click on the image below to get your free printables 🙂

Amanda x

motivational-cards

#yesyoucan

3

Yesterday has been an eye-opener for me. Despite it being Valentine’s Day, that was not the highlight of the day.

It has been 7 years I think since I set foot on the University campus. And as soon as I stepped inside the Faculty building a wave of nostalgia hit me and it was like I was back there again – reliving the best years of my life. Sure, the building has undergone refurbishment and it is way nicer now. But the ‘feel’ of the place is still the same.

The Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences at UOM held a talk by British Photographer and Motivational Speaker Trevor Griffiths. In all honesty, I am always a bit sceptic about seminars and talks  because of my extremely short attention span. My mind has this tendency to wander on its own, unlocking new thoughts and ideas along the way. But this time, I was captivated. Trevor Griffiths managed to keep his audience on their toes (at least, I was) as we relived his past experiences, successes and defeats.

To lightly rephrase the gist of his concluding speech, if you put your mind to the task and if you truly want to succeed – don’t say you can’t. Because you can and you will.

So, as I left the building, I kept mulling over those last couple of words which I believe are going to become my tune for a long time to come. To say that no one ever said that to me would be an outright lie; I have seen nothing but constant support from my family and closest friends.

But still, hearing those words from someone who knows is inspiring. My advice, if you come by an opportunity such as this one don’t let it slip through your fingers. It will only take an hour or two of your time but will make up for so much more.

Amanda x

#gettingorganised

2

The above are two words which have become my mantra over the last couple of months. With all the ideas, checklists and workload, that mantra has been super useful to say the least.

Scheduling and planning are key. Without them, I can freely say that with the zillions of thoughts buzzing through my head, chaos would have probably taken over up there. So I decided to take advantage of what my dad has always preached about Lean and six sigma (a whole topic for another time) and actually make use of the knowledge.

I started with my workspace. I know – what has that got to do with scheduling? It actually does. A lot. At least it makes sense to me. Having a comfy, clatter-free space helps me relax and focus. You’ll be spending quite a while there, so might as well get yourself comfortable! To be honest, I sometimes need a change in scenery. So I either lounge on the sofa in the living room while working or at a local café or even by the sea on a beautiful  sunny day. The change in air might actually give you a new perspective; a brilliant idea, even!

Speaking of which, I usually tend to get those brilliant ideas in the middle of the night or when I’m about to sleep; and as a result end up with an array of multi coloured sticky notes and little torn papers. So, I “invested” in a list book (I’m a stationery lover, so that was just the perfect excuse).  Although I have actually downloaded list apps, I’m kind of a traditionalist when it comes to writing and taking notes – I prefer pen and paper to apps.

get-organised

But having said that, I still tend to use OneNote and Bamboo Spark. OneNote has got to be my favourite notebook so far; with colour coded tabs and the ability to add pages in each tab. Bamboo Spark on the other hand is great for jotting down ideas and sketching. And the best part is having the option to save your notes within the cloud either in handwriting or text (or both).

So that took care of the notes scattered everywhere on my desk! And in lieu of today’s subject, I have designed 2 free To Do List printables for you; maybe it will help a little with getting organised!

Amanda x

#prologue

1

Starting out on your own is a scary thing. There’s no beating about the bush; because it is. After working full time with a company for more than 7 years while juggling my studies and life in general, being on your own is weird. However, I cannot deny that it is weird in a good way because it’s exciting, liberating and most of all, challenging.

I got my creative juices going, made new acquaintances from all over the world, learnt quite a few new things and filled my calendar to the brim. And I simply love it!  My advice though, if you’re starting out as a freelancer, is to be organised. Plan, schedule & take action. There is no room for procrastination; zilch. The first thing I did was creating a weekly planner. You can get your weekly planner freebie here 🙂

Like the majority of people, I believe, I weigh my options before jumping in the sea of the unknown. For one too many times I have been let down, lied to or misled. So, eventually, I learned to take my time in figuring things out and not be rash. You may miss out on potential opportunities by doing so. However, I have always been the kind of person who comes up with new ideas and implement them. So, if you’re in a similar situation, take a step back, take in the whole picture and regroup. You’ll get there eventually!

Amanda x