One of my favorite authors in the whole wide world is Stephen King. I love him because he manages to write the most beautiful, scary and convincing stories, and he always knows how to “make” his protagonists say the right thing at the right moment. King actually wrote the right thing for me without even knowing me:
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that”.
I wouldn’t want to defy one of my favorite writers in the world, so this week I embarked on an online search for other people who write about their experience of working from home. I found some thought-provoking people, and even one who made me run to the store and buy an actual notebook to write in.
1. The productivity app which isn’t an app
In the last few months, every business journal in the world has written enthusiastically on a productivity system called bullet journaling. I glanced over some of the pieces, but like every other productivity system I ever read about, I was quick to reject it. When I finally sat down to really delve into it, it actually sounded very logical. Bullet journaling was invented by Ryder Carroll, a digital product manager from New York City. Carroll claims that there are two problems with our traditional system of to-do lists: First, they don’t allow us to see the big picture – the reason we do all this – and therefore decrease our efficiency. Second, they don’t allow for long-term follow-ups, so tasks and goals get lost amidst dozens of daily interruptions. His system, designed to solve all that, sounds convincing, and even drove me to the nearest store to purchase a nice notebook. Here’s a short video explaining the system, and you can also read about it on his website.
2. No more guilt! No more guilt!
Len Markidan wrote a nice post about a subject that’s been bugging me for a while. This is the thing: We’re all accustomed to be told what to do. That’s the way things were done in school, college, university, and of course – in every place we’ve ever worked. But when you work from home, and especially when you’re a freelancer or a business owner, nobody ever tells you what to do. In my case, no one ever tells me when to stop doing what I’m doing, either. My head is always brimming with ideas on how to expand my business, more people I should schedule an online meeting with, where should I advertise myself – and how am I supposed to get all this done, in addition to the work I actually have to do? The simple answer is that I can’t. And then comes the guilt. Always, the guilt… and to this, Markidan says: You’re more productive than you think. Only he says it better.
3. I’m a woman, I admit it
You don’t have to be a hard-core feminist to realize that men and women are not educated equally. Men are encouraged to showcase their abilities, to strive to be the first in everything, and to set aside their weaknesses. Women, however… well, women are not supposed to do all that. But when you’re your own boss, you certainly have to show off that “masculine” side of you, especially when you’re negotiating a new contract. Robin Madell wrote a smart post about some salient points in the process.