Issue #026 | September 20, 2020  


This week: procrastinate well, the bad ass tool I use to organise life, how to start a freelance writing career, tips for over-thinkers + more.

Permission to Procrastinate

You know when you swear you'll get X, Y and Z done, but end up doing 'J' instead? Mmmhm.

I had one simple work-y thing to do this weekend:

Create a plan for my next daring venture (I promise I'll share the deets when I have more to speak of).

Yet what did I spend most of the weekend doing?

Rabidly re-organising my desktop and Notion files as if it were my last day on Earth. 

You see, a touch of anxiety kicked in. Not knowing where to start with my mammoth planning sesh. It led me to procrastinate with something I'd been procrastinating over for weeks.

Do you see the irony?

I didn't beat myself up though.

Because the 'J' thing was what needed to get done. And in doing that I now had a slick(er) system for finding all the links and files I horde away. New mental space created. Along with less time clicking here and there to retrieve stuff.

And guess what? The smug satisfaction of tackling that task gave me the energy to crack on with my big picture plan.

heres to the crazy ones quote - not fitting in

Procrastination gets a bad wrap. 

And too right, because when you have a deadline looming and you can't get your butt into gear. Well, that's painful. Knowing you have work to do, yet your mind-body says NO. Sheesh!

But sometimes procrastination can be our friend. Sometimes we can procrastinate well.

Watching re-runs of Only Fools and Horses when you have an important email to write. Bad procrastination my friend.

De-cluttering your email inbox because it feels like a better option than writing that email... that's procrastinating well

Why? Because at least it's a productive activity. 

Dude, you've been meaning to sort your inbox for the longest, and now look at you go.

Your inbox has that nice uncluttered look. You're feeling pumped. You smile like a Cheshire cat. It's the same kind of smile that breaks when you've finished cleaning your pad. And the only thing left to do is to wave a can of Fabreeze about the place. 

So you're in your inbox, feeling good about how it's looking. Almost out of nowhere you find the energy to start that email.

Aright, alright. Sometimes it doesn't work out this way. The email doesn't get sent. You can either feel bad about life, or celebrate the fact you got something of value done that day.

Because guess what you'll do first thing tomorrow?

You'll send that email. Right?

Remember, it's OK to let ourselves delay doing stuff once in a while. We just need to choose our mode of procrastination well.

Mena x

Quick Tips & Cool Tools

✨ How to run your life inside Notion

That tool I mentioned earlier, Notion. It's kinda bad ass. I use it for pretty much everything including:

  • planning and writing this weekly letter
  • organising notes, research, resources, courses I'm taking
  • keeping track of conversations and email communication
  • books I want to read/have read
  • managing my projects, tasks and goals

About the only thing I don't do in Notion is journaling (because I love paper notebooks too much). 

I'm no Notion expert, but Marie Poulin is.

Learn how she uses it to run her personal and professional life.

→ Superorganizers

✨ The ultimate guide to becoming a freelance writer

  • This guide addresses mindset questions from 'how do I know my writing is good enough to earn a living?' to the practicalities of setting up business as a freelance writer, picking a niche, and finding clients

→ Make a Living Writing

✨ Tool for finding writing gigs that pay decent money

  • Here's a directory of publications looking to hire freelance writers, and the rates they're willing to pay
  • Through this site, you can even report clients that do the dirty on you

→ Who Pays Writers

✨ How to decide (tips for over-thinkers)

  • Write down the pros and cons of each option
  • Making a decision for anyone other than yourself will likely lead to disappointment, maybe even resentment. Remember this the next time you feel selfish for choosing yourself first
  • Not everyone will have your back - be selective with who you ask for advice
  • You won't get everything right. Cut yourself some slack and stop reaching for perfection
  • "If the decision making process is taking longer than the probable result, you’re over thinking this"

→ Dave Cornthwaite

✨ Feeling burnt out? Identify which stage you're at

  • STAGE 1: The honeymoon period - sustained energy, commitment, optimism
  • STAGE 2: Onset of stress - sleep deprivation, avoiding decision making, poor focus
  • STAGE 3: Chronic stress - social withdrawal, denial of problems, physical illness
  • STAGE 4: Burnout - feeling empty, pessimism, social isolation, stomach/bowel issues
  • STAGE 5: Habitual burnout - persistent sadness, chronic mental/physical fatigue

Recognition and self-awareness is the first step to getting help.

→ This is Calmer

Caught on Twitter

Just for Fun!

Start your own band online → Make Sweet Music