Issue #027 | September 27, 2020  


This week: my stop-doing list, how to finish what you started, how to love rejection, a new place to share your ideas + girls just want to have fun.

Shit I Need to Stop Doing

“Before you eat the elephant, make sure you know what parts you want to eat” - Todd Stocker

You don't have to convince me about the magic of a to-do list. 

Especially when working on a project that feels bigger than life itself.

If anything, I think I'm mildly addicted to list-making.  

But it's the good kind of addiction.

Writing on why our brains thrive when working on ordered tasks, Dr David Cohen, says there are three reasons we love making lists:

  1. We feel less anxious when things are written down.
  2. They hook us up with a bonafide plan to get stuff done.
  3. They're evidence that we did, in fact, do something useful with our time that day.

(Cue the gigantic dopamine rush).

Over the years I've made lists for everything. Worky stuff, nerdy stuff, social life and relationship stuff. 

You name it. I list it.

But you know what kind of list I've never made?

A 'stop-doing-this-shit' list!

Think about it. 

We use lists to help remember what needs to be done in order to live happy, healthy, productive lives.

But how many of us use lists as a reminder to stop behaviours that make us feel icky?

Making a mental note about them, is one thing. Committing that to paper, is quite something else.

So, I've decided it's time to create a 'stop-doing-this-shit' list. This is what it looks like.

Shit I need to stop doing:

  • Telling myself I haven't got time then proceeding to waste it on meaningless faff
  • Telling myself 'I can't afford it' when it's something I need for my health and/or business
  • Spending way too much time checking, rechecking, re-rechecking, then re-re-rechecking every damn thing I write
  • Peeping at emails when I have no intention of replying or taking immediate action on them
  • Doubting my experience, abilities or knowledge because I'm looking for excuses to stay small
  • Brushing off or dismissing compliments because I don't want to come off as a conceited a-hole
  • Not making enough time to do fun stuff (away from work) because for me work IS fun
  • Expecting others to read my mind and magically get a sixth sense for when they've pissed off
  • Checking my phone/social media/emails before I've done at least 3 hours of deep work
  • Having 217 tabs open on my desktop (OK, I'm exaggerating, but still)
  • Trying to juggle cooking while working because burnt food is a real pain in the ass
  • Eating a whole bag of almonds in one sitting then, 5 hours later, wondering why my belly hurts
  • Trying to do 'all the things' by myself just because I'm an annoying polymath who thinks I can do it all
  • Munching, nibbling, chewing, licking, smelling any food substance 3 hours before going to bed

Now I'm not saying I'm going to never ever do any of these things again (I'm human and human's mess-up, such is life).

I'm just going to let this list serve as a reminder of the things I need to cut out. 

A consciousness check, if you like.

Hey, maybe you'd like to write a 'stop-doing-this-shit' list too, if you don't have one already. Give it a whirl.

Mena x

Quick Tips & Cool Tools

✨How to finish what you started

"Publishing is deciding to stop when you want to keep working, and it's super painful"

  • Publishing is an attitude. It starts the moment you start creating up until the very end
  • One way to get better at publishing what you start is to work the process like a funnel
  • The best creators work to publish, and most of the time those works aren't the finished article - artists like J.K. Rowling and Ella Fitzgerald are great publishers, not great finishers

→ JackConteExtras (YouTube - 10 mins)

✨ Learn to love rejection (it'll help keep you sane-ish)

A few quotes that caught my attention - they're totally applicable to all creators, not just writers:

  • "Rejection doesn’t diminish the value you offer."
  • "Your attitude is not separate from your writing work. It’s part of your job as a writer, and it can assist or hinder your progress."
  • "Don’t just accept the rejection — agree with the rejection. Thank the source of the rejection for seeing something that you didn’t see. Consider your possible oversight."

→ Copyblogger

✨ 100 blocks a day - how are you spending them?

Download this grid of 100 blocks and get a visual on where your time goes each day.

→ Wait But Why

✨ An alternative publishing platform for creators wanting to share ideas

Don't let not having a website stop you from publishing your writing in public. If that's your thing.

Unlike other platforms with Imprint:

  • There are no annoying paywalls** (looking at you Medium)
  • You don't have to worry about building on other people's land, as they allow custom domains

**They say pay-walling is never going to happen, but *shrugs* who knows. Enjoy a slice of the freedom pie while it lasts.

→ Imprint

✨ Tips for adding more play into your grown-up life

Because your mental health will thank you for it:

  • Think about your favourite ways to play as a kid, then come-up with adult versions (hmm, not sure how I could come up with an adult version of knock down ginger though... any ideas?)
  • Do something fun because you want to, not because it'll make a wicked Insta post
  • Find micro moments to play (like screaming at the top of your lungs whilst driving, solo dancing in your kitchen, jumping into your bed and pulling the covers up quick so you don't get caught by the [imaginary] boogeyman... 👀 )

→ The New York Times

Caught on Twitter

Just for Fun!

Throwback to the 80s. 

This little girl's first time reaction to Cyndi Lauper's 'Girl's Just Want to Have Fun'... is adorable. I challenge you not to want to smile, dance, nod or tap any part of your body while watching this.