Wasting time as a productivity process. Overcoming fear of sleep. And high-quality do-it-yourself graphic design all on this week’s Be Heard Podcast. I tie it all together with an insight into how to get things done when getting things done is the last thing you want to do. Let’s get it!
Mindset Minute: Do It Scared
As I invigorate my business with even more energy I’m getting more and more anxious. Things are coming up. People are knocking on the door. Opportunities arise and with high risk comes high anxiety. The challenge of my life is managing that in a way that helps me achieve my dreams while serving them with caution and prudence. Just the word prudence freaks me out. Who wants to be prudent? No one. But I do want to serve my clients and my ideas in the best ways I possibly can.
The only solution for me is to “do it scared,” meaning, to achieve my dreams I have to take action even as I’m crying or I’m questioning myself or as other people are crying and questioning me. The real issue is, “how do I do that?” I plan as much as possible and I tap into why I do what I do. Those two things having given me guiding principles that really strengthen me for progress, grow, and the struggle that is sure to come. One of my favorite speaker/preachers Joel Osteen recently published a sermon called the blessing and the burden. He said with each blessing comes a burden but we must not focus on the burden even as we’re dealing with it. That’s the challenge, a huge challenge, but it’s one I can face and overcome when I remember why I was put on this earth, to inspire myself and others to be heard.
Cool Process: Waste time: games and mind-clearing behavior
I wanted to share this process this week because it’s something that’s not really well understood. In fact, people often look at wasting time as one of the most negative things you can do. I think back to a line in “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. The protagonist Newland Archer says in response to his soon-to-be mother-in-law’s question as to how he’d spend his afternoon, “Oh, I think for a change I’ll save it instead of spend it.”
Saving time, for many, really is more about having that creative inspiration no one else realized was even possible before. That can only come from those moments of intentional silence, or intentional goofing off. When setting your deadlines, include a space for doing what some would consider absolutely nothing of value. This is what I usually do with my five-minute breaks through the Tomato Timer Technique. Twenty-five minutes “on” and five minutes of doing exactly what I want. The fun thing is when I come back to work after my break, I’m energized, focused, and I have better ideas than I did before I went into the break. Waste your time. It’s like a controlled burn!
Best Resource: Canva
Canva is my secret weapon. It’s an online graphic design system and it’s one of the most important tools I use for developing a consistent brand for my business. I was using Pixlr before I found out about Canva and my life is so much easier now. No matter what you do, if you’re on a budget and you’re developing a business, you need Canva. As with most of the resources I recommend it is free, for now. Canva is monetizing itself by offering images for $1, but with clever usage of permission-based images, you can create original graphics without dipping into your pocket for the dollar.
I love to design, though I’m not a designer at all, so I spend a lot of time doing what a pro would only take minutes to do. If you’re like me, you’ll need to create templates for this kind of stuff so you don’t spend an inordinate amount of time playing at something you would be much better-suited outsourcing. I understand the importance of getting certain things off of my plate but basic graphics is not one of them. It’s quick. It’s easy and until I have enough cash to outsource to a go-to design person, it’s Canva for me all day long. Enjoy!
One more thing: I’ve used Canva to design the title graphics for each episode of The Be Heard Show and many of the other graphics I use to brand my company. As with any tool, you’ll need a set of rules to govern how you use it. Otherwise, it will become more of a time-sucking liability than the amazing benefit it can be when managed properly.
Book Review of the Week: The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
This week I’m reviewing The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time” by Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. I was attracted to “The Sleep Revolution” because sleep and the science of it is all the rage right now. I’ve also been afraid of and intrigued by it my whole life (sleeping with the night light on and that whole thing from the time I was a wee bitty child). I’m averse to sleep because it’s hard to control once I’m in it. I’ve been told I talk in my sleep, even in Spanish which is pretty interesting to me. Getting to sleep is ok, but being asleep and the idea of sleep is mysterious to me.
Lewis Howes talks about the science of sleep on his podcast and in his book, “The School of Greatness.” Some of the things he mentioned helped me out. So when he interviewed Ariana Huffington about her new book, “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time” I was all for reviewing the book for the Be Heard Show. I’m looking for an edge and if sleep is the new competitive advantage and the best way for me to go forward in life then I’m all over it.
First off, like Lewis Howes, Arianna Huffington should not provide voice talent for the audiobook version of her books. For me, what is a usually charming quality to her voice become grating and laborious when she reads aloud. At times stilted and at others awkward, the voice portion of the book distracted me to no end. The content is solid and I’m glad I took the time to read the book, though. This will teach me to listen to the sample audio version before buying the audiobook.
Huffington goes in depth with the stories of why she finds sleep so important, culminating with the fateful injury she suffered to her face due to lack of sleep. I came away with an appreciation and a focus on sleep as a result of the book. I now carve out time and make pre-sleep a ritual. I’ve identified what I fear about sleep and I’ve addressed it as best I can by controlling what I can and leaving the rest alone. For instance, Huffington mentioned a key thing that has really empowered me: wear specific clothing for sleeping. I used to wear pajamas as a kid but outgrew it and now I usually just wear a t-shirt to bed. According to this book, this is fine. I just have to make sure it’s a t-shirt I only wear for sleep and not for hanging out or working out, or to meetings.
Overall Huffington provides good direction about sleep. She’s trodding on well-worn territory with the advice about electronic devices. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to escort my devices out of the bedroom. One day I’m hoping to do so, though. It’s a good book but not an urgent read unless sleep and sleep deprivation really is an issue you’d like to address.
Closing Out Show
It was great spending time with you during the show today. I had a blast as usual. Any questions? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week I’m excited to review a reboot of Sally Hogshead’s book Fascinate. I’ll also give you with inside scoop on making high-quality videos. Plus much, much more on next week’s Be Heard podcast. Until next then be sure to Be Heard!