Tag Archives: work smart


From where I’m sitting it seems that most creatives that are doing really great work don’t think of themselves as being the best. They’re never completely satisfied with their work. Don’t get me wrong, we should all be striving to become a better version of ourselves, but confidence is something a creative entrepreneur absolutely must have. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself and your work, why should your clients?

I’ve found that when I’m feeling discouraged and needing help in the confidence department, a little look back to the past is just the encouragement I need. ( That’s why I keep a list of accomplishments + exciting moments – I’ve started calling them “yay moments” )

This time, I found that confidence boost when I looked at the first images I posted on instagram for the world to see.

embarrassing/encouraging - how to boost your confidence

Eeeeek! They’re so dark and cluttered! After I got over my embarrassment, I was encouraged by the huge improvement in my work. It’s really exciting to think about the growth that is possible is such a short time! I’ll probably look back at blog posts a year from now and be completely embarrassed all over again. Haha!

embarrassing/encouraging - how to boost your confidence So friends, be encouraged. And remember that you have to do a lot of really bad work to get to the good stuff – so start cranking out some work! ;)


learning to manage my time …with post it notes

Whew, we made it through another Monday! Most of the time, the first day of my week is spent feeling a little overwhelmed with all that I have to accomplish before the next weekend. I try to devote part of my day to creating a game plan for how I will get everything done. Time management has been a struggle for me since I became my own boss and I don’t think I’ll ever have it completely figured out, but I can share what I’ve learned so far and what is working for me right now.

When I posted this picture on instagram of my organized mess of post it notes, a few of you asked how it works so here it goes!

I’ve tried multiple ways of organizing my work flow, ideas and schedule. Since I have so many different things I’m juggling on a daily basis, I was having trouble finding a way that really helped me get all of the lists out of my mind and organized clearly where I could see it all easily.

Side note: I’ll talking about clearing brain space in today’s email to the CLC insiders. If you’re not on the list you can jump on right here

Since most of my work is done online, I always find myself going back to paper and pencil whenever possible. My gold planner never leaves my side! Because of this, I always found myself writing things on post its and sticking them all over my desk + wall where I could see them easily. Of course, this got so messy it just added to my stress so the post it time management board was born! Hah!

work smart: time management board using post it notesIt’s super rough ( I’m kind of embarrassed to show it on here ) + I’m planning to take this idea and clean it up a bit – maybe with a more legit board and some paint – but this is what works for me right now! In the left column I’ve organized the different categories of my life/work by color and then brain dumped in the lower section. Then I moved all of the tasks/events that need to happen within the month into the lower right section. Each week I organize things that need to happen within the week into the day columns. Some post it notes say “laundry” and “lunch with mom” which happen ( or should happen.. haha ) every week and stay on the board so I can make sure to plan around them.

work smart: time management board using post it notesLike I said, this is what works for me right now. An app or online calendar might serve you better and thats great! The key is to find something that helps you get all of those “to do’s” out of your head so you can use that valuable brain space for actually creating and marking things off your list.

I’m always looking for ways that will work better so please, share!

How to you manage your time? Have you found any creative ways that work for you?


setting goals + making things happen ( + another free resource )

This morning, in my email to the CLC insiders on the new email list ( get on the list right here or in the sidebar under “become a clc insider” ), I talked a bit about goals.

Goals are important for so many reasons. They’ve become important to me recently in allowing me to get through my long list of ideas and actually make them happen. Like I said in the email, I decided to make a change because I realized I was always busy but not always getting the important things done.

To make this change happen, I first made a master list of everything I wanted ( and needed ) to get done. Then, I put them in order of priority. Of course, client projects were on top of business/personal projects… that was the easy part. The hard part was figuring out a good plan of action for all of the ideas I have for the CLC resource shop. Guys… it’s a really, really long list.

That’s when I decided to take it a step further and create a goals worksheet for myself ( and for you! ) that would help put all of my crazy ideas in perspective.

goal worksheet for creatives

This worksheet can be used for small ideas and large scale projects alike. It has a place for you to write down a deadline, reasons the goal is important to you and how it will help you reach your ultimate goal ( whatever that may be – in life or in business ), details + a description of the project, and research findings.

You know what to do with the “TO DO” part, but let’s talk about the “TO DO after” part! I think it is really important to write down the steps that need to be taken after a project is completed. Personally, I’m very guilty of immediately moving on to the next thing on my list when I finally finish a big project.

If you are a creative entrepreneur, the ”TO DO after” list may be just as important as the actual project itself. If you don’t tell your potential clients or customers about your awesome new product you’ve worked so hard on, they will STAY just that… potential.

So, on this list you may want to write “write a blog post”, “do an email campaign”, “offer a coupon”, or simply ” share with facebook and twitter followers”. And then don’t forget to celebrate. I took the liberty of filling that one out for you. ;)

Now go download the goals worksheet, organize your ideas and MAKE THEM HAPPEN! And when you finish, let me know so I can help you share it and celebrate!

newsletters + changing up the CLC insider email list

We’re gonna keep it real today with an honest talk about newsletters.

Most of them are completely annoying and impossible to unsubscribe from. BUT some of them are really great! And only the really great email newsletters get flagged to read later ( or even better read right then ) instead of being sent directly to the trash or spam folder. So what makes email newsletters worth subscribing to? Let’s find out!

small business email newsletters for blogging and creatives

A few email newsletters worth subscribing to:
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panic is part of my process

Can we talk about the creative process a little bit? I’m interested in finding out what yours is like. I was discussing this topic with Brittni of papernstitch recently… it sounds like I’m not alone.

During every project I have at least one moment ( or day… or week ) of sheer panic. Thoughts like: “OMG, I’m a terrible designer”, “This is never going to look right” and “There’s no way I’m going to finish all of this in time” run through my ( apparently super dramatic ) mind.

But you know what? I’m always happy with the end result. I always finish on time. Projects always leave me with a sense of accomplishment and joy. The projects I freak out about the most are usually the ones I care about and am most excited about.

panic is part of the creative process

So, I’m sure I could chill out a little ( getting better at keeping a list of “yay moments” and accomplishments will certainly help ) but I think panic is a somewhat essential part of my process.

What about you?
What is your process like?
Have any usual freak out moments?


read more keepin’ it real posts! 

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