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[92] REDUX: 5 Time Management Hacks You Should Try Today

We all have the same amount of time in a day. So what sets apart those who are productive from those who aren’t?

How we manage that time.

In this podcast I go over five tried and tested time management hacks.  If you implement these into your life, I promise that you will find you are getting MORE done in less time, and with more calm and focus.

I use all 5 of these hacks on a regular basis to get my work done efficiently and effectively – and therefore do better quality work in less time – which is a win-win situation, for sure!

This podcast is actually a little peek inside one of the workshops I offer in the Thriver Circle – How to be More Productive by Managing your Time, Energy, and Focus.

What I share here today is less than a quarter of what I share in the full workshop, but it’s a powerful hit of information that – if you implement it! – will see your focus improve and your work flow.

P.S. This episode is a redux of episode 30. I managed to pick up an illness on my way home from Japan, and instead of subjecting you to a whole episode of my sounding croaky, I thought a replay of this useful episode was in order, instead!

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • It is scientifically proven that multitasking DOES NOT WORK.
  • Your brain can not process two tasks simultaneously.
  • Instead it very rapidly jumps from one task to the other.  That transition period slows you down.
  • You will actually get LESS done if you are multitasking,
  • The better approach is single-tasking.  Turn everything else off, and focus on the singular task at hand!
  • Don’t check emails as they pop up throughout the day.  Process them instead, and then move onto the next task.
  • The Pomodoro Technique works with the scientific findings that after 90 minutes your brain’s focusing ability is tapped out.
  • After that period, you must reset your brain.  Grab a drink.  Go for a walk.  Stretch.  Play a video game.  Play with your cat!
  • Split your time between focused work, and then rest.  During the work, do nothing but work!
  • You can download an app to time your focused sessions.
  • When you know there’s an end coming, it allows you to be highly focused.
  • Chunking your tasks is another effective approach.
  • Create blocks of time for similar tasks.
  • You can chunk by the day or by the week.
  • Maybe your mornings are dedicated to creating, your early afternoon is for processing emails, your late afternoon is for marketing.
  • Or you can dedicate Tuesday and Thursdays to making, Fridays to marketing, Mondays to business.  What works for you!
  • This approach allows your brain to really dive deep into the task at hand.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has suggested the matrix technique.
  • This method has you put all tasks into four categories, ‘Urgent, Important’ ‘Urgent, Not Important’ ‘Not Urgent, Important’ ‘Not Urgent, Not Important.
  • A great tool for prioritizing!  Keep in mind, it’s the Not Urgent, But Important’ category that often gets overlooked.
  • And lastly, but not least there is the two minute rule.
  • From Getting Things Done by David Allen.
  • If it takes two minutes or less, do it now!
  • When our brain has a task that it knows needs to be done, it loops and keeps coming back to that task.  Causing distraction.
  • If you can answer an email quickly, do it!  Let that loop be closed.
  • What strategies have you used?

Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[91] 7 Tips for Work at Home Creatives

We all crave the freedom of working from home, in our own space, and with the ability to work when we please.

Being a stay at home creative has so many benefits… but can also come with some hurdles that you need to work through in order for your business to be a success and for you to feel great about what you do.

It’s so easy to get distracted, procrastinate, and ‘fit in’ work around other tasks and errands. The key to successfully working from home is setting and sticking to boundaries around what is ‘work time’ and what isn’t.

I’d love to hear what works for YOU when it comes to successfully working from home – share with us in the comments, and enjoy this episode.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1: Have dedicated work days or work hours
  • You need to set boundaries for yourself.
  • Make sure you have set days off.
  • Most people have other commitments so having structure is super important.
  • 2: Have a dedicated workspace
  • It can be a distraction and a time waster trying to work in a space that is not dedicated to your work.
  • 3: Have a morning routine (see Episode 16)
  • ‘The way you start your day really influences the way your day goes’ {Jess}
  • Taking time for yourself every day is really important.
  • Treat the morning as if you are leaving your house to go to work.
  • Having an evening routine can be really helpful also.
  • 4: Have set times for certain tasks
  • Jumping from task to task can make it really hard to get things done.
  • 5: Don’t set more than 3 jobs per day
  • The ideal is to have a core job and two secondary jobs.
  • Remember that tasks generally take longer than you think they will.
  • 6: Plan your week ahead of time
  • Doing this gives you a clear idea of what is coming up.
  • Leave space for jobs that may come up unexpectedly.
  • Make sure you focus on getting the most important tasks completed first.
  • 7: Have a regular habit of getting out of the house
  • It’s not healthy to stay indoors all of the time. Make sure you have social plans, go for walks or take some time for yourself.
  • One of the perks of working for yourself is that you have this type of freedom, so take advantage of it!

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[90] Collective Store Pros & Cons with Christina Douglas

Have you ever thought of being part of a collective space for makers?

In this episode I chat with Christina Douglas who has played a major role in the establishment of a maker’s collective store in Melbourne.

Christina outlines some of the pros and cons of such a venture and some things to look out for. We also discuss running craft workshops and kid’s craft parties, so if either of those ideas are something you’ve wanted to do, listen in to this one!

If you have ever wondered how collective stores work; if you have dreams of opening your own, or would like to be part of an existing space, this episode is for you.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Christina purchased a vintage caravan in 2013 and her business ‘Our Little Caravan’ naturally emerged from there.
  • The business recently entered a second phase and is now part of a collective store housing a few different businesses.
  • So what are the pros?
  • The initial cash outlay is shared.
  • It is easier to fill a shop when many come together than it is on your own.
  • Generally workload is shared among the creatives.
  • It is a safe way to test out your products in the retail environment.
  • A fantastic way to meet others and create a network.
  • Workshops have also become part of Our Little Caravan.
  • This happened naturally and they specialise in casual craft classes.
  • ‘Teaching craft workshops on your speciality is a great thing’ {Jess}
  • The Legalities:
  • It is so important to have terms and conditions in place where all the little details can be outlined.
  • Insurance needs to also be discussed and decisions made as to the structure of this.
  • Promotion of the Collective:
  • The promotion of Our Little Caravan has been somewhat organic. Facebook, word of mouth and Instagram have been the major players in the marketing plan.
  • Lessons learned
  • Choose a team of directors with different skill sets.
  • Don’t skimp on location.
  • Appoint a committee to decide what will be displayed in the store.
  • Decide if it will be a working space for creatives or purely retail.
  • You can find Our Little Caravan at the Website, Instagram or Facebook.

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[89] Mastering SEO with Feuza Reis

SEO can seem so daunting that we can easily pop it straight into the ‘too hard basket’.

However, search engine optimisation is really just the process of making sure you use the right words in the right places on your website so that people who want to find what you have to offer can – find you, that is.

In this episode I chat with Feuza Reis – An SEO strategist for small business and creative entrepreneurs.

Feuza breaks this process down for you into simple, actionable steps, so that you can conquer that feeling of overwhelm when it comes to SEO, and start applying the strategies she shares so you can get found, and grow your online business.

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Feuza was always interested in marketing while she was running her photography business.
  • Her role as a SEO expert evolved naturally.
  • So, what is SEO?
  • SEO = Search Engine Optimisation.
  • ‘There are things I can do in order for search engines to find me’ {Feuza}
  • Think of the word optimisation as boost.
  • What are keywords?
  • One of the most important aspects of SEO is to get your keywords right.
  • Keywords are what people type into a search engine.
  • The best places to find effective keywords are the following:
    • Google suggest
    • Pinterest
  • Some hot SEO tips:
  • Remember that SEO is not just about being found, it is about conversion.
  • An important thing to remember is that your website must be mobile friendly. This matters so much more now than it ever has.
  • Don’t ever use the same description for the images, pages and products on your website.
  • Search engines work using algorithms and ranking – listen to Feuzas great story on how they work!
  • Visit to ping your site. This tells search engines that you have made changes.
  • Don’t get carried away and check your stats too often – SEO changes can take time.
  • ‘Keep SEO in mind and keep it practical’ {Feuza}
  • SEO and Pinterest
  • Your pins and boards get indexed on google and show up in search results.
  • Optimise your Pinterest profile and then optimise your board names and descriptions.
  • Make sure you have sub-category boards for what you do.
  • ‘Sprinkle your pins around in pinterest’ {Feuza}
  • The average pin has a life span of three and a half months.
  • Feuza offers a free email Image SEO course – to sign up click here.
  • For her Keyword Strategy Course visit her Website.
  • You can find Feuza at her Website, Pinterest or Facebook.

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[88] Avoid Burnout with Laura Brassie


Running a creative business can be tough at times: so it is important to take care of ourselves and our mental health.

In this episode I chat with Laura Brassie – a professional crisis counselor who also runs Ivory & Pine, a blog focused on mental health, self care, and intentional living.

If you have ever experienced burnout, stress, or overwhelm (and let’s be honest – who hasn’t?!) I recommend you take the time to have a listen to this episode, where Laura and I discuss some tips and ideas to help overcome or avoid landing yourself in the land of burnout.



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • ‘When you burn out everything falls apart because you don’t care anymore’ {Jess}
  • So, how do you avoid burnout?
  • You need to take the time for self care every single day, even just for 5 minutes.
  • Exercise and eating well are important foundations.
  • Supporting relationships are also important both personally and professionally.
  • ‘You come first as a human being, and all those roles and responsibilities have to come second’ {Jess}
  • You need to find the flow in your work/life cycle or balance.
  • ‘Work/life will never be in balance if the life part is not in balance’ {Laura}
  • Always remember that for every down there will be an up again.
  • You can find Laura and Ivory & Pine at her Website, Pinterest or Facebook.


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)