Monthly Roundup (January)

Monthly Roundup (January)

Hello there everyone! So I had an idea for a little series I’d like to start on this blog which is going over what things I’ve achieved, started and discovered each month. I was sat on the bus to university and thought, “Oh man, it’s already February and I’ve barely done anything” but then the more I thought about it, I actually realised I’ve accomplished a lot more than I thought and I’m sure it’s the same for you all! I think doing this will be a wonderful exercise to keep me motivated, share my journey with you all more and hopefully it will inspire you to do the same!

Disclaimer: I am in NO way affiliated with any of products or services I link in this article. I simply enjoy and recommend them to my readers and hope you all like them as much as I do!

2nd – 7th – Completed a university project in under a week – This was something I surprised myself with and I’m really happy with the final outcomes on the project! I wrote a previous blog post here on how I managed to achieve this much in such small time (Our projects generally last 4-5 weeks). I’m hoping my work will pay off when I receive my grade!

6th – Had an informal consultation with Nesha Designs Over the beginning of January one of my favourite blogger’s and freelancers Nesha was doing some informal skype calls to meet other aspiring freelancers and I leapt at the chance and it was such a wonderful experience! Nesha was so lovely and reaffirmed that all my plans were aligned with what I should be doing to create the path I want and it was a big confidence booster for sure!

This was also the day I officially began blogging on this very site! I’m now so happy I decided to take the leap to start, I’d been wanting to start blogging for a long time but had so many fears holding me back. It got to the point where I just thought “Y’know what, now feels right. Let’s just go for it!” and it’s already been so good for me!

8th – This was the day I met an amazing girl called Abbii after she found my blog and we’ve been e-mailing back and forth since and have already struck up a really solid friendship! I didn’t make any new friends in 2015 until June and I’ve already made an amazing one just over a week into the year so things are looking great already!

18th – Began eating healthy again – I haven’t been as good as I should have been over Christmas (I’m sure you can all relate here!) so I decided the day I return to University I’ll also share eating healthy again. Last time I weighed myself I was 10st 8lbs (148lbs) and my target is to get down to 9st 12lbs (138lbs) so let’s hope I can start losing!🙂

27th – Got my room redecorated – I plan on doing an in depth blog post + video once my room is 100% done but most of it is finished already and it is something that has been worth every second and penny. I had severely outgrown my old room and I can’t express how amazing it feels being in such a beautiful environment. I would urge you to do the same if time and money allows it, you won’t be sorry!

29th – Got 2:1 grades on my first projects – This would equate to a “Merit” or a B which I’m happy with so far! I would of liked to get a first (A) but I’ve been told they’re incredibly rare to get within the first year. 2:1 is the next best thing you can get in your projects so I’m definitely on the right path! It also gives me something to aspire to rather than something to obsess over maintaining.

Currently reading: “Be Brave – Margie Warrell” – I’ve been reading this book for a few weeks and it has already given me so many Aha moments already! I plan to do an in depth review of it once I complete it but I would totally recommend you all checking it out if your want something inspiring to read!

Currently listening to: “College Info Geek Podcast – Thomas Frank” – I discovered Thomas Frank in my YouTube recommendations, checked out a video of his and I’ve been hooked ever since. My favourite way to consume content is via podcasts so any free-time I’ve had has been filled through this podcast and I’ve already gotten so much value 7 episodes in! If you’re a fellow college / university student or are just interested in study or business I’d totally recommend this podcast to you!

So that rounds up all the stuff I got up to in January! Writing it all down has made me realise I actually got more stuff done and started than I thought! I’m not sure if I want to go goal setting in these posts since I predict a large portion of February is just going to be me working on University work. I do want to begin enforcing a morning ritual though so if I’m going to set any goals that will be one!

How about all of you lovelies? What did you get up to in January, did you exceed your expectations or did things not go according to plan? And what do you have planned for February?🙂

Milli 

5 Tips for Maintaining a Productive Workflow and Mindset

5 Tips for Maintaining a Productive Workflow and Mindset

Hello there everyone! Before I launch into this week’s blog post I just wanted to announce publicly that I will be writing a blog post on here once a week on Wednesday’s so I hope you’ll all look forward to that! After writing my first post I also managed to get two followers who are both lovely ladies and wanted to say thanks to Abigail and Meg for the support! I didn’t expect to have any readers yet so this is a wonderful surprise, anyway onto the post!

Disclaimer: I am in NO way affiliated with any of products or services I link in this article. I just enjoy and recommend them to my readers and hope you all like them as much as me! 

So last week I was working like a machine and managed to finish a four week project for university in just 6 days of solid work. I wasn’t working for 12 hours a day either, I did around 3 hours work a day and made sure everything was done to the best quality I’m capable of and I wanted to share the tips of my process with you in case it can help any of you out if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a project.

1. Keep a bullet journal or notebook next to you – I’m a huge fan of my bullet journal and believe it’s one of the best tools I have for staying productive. I use it to record the steps I need to take in my projects, how many Pomodoro’s I’ve done and I can write any ideas or tasks I need to do whilst I’m in the middle of my work. I much prefer to these things in a physical notebook or on a post it note because it doesn’t interrupt my workflow by exiting out the program I’m currently using and at a glance I can see all the progress I’ve made during the day or the week.

2. Use the Pomodoro technique – The Pomodoro method has drastically improved my productivity and workflow and I wouldn’t work without doing it now. You can read up about it here but the simplified version of it is you do solid, focused work for 25 minutes then break for 5 minutes and repeat until you finish your fourth then you take a longer break. Before I used this technique I would work solidly without many breaks for the day and it would burn me out really bad. This technique gives me the chance to take breaks and remain super productive so I’d totally recommend giving it a try if you haven’t before! When I started doing the Pomodoro technique I used the Tomato Timer to keep track of my time but I recently discovered the app Forest and have been using that instead. Use whatever works best for you! Some people may find 25 minutes is too little time or too much so feel free to adapt it to your needs, I find 25 minutes works perfectly for me.

3. Be aware of your most productive time of the day – Something I learned from the Seanwes podcast is that you can accomplish more in 2 hours of focused work than 8 hours of unfocused work and this has proved true so many times for me. This step may take a bit of experimentation since it will be different for everyone. My peak time is from 1pm – 4:30pm and this was the time all my work took place each day. For some people it may happen as soon as you wake up or sometime during the evening. The most important thing to consider is that you have NO interruptions during this time so that you can have a period of pure focused time. Also make sure you’re mindful of how long your product streak can last, mine is 3 to 3 and half hours and then I take a longer break in the evening.

4. Disable notifications on your computer + mobile devices – This step may have you quickly breaking to into a sweat if you’re anything like I used to be. I used to always want to know and act immediately when receiving any notification whether it’s a message or an e-mail but turning off all the notifications on my devices has been so helpful for my productivity. Along with the fact you’re not in reactive mode as soon as that ding happens, you can remain in your focused frame of mind until you finish for the day. I use my Pomodoro breaks to check these things and if I have anything that needs responding to, I jot it down in my bullet journal and return to it when I’m done working.

5. Write down your biggest tasks for the next day – This was another tip I borrowed from Sean and it’s been so helpful to me! When you finish your work for the day, review everything you accomplished and then decide what are the most important tasks for you to do tomorrow and write them down. I normally write these down on a post it note, stick it to my desk and than transcribe them into my bullet journal in the morning the next day. This keeps the momentum of work you had going on during the day going and carries it over to the next day. Sometimes my task can be just one big thing (e.g finishing a logo design) or it can be a few smaller tasks. It’s important to be realistic with this too! Don’t go over 5 tasks if you know you won’t be able to finish them, you don’t want to go breaking your streak!

Those are definitely my top 5 tips for staying productive! I hope they help you out, give you some ideas for your work process and help you hustle even harder! Are there any tools, apps or techniques you use to keep productive yourselves? I’d love to hear them if you do!

Milli

Making it real

Making it real

Hello there everyone! My name is Milli and welcome to my blog and my first ever blog post! I don’t see myself right now as anyone particularly talented at writing or even at graphic design but the purpose of this blog is for me to grow and become someone who is talented at those things.

This blog post ultimately right now is a snapshot and a record of how my freelance career will begin. Most of the blogs I find focused around freelancing, the owners didn’t blog about it at this point in their journeys so I feel it’s very important for me to write it and have a record at this time.

So the reason why I’m even interested in freelancing occurred a little bit before this time (January 5th) last year. At this point in my life, I was studying for an art and design diploma and had no enjoyment left in the work I was doing for the course and I had lost faith in any career choice that was ‘creative’. I was all set to drop out and shift my focus onto studying academically however, a week before christmas my brother sent me an iPad. A pretty strange link I know, but this what the thing that shifted my mindset.

For my art course we had to write a personal statement as part of our projects. I thought about what I would like to do and wrote a hypothetical personal statement about freelancing and then it clicked. I had this feeling that it was something I actually could do, and would enjoy doing. Then, along comes the iPad and it opened up the whole new world. I stumbled across freelancing blogs and was hooked. From the blogs I discovered podcasts about business, freelancing and design and I knew it was what I wanted to do, like a switch inside me had suddenly flicked.

A lot of my free time I used consuming freelancing content and it completely changed my mindset on how I approached life and school. My enjoyment for my course returned when I incorporated graphic design into my work and I got the highest grades I’d ever gotten before because I put the work in. I also applied to study a graphic design degree at my college and I’m currently studying it now and loving it!

However, despite the fact I spent so much time last year consuming freelancing content I didn’t actually do anything practical to start and this is what I want to fix this year. I had a lot of frustration because I wasn’t sure how to find clients, how to make a name for myself or just where to begin taking practical steps and it left me stagnating and not taking action. I knew it was something I wanted to do and I had the knowledge of how to create successful design and how to be professional but I didn’t know how to make it real.

2016 is the year I’m going to make it real. The past few weeks I’ve been brainstorming and I am going to begin doing two of the most important steps I can to make it real and that is: blogging and putting myself out there. I’ve had some wonderful discussions these past two weeks with designers and the feedback I’ve gotten is that I’m on the right path to making this real.

I am hoping this blog will:

  • Be a wonderful record for me to look back on
  • Help me reach out to other new freelancers
  • Help me improve my writing skills
  • Help me grow as a person and achieve my goals

Thank you so much for reading this and being a part of my journey. I will be keeping track of what I learn and sharing what I find out each step of the way!

Milli