Think less. Do more.

It´s sunday. I am sitting on my desk and most people would consider what I am doing right now “work”.

The fun part is – it does not seem like work to me at all. Since my schedule is more flexible I am able to really explore my creative and productive moments. It does not matter anymore if it´s the weekend or a “work day”. I can follow my work-flashes as they come. What a great feeling!

I can really see things taking shape. Every time I look back I am like “Whoooha – when did I do all this?”. I quit my job, became independent, got my first project as a freelancer, enrolled in photography and writing class and still manage to sustain myself. Sounds pretty good to me. *highfivetoself*

My secret right now is to stay on track, not get distracted and keep on moving. Think less and do more.

Whenever I am in doubt I rely on people around me who know my vision as well as me and kick my ass until I am back on track. While on the way it´s easy sometimes to forget where I am going.  That´s when a slight panic and “what the hell am I doing?” sets in. Then I just take a break, breath and stand still for a while. I check my old notes in my notebook about my dreams and my vision until I remember why and what I am doing. I am using “past me” to remind “present me”. Mostly it does not take more than a couple of hours until I remember. 😉

Do you have any tips on how to stay on track you would like to share with me?

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Organization is everything

Friday morning 7 a.m.

I am tired. Nevertheless, strict organization and discipline proved to be absolutely crucial to staying on track with my vision.

The reactions that reached me in the past couple of days showed me you guys have a LOT of questions of how I am spending my time and how I structure my work. The comments were not solely positive. However, all comments have the same root – curiosity. And that´s never a bad thing. That´s why I´d like to answer your questions and give you insights into my work/ life schedule wherever possible.

In terms of productivity, motivation and business know how I LOVE Marie Forleo! She is a famous business woman and talented youtuber who gives advice to people who want to build a life and business they love. Well, she´s certainly helped me and is my reliable good-night storyteller.

She also inspired me to follow a strict daily schedule. Changing habits takes time, but setting a goal for yourself is a good start. I am getting better and better at applying this routine.

7:00 to 8:00 Wake up and work out.

8:00 to 9:00 Shower, eat breakfast and get dressed

9:00 to 12:30 Work it! (no email! I suck at the no email part)

12:30 to 13:30 LUNCH LUNCH LUNCH

13:30 to 16:30 Work it, girl (or boy)

16:30 to 17:00 Break. Breath.

17:00 to 18:00 Work sprint. Now it´s also time to answer emails.

18:00 to 18:30 Finish up work and close shop

This schedule has been working great for me. Especially taking so much time for myself in the morning allows me to start my day with a completely different energy. I feel relaxed, balanced and full of energy in the mornings. This routine can also work great for you if you have a full time job. You might need to adjust the times a bit, but the structure generally stays the same. I will practice this routine some more and if you want I can give you a more detailled description of the tasks I work on in each segment.

Happy productivity!

Be yourself. Forget about the box.

Wednesday morning. My inbox is full. It´s filled with messages from strangers that resonated with what I had to say.

On saturday when the journalist called to ask for an interview on escapethecity.org my life was different. Well, not exactly. But my inbox wasn´t full at that time.

I had not completely grasped how connected our world is and how simple it can be to get in touch with people. There is a theory called the “small-world-phenomenon” describing that every person in this world is connected to any random person through less than 6 personal connections. Wow. And the internet makes getting in touch with people even simpler.

So here I am. My current lifestyle allows me to stay at home with my cold and to wear my pyjamas until noon while booking appointments for interviews and shootings as well as coming up with new photography projects. I love my life.

But life has not always been like that. Actually it has not been like that until just a couple of weeks ago when I finally decided to take action. I stopped fighting my inner gifts and talents. And I gave up on fitting into the box I had put myself into. I have come to the realization that it is not an external force that puts us into a box. Only when we give away our power – that´s when we feel stuck. Every one of us has his/ her own set of unique talents and gifts. We are here to do what we came here to do. There is no recipie.

So, I hope you love what you are doing. Because that´s the only thing we are here to do.

 

This is why I said no to that 70k job offer

A couple of days ago I received a job offer. A headhunter from the UK thought I would be a good fit for a position paying 70k plus benefits and a brand new car. The vacancy was a perfectly logical consequence to my previous work experience.

It would connect the experience I had in the corporate world with the responsibility and flexibility I had in my latest job. But there was one thing the headhunter did not know.

I am not my CV.

My CV is based on acquired certificates and based on so called “facts” about my life. It does not reflect my hopes, dreams nor talents.

It does not show that every time I went to the library to write my Bachelor Thesis about “Change Management in IT Consulting”, I would allow myself to borrow one book for myself and that the books I chose were without exeption art history books and autobiographies of my favorite painters.

It also does not show that I chose a minimalist-oriented lifestyle that allows me to save as much money as possible just to spend it on my passions camera equipment and travels.

And finally, it does not show that feeling in my chest every time I see corporate people in suits. Or that I have fallen into depression several times during my “career” because I did not find any satisfaction, meaning, or joy in my work.

I am not blaming the headhunter. He was just doing his job. And after a bit back and forth he still wanted me for the job and I wrote him this message:

Dear XXX,

I appreciate your persistence. However, I am not the right girl for the position this time. When my heart is just not in it there is no need to put me on the shortlist of candidates.

It´s a privilege to have the freedom to say no to such a position.
All the best to your client and your search.
I hope you love what you do.
 
Have a great weekend!
Valeska