Weeknotes: April blogging challenge complete, May birding challenge begun

My first week of freelancing in over 10 years is drawing to a close. Here’s where my attention, energy and time are going lately:

  • Learning how to work freelance
  • Creating an effective, supportive and sustainable working environment
  • Chillaxing. Unlearning overworking, following joy and practising rest

I blogged every day for 30 days

Achievements + What I learned

Blogging every day meant I often got creative, as I blogged about mid-April. I really enjoyed going with the flow of my creativity and following where that led. I didn’t enjoy the pressure tho. I did learn to write less and publish faster, although I haven’t sustained that beyond the daily blogging. It’ll be interesting to find other ways to experiment with this. Right now, I’m gradually building a habit of writing every time I go out birding. so that’s pretty awesome.

Daily birding challenge for May

So, my challenge for May is to pay attention to birds, listening to them and looking at them. I’m excited about this challenge, and how I can use it to go on long walks or just pop into the garden. It’s getting me out walking nearly everyday.

Today I learned the scientific name for the Eurasian magpie, also called the common magpie, is Pica pica — so good they named it twice! (Not to be confused with the small mammal Pika pika…)

A small bird with black markings on its face (goldfinch) in a tree with pink blossoms, blue sky with fluffy white clouds and roof of a house in the background
Goldfinch!

I’m writing again, yay!

I started writing again! I’m so excited and relieved. Like, I wasn’t writing before because my full-time job was taking over way too much of me. I thought so, but now I know so. So, I am continuing to work on my collection of tree poetry and short stories. Writing about many different elements of nature, birds are featuring a lot lately. Unsurprisingly, with this challenge.

How to be a solopreneur when working alone doesn’t work for you

It’s been my first week of freelancing in over 10 years, and I’m learning a lot about creating an effective and supportive work environment for myself.

Recently someone said to me:

“I really respect you for going solopreneur. I think I would struggle to do that, to keep the motivation up.”

I was worried about this for a long time. I still worry about it.

It’s why I stopped freelancing the first time, and it’s why I delayed returning to freelancing for so long.

If you’re planning on going it alone – bless you. Get a dog.

Lessons From A Year Of Hype

But I had a realisation, a month or so ago, that being freelance doesn’t mean working alone. Not for me. And it’s true: I have 5 projects on at the moment, and 4 of those involve teaming up with other people. (I’m intending to collaborate for the 5th too.)

And I’ve been putting time and energy into creating environments where I’m working and learning alongside other people.

So, I feel like I’m actually working as part of multiple teams.

Virtual coworking, aka body doubling

One way of getting external structure is virtual coworking, also known as body doubling. More about that, and why it can be so useful for ADHDers in the ADDitude article.

Virtual coworking options I’m exploring

  • The ADHD Studio
    • $65.99 per month (I got in when there was a $35 offer on)
    • free trial
  • Focusmate
    • 50 minute coworking sessions
    • free for 3 sessions every week
    • $5 per month for unlimited sessions

Online work/life communities I’ve joined

I find ADHD-specific work communities helpful, but also stuff that meets my interests, such as learning and growth

Experimenting: A new organisational system I’m trying

Plan to do less than you think you might be able to accomplish. That way, you’ll have a “cushion” in case you’re waylaid…

The Power of a Well-Crafted To-Do List

I’m using a digitised bullet journalling method, using Google Keep for daily logs and collections.

I love the bujo method, but I often fall behind with adding to the index. Doing it digitally means I only have to tag my lists, I don’t have to keep track of page numbers. Which is much more manageable.

Last week I decided to start using a Filofax too, but I’d already created a new organisational system by the time it arrived… 😅

Maybe I’ll use the Filofax for quarterly and yearly planning. Now that I’ve joined Conscious Growth Club, I have a structure for that, with a supportive community.

I’ll see how it’s going with my system at the end of the month.

Be sure that each day includes a mix of “high-brain” and “low-brain” tasks; if your day is taken up solely by things that are hard to do or that require lots of decision-making, you’ll be exhausted.

The Power of a Well-Crafted To-Do List

Documenting my achievements

  • Daylio mood diary & goals tracker: I use this to keep track of what I’m doing as I do it, multiple times during the day. It helps remind me of my achievement
  • Writing my weeknotes, helps me bring together all the pieces and see the magnitude of what I’ve achieved over the week

Things I did well this week: Achievements in freelancing

  • Made a new website for my business, soft launch
  • Started working with WritersMosaic
  • Got some adhoc work lined up for later this month
  • Started speaking with accountants and getting some financial guidance
  • Engaged with learning communities (CGC, ND Profs), including an accountability partner for my monthly challenge
  • Coworked with strangers for the first time, and with friends
  • New monthly challenge: Daily birding & daily dance
  • Took action when my mood plummeted, and felt better as a result. Twice!
  • Writing poetry again for the first time in ages, thank you nature!

Trying out my new organisational system was a good reminder to check in with my intentions for the year, reassess & pivot in light of the big changes I’ve made to my life recently.

There are many things I haven’t done yet, but 2 accomplishments stood out. I’ve already far surpassed what I intended for this year in these areas:

  • compilation career
  • retreats

More fun makes less work

More is less, sometimes. I’ve been feeling the truth of it lately. Here’s how:

  • Trying to walk daily felt like a chore, even though I enjoy walking. Changing the challenge to birding daily is more stuff to do, but it’s more fun, so it feels like less stuff to do. And I’m dancing daily too.
  • It’s similar with tracking the veg, fruit and seeds/nuts I eat: Just tracking that is dull, but tracking that in German is fun.
  • I spent hours slowly putting stuff together for these notes, it was fun but sooooo slow. Whereas now I’m doing it whilst I watch Shadow and Bone, which is easier and faster and, of course, more fun & less work.

Work-related things I find interesting at present

Social networking that recognises multiple interests, experiences and knowledge in each individual. On the waiting list.

https://twitter.com/PolyworkHQ/status/1390705919433056260

Learning about ADHD

ADHD Discords, via Patreon subscriptions

Practising chillaxing

Achievements & challenges, because writing them down helps me get them straight in my head. Reflecting.

https://twitter.com/gobrightly/status/1388457705103310849

Achievements

  • Pre-ordered Sorrowlands by Rivers Solomon
  • Watched Ugly Dolls – so wholesome! – and Funny Girl
  • Watched loads of Adventure Time (of course)
  • Started watching the Shadow & Bone series
    • I enjoyed the book, and I love watching film/shows of books I liked. I’m watching it in English with German subtitles, which is awesome
  • Continued reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Slowly learning about birds and practising being patient about that gradual accumulation of knowledge & experience
LiLi is smiling with a yellow chrysanthemum in their hair, in front of them are flowering hawthorns
Mayflowers (hawthorn) on May day

Challenges

  • Sleep! Going to bed, getting up, routine, bleuragh! Maybe this’ll balance out once I’ve recovered somewhat from burnout.
  • Reading! Not been reading much lately, boo.
  • Reflection! I want to write, and draw, some of my history down; but not done that yet

Random fun stuff