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Blog Lovin’, Better Habits & Making Space for Your Creative Work

A casual discussion about the freedom of writing and being a blogging warrior turned into a fully-blown podcast about the advantages of multiple offices, the positive domino effect of introducing more positive habits one at a time, including how cutting down on caffeine can help you get up earlier. (But can admittedly be tough if you rely on it to get your work done!)

Yes, I’m talking about the latest Mountain Shores Podcast (episode 7) with Fabian Kruse and myself. You can listen over at the MoSho website or listen/subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.

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I’ve gone into more detail on the topic of making space for your creative work over at medium.com – this is a sneak peek of the long-delayed but ‘definitely coming eventually’ Produce the Goods Micro-Guide (part 4 of the Career Masterplan for Mad Geniuses).

It was also great to see Arran Arctic’s take on the previous MoSho episode including illustrations of Dave Ursillo’s anecdotes re: leaving his job to become a writer, which follows on nicely from the Graphic Recorder’s sketchnotes of episode 5.

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Arran’s posting some great stuff on his ‘Do Give Up the Day Job’ blog so do check it out. Also, does anyone want to take up the baton and do an illustration for the newest episode? We’d love to see how you interpret our meandering discussion!

Must Read Round Up – Tiny Office Edition

Here’s a quick round up of content I’ve published in the last couple of weeks which I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet, some recommended reading, plus how to say goodbye to Google Reader before it closes down on 1st July.

Mountain Shores Episode 5

Mountain-Shores-Summer-UnProductivity-Podcast-Sketchnotes-21-1024x774The latest Mountain Shores Podcast went live this week. Fabian and I are joined by Michael Nobbs for a freewheeling discussion about summer (un)productivity, social media sabbaticals, schedules, sleep patterns and self-depletion.

The episode has even been the subject of a wonderful sketchnote by Doug Neill, aka The Graphic Recorder.

Tech Tips & Tiny Houses

I also recorded a conversation between myself and Ethan Waldman of Cloud Coach who shared technology tips and talked about his exciting tiny house project.

This conversation inspired me to make some changes to my own domestic arrangements which has resulted in turning a former wardrobe and storage space into a ‘Tiny Office’ where I can write & work uninterrupted.

And it is tiny. Let’s just say that if I eat a big meal, it’s uncomfortable to sit in here. Hell, I need to lose my belly anyway.

In case you missed it, I wrote a little more about making life changes by shifting things around gradually in my post ‘Life is Like a Sliding Puzzle‘.

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My new ‘Tiny Office’

My First Post on Medium

I also wrote my first piece for Medium.com recently, ‘A Thousand Little Self-Deceptions‘, which discusses how easy it is to fall prey to the Planning Fallacy and Hofstadter’s Law.

I may not have achieved my goal of writing 1000 publishable words a day during June, but I am proud of this particular article – I hope you enjoy it too (if you do, and have a Twitter account, please hit the green ‘recommend’ button).

Speaking of failure, The Guardian asked seven writers to reflect on it, and meanwhile at the 99u, author AJ Jacobs talks about how self-delusion can actually be ‘healthy and productive’.

There’s also a lot of great writing over at Medium by some very smart people – you might also want to check out my Medium recommendations so far.

Goodbye to Google Reader

I’ve been in denial for a long time.

This is like that moment on TV when a man on death row gets a visit from the prison guards and they say “it’s time” and he nods softly in dignified acceptance of his fate. Yes, I’ve finally accepted that Google Reader’s imminent death (it will be closed down forever on Monday 1st July).

If you use Google Reader to read RSS, now’s the time to export your data. If you don’t, you can skip this (although I do recommend an RSS reader for keeping up with your favourite blogs).

There are a number of different services vying to replace it, of course, but no clear winner as yet. Feedly allows you to import via your Google account (before 1st July), but make sure you follow their guidelines and have the latest versions of their apps installed on all your devices.

I personally prefer Flipboard on the iPad for reading my RSS feeds, but whilst they will save your current Google Reader feeds, it won’t be possible to edit your folders or add and remove feeds, which means it won’t be a viable option for the long-term. I just hope they reconsider and add support for one of the newer RSS options.

Here’s a good round up of the other options, though as many of these are in their infancy, my main tip is to export your data using Google Takeout before Monday.

p.s. you can still subscribe to updates from this blog via RSS or you can choose to receive it by email (you’ll also get the newsletter which is currently sent approximately monthly and no more than fortnightly).