Free up your mind

Written by:
Alison Taylor

Alison is an LA-based multidisciplinary creative business designer and strategist who is passionate about improving the human experience, and has 0% chill at art supply stores.

and the rest will follow.

What would you do with all the space that comes from freeing your mind from all of the clutter and information you didn't need to hold onto? 

If you're me, you write blog posts furiously in the dark on your phone at 1:30am because the content which has eluded you for months, comes to the surface right before you shut your eyes. Because you just HAVE to tell everyone you know about this thing.

A place for everything...

I have always been a place for everything and everything in it's place kind of person, which benefitted me in my former life as project manager.

The Container Store and Marie Kondo are such vibes for me, but my partner is not–the guy has notes, papers, and half-finished projects spread across different piles all day long much to my chagrin.

He recently launched his own business (entrepreneurship is such a gateway drug) and as such benefits from my been there, should-have-done-that knowledge.

This picture is soothing to me, everything has a place and like items live with like items

We also both also have ADHD, Art degrees, and live on opposite ends of the Focus/Chaos spectrum. I told him to he needed to get his shit together if he wants to be successful, if not he'd continue to fall short in meeting his own expectations, let alone meeting and managing those of his clients.

This meant tackling a common issue many Creatives and folks with ADHD face in all facets of their lives: getting and staying organized, focused, and following through on completing what you need to do. He found a time management course on LinkedIn Learning. I joined him in solidarity knowing that I, Queen of Documentation, could benefit from it as well.

Getting everything in its place.

Enter Dave Crenshaw: Time Management Fundamentals who knew a 3 hour course could change your life?

Full disclosure: I do not know this man, I have not gotten paid to write this blog, I just really believe in sharing access to resources with anyone who needs it and just about everyone could be better at time management.

Dave loves a vest, but he's also really good at what he does

I certainly didn't, and yet I've established better time management habits which allowed me to get to inbox zero everyday; develop a brand new 8-week business design program from scratch; and be the most prepared/relaxed ever with clients because I did the work of

I've seen an even more dramatic change in my partner as has been able to accomplish a lot more, but more importantly, in his own words he's reduced the stress of all the pending things he had to do and increased his motivation. While it didn't reduce the amount of things to do, it's allowing him to actually show up and do his work, where before he was getting caught up and overwhelmed by not being able to do it.

What does peak productivity look like?

After you read this sentence, I want you to close your eyes for a minute and imagine what you would do and be able to achieve with an "extra" 10 hours a week while starting a new business. What did you see? Did you imagine being able to build and launch an amazing product/service/company, cleanly documenting and organizing your decisions, and being far more prepared for all the hats and curveballs which await you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Because by doing all of that you will truly be able to design your own version of work/life balance.

This is the desk cleanliness and wall accent color of my stock photography productivity dreams

My motivation and goal for the course wasn’t to do be able to more in my business, it was to be able to do yoga AND take a long walk each day, any day, whenever I wanted without feeling guilty. I wanted my time back. My recommendation is that you find what's important for you and:

That first week I accomplished more than I had ever and was nervous about how much “free time” I had even though I was getting my work done. I've restructured my calendar to include time for siestas and have big blocks of open space to just "think" without pressure, this is the future of work that Millennials actually want, not houses made of avocado toast.

I can tell you this, I’ve never had my mind so clear and laser focused. I closed my eyes to go to sleep, only to be hit with a wall of thoughts which led to me writing the draft of this post on my phone, in Notion, the place where I keep all of my ideas, tasks, todos, and documentation at 1:30 in the morning before sleeping soundly.

And now I've shared it with you, which means I've been able to take the first step in overcoming my fear of content development.

What does operating at peak productivity mean for you? Let me know your thoughts over on twitter @yousofancy

Stay Hydrated,