Archive for August 2017

4 Productivity Lessons From Rick & Morty

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The first time I watched Rick and Morty I was staying at the Warwick Hotel in New York City. I was there for Blogher 15 and while the conference had ended the day before I decided to stay an extra night and explore the city.  I realized that to catch my flight I would have to be downstairs and ready to go by 6:30 am. this put a small hitch in my plans of a crazy night in NYC. I decided to watch some tv while I looked through all the loot I’d been given over the past few days and tried to figure out how I’d pack it all. That is when I stumbled on Rick and Morty.

I watched it occasionally after that but only dived into it this past summer watching every episode on Hulu. Because I’m a huge productivity junky I noticed that this adult cartoon actually had a lot of value.

Four productivity lessons from Rick and Morty

Anatomy Park – Season 1 Episode 3

The world doesn’t stop just because you unplug.

In this episode of Rick and Morty, Jerry is determined for the family to have a device free holiday. The lesson actually comes from Summer, Morty’s sister, in this episode. When kept from her phone her boyfriend Ethan comes over fuming because Summer isn’t responding to his text messages.

While this is an example of teen hormones and frustration, it can serve as a pretty good reminder for online business owners. If you go on vacation, I hope that your clients don’t feel like it’s okay to show up at your hotel or home but it does show it’s important to let them know what is going on. Because let’s be honest, being ignored by someone (especially someone you’ve given money to) can make you feel like a frustrated teenager. If you are taking a few days off be sure to let any clients you are currently working with aware that you’ll be unavailable for however how long. Another option is to set up an automated email responder for any incoming emails. This way any potential new clients know that it may take a while for you to respond to their inquiry.

It’s good to unplug and spend time with your loved ones, but if you have an online business, you need to put systems in place to know that your clients aren’t left hanging while you’re away.

It’s hard to unplug in this crazy non-stop society we live in. I get it there is always “one more thing to do,” but it’s important to unplug from time to time. Burnout is real. It’s important to have things in order for when you do.

If you take a break make sure you have systems in place. Click To Tweet

Rixty Minutes – Season 1 Episode 8

Don’t dwell on what’s done.

Rick introduces the family to a new viewing experience when he breaks out a cable attachment that lets the family receive television shows from other dimensions. He takes it up a notch when he pulls out a pair of interdimensional goggles which allow Jerry and Beth to see the lives they could have lived had they decided not to keep Summer.

This spirals into a mess as the couple discovers that their lives both would have been pretty awesome if they weren’t together… or so it seems. The couple finds themselves questioning if they should even stay together.

We are faced with tons of choices every day. Once you make a choice move on. Sitting and dwelling on what you could have done or should have done isn’t just a happiness thief it’s a productivity killer. If you think you made a bad choice then make a different one, don’t wallow. It’s perfectly normal to have the occasional regrets but move forward.

It’s perfectly normal to have the occasional regrets but move forward. Click To Tweet

Big Trouble in Little Sanchez – Season 2 Episode 7

Pay Attention

Often you can avoid big problems and lots of stress by paying attention. In Big Trouble in Little Sanchez, Rick turns himself into Tiny Rick to help find a vampire at Morty and Summer’s school.

Everything is great until Tiny Rick decides he doesn’t want to go back into his older body. Trapped inside this teenage body, the real Rick drops not so subtle hints that he wants out of this body and even goes as far to sing two songs about his real body dying in a vat in the garage.

It takes two musical numbers and some fighting with his sister to make Morty realize that the real Rick is in trouble.

The lesson is to pay attention. While not all hints will be as in your face as a song and dance, they are there. By listening to yourself and your audience, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble. I took Be Booked Out, the course by Halley Grey at Evolve and Succeed and learned a huge lesson (among many) people tell you what they want, even when they don’t realize it. Pay attention to what your readers, clients and potential clients are subconsciously telling you. Increase your productivity by skipping the guess work. What are they telling you in the comments they leave on your blog posts? What solutions are they begging for in their social media rants? Sometimes the answers to what your dream client wants are right in front of your face.

Your clients are telling you what they want. Listen! Click To Tweet

Pickle Rick – Season 3 Episode 3

Don’t Avoid The Important Stuff

To avoid going to therapy with the family Rick turns himself into a pickle, more affectionately known as Pickle Rick! This seemed like the perfect plan except Beth foils it by taking the serum Rick needs to turn himself back into a human with her to therapy. This turns into a huge mess and Pickle Rick finds himself in deep doo doo that could have all been all avoided if he had just owned up and did what he needed to do in the first place.

While working on work you are good at and feel good about there is bound to be things you’d rather turn yourself into a pickle than do.

Rick goes through all this trouble to turn himself into a Pickle to avoid something he doesn’t want to do and still ends up doing it in the end.

We’ve all been there, we have some daunting task to do and we end up finding 20 things to do instead. Whatever the things are you don’t want to do in your business you have to do will still be there after you’ve procrastinated and avoided them. I’m not saying you have to do everything in life you hate but some things you have to just suck it up and deal with.  Business taxes, anyone? Most of the time people will spend more time avoiding a task than it would take to just complete it.

Avoidance is a productivity killer! Click To Tweet

To sum it up, life doesn’t always go smoothly, but if you prepare, move forward, pay attention and tackle the tough stuff, you’ll be a lot happier and more productive. (You’re also less likely to have to fight a gang of rodents as part pickle part roach.)

So tell me?

  • Have you learned any productivity lessons from unexpected sources?
  • Do you watch Rick and Morty? What’s your favorite episode? Who is your favorite character? (Mine is Rick, hands down.)
  • What is a task you often find yourself procrastinating?
  • What do you do when you procrastinate?

Snag My Productivity Checklist

Confessions of a Blogger With Bad Grammar

Disclosure: Posts on contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

When I was a young teen, I was obsessed with Avril Lavigne. Yes, I know just about every wannabe badass who went to high school in the early 2000s was, but let me make that annoying, “I was a fan first,” statement. I randomly found and bought her album at KMart one day because I thought it looked cool.
When she blew up, I was that person, “I’ve been listening to her music for months!” During one interview she did back when MTV still played music videos, she said, “I never wanted to learn the correct way to play guitar, I didn’t want to be limited by the rules.
I took the same tactic with writing… unintentionally. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I can tell you when a story or a blog post comes rushing out, the last thing I care about is an Oxford comma. (If you just got my Vampire Weekend reference, we may have just become best friends.)

It has probably been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced when I decided to start my blog. I had those grammar bully “friends” who took great joy in publicly making fun of any errors. I thought, “Great I’m going to start a blog and open myself not only to be ridiculed by my Facebook friends but the entire internet!

There have been a few things I’ve done to make my blog posts web ready.

Blogger who isn't great with grammar? Check out these tips. Click To Tweet

Use Grammarly

Grammarly isn’t just a spell checker it’s a grammar checker. After I finish a draft in Google Docs, I copy and paste it into Grammarly.
Side Note: Currently Grammarly doesn’t support Google Docs, but it does work in WordPress. You can either edit it there or copy and paste it as I do. No BD!
I pop the post into Grammarly and discover all the things my passionate writer mind neglected. The word “you” instead of “your.” The incorrect use of “effect” when it should have been “affect.” Those pesky commas I tend to forget I need and use when I don’t.
If you have a preferred writing style, Grammarly has got you covered. They have different settings so you can decide if you want general edits, academic, technical, medical, creative or casual.

I’ve even got my office using it. We don’t even think of sending an article to a coworker or client to review before we do a quick Grammarly check.

Let My Computer Do The Talking

One of my favorite things to do when editing my work is to let my computer read it to me. I can read something in my mind five times but hearing it out loud in a different voice is the quickest way to notice an error or funny sounding sentence.
This is an excellent solution for finding things that don’t flow well but might be grammatically correct.
Side Note: If you have a Mac computer you can have it read to you directly in Grammarly. The benefits keep rolling in!

Many computers have a read back function that makes editing easier. Click To Tweet

Print It Out

I’m sorry to all my friends who avoid printing to save the Earth. I recycle! Sometimes for longer pieces, it helps to go pen to paper and just mark it up. Scientific studies have shown the way minds read content on paper is different than on screen.
This is also just another way to look at your words with a fresh set of eyes. I always notice new things on paper that I missed on my computer.
Grammarly Writing Support

Step Away

Just like your computer has an auto correct so does your brain. When you construct a sentence in your mind and then reread it your brain will be actually auto correct any errors making it harder to notice your mistakes. A good practice is after you’ve finished editing the post in Grammarly and listening to it, is to step away. Do something else for a while and come back and reread it. Your brain is more likely to pick up on things instead of auto correcting them to your earlier intention.

Phone A Friend

It’s not just the Beatles who get by with the help of their buddies. Having a friend read the post before or even after you publish it is a great way to edit work. While you may not be ready to hire a full-time copy editor having a friend read a post once you’re burnt out on it is a good idea. Maybe offer them a cup of coffee or trade if it’s another blogger friend.
Side Note: Remember any confusion or edits they make aren’t some passive-aggressive way of calling you stupid or a bad writer. They are trying to help and you asked for it.

Remember I’m Human

Even with all these things in place mistakes are still bound to happen from time to time. Just fix it and move on. Don’t spend time wallowing or beating yourself up about it.

How do you edit your blog posts? Have you tried Grammarly? It’s not just a great tool for bloggers, but students, businesses and job applicants all enjoy the benefits of Grammarly. Sign up for Grammarly: The World’s Best Automated Proofreader

The One Thing You Need To Know About Productivity

There are so many resources on the web. So many courses and coaches out there. It can be overwhelming. there is a lot of great information out there it can be hard to know where to start.
It all starts with productivity. You can sign up for all the courses and trainings in the world, but if you don’t know how to implement them into your life and business, you won’t be able to get anywhere.
Watching hours of content and filling out workbooks you never put into action won’t get you anywhere.

If you had two clients, who wanted to lose 30 pounds you might find that they have very different needs as far as the type of instruction. Maybe one of them has to consider two small children in their meal plan, while the other sustains themselves on fast food while working 70 hours a week. Just like fitness, productivity isn’t a one size fits all. Because productivity isn’t a one size fits all, the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is start by identifying your productivity style.

Life isn't one size fits all. Neither is productivity. Click To Tweet

Have you ever worked in an office with people who have very different work styles? Maybe one person needs total silence when working, while another needs constant verbal validation and instruction. Chances are there was some head-butting or tension in the environment. While you can’t always get away from the difference in work style in the corporate world one of the best things about owning your own business is you can work in a way that fits your productivity needs.

You could take a general course on productivity training and you might even notice some results but until you zone in on what makes you productive and what doesn’t you won’t be working at your full potential.

If to-do lists overwhelm you, don’t use them.
If batching tasks and working on the same type of work all day bores you and drains your productivity, don’t do it.

By taking a look at the big and little things that empower you will have a clearer picture on how to grow and scale your business.

Knowing what empowers you will make a clearer picture on how to grow your business. Click To Tweet

Stop trying these one size fits all solutions and check yourself! Reserve your spot for one on one coaching with me in my new program Business Gains.