Category Archives: the way we work

Life Hacking For The Rest Of Us


Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

It’s impossible to keep up.

Every day I see self-help articles about life hacking with tips, tricks, and never-ending lists of things to do in order to become a successful human being. According to these articles, If I do these things I’ll run like a machine. I’ll be living life at 500%, 100% of the time.

Is that a good thing?

The thing is, I’m not a machine. I’m tired of tracking every little thing. It gives me ptsd from my 20’s when I documented my weight twice a day along with every bit of food I ate. I spent so much time qualifying myself by scratching into a tiny notebook with a precision pen that I was missing out on life itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I track certain things for fun: exercise, meditation, reading and writing. And just when I think I’m doing a halfway decent job, I see more headlines for other things I need to stop or start doing, practice, digest (mentally or physically), or communicate.

Apparently in order to be successful in life, I need to do one-hundred burpies before the sun rises while listening to some podcast with tech bros congratulating each other on doing work, summarily packaged prosaically as “hustle.”

There are also voices to stop and start listening to, and for the life of me I don’t know if they mean other people or certain parts of myself. To all these authors, podcast hosts, and ‘grammers, I gotta say: Why tho? Does it have to be this way? Let’s hit pause for a sec and consider the following:

Rest is underrated.

Am I supposed to berate myself for getting a full eight hours of sleep? And if I binge-watch season six Friends while devouring a bag of Milanos am I not cut out for success?

Must I be ashamed as I wear a thick, juicy facemask, scrolling miles on social media – despite the fact that I’ll  most likely feel like a million bucks come tomorrow?

Besides, we all work differently.

I don’t want to finish one book every week. I enjoy taking notes and savoring the sentences. And after a couple of burnouts, it simply isn’t sustainable for me to work 70+ hours a week.

Can we please just slow things down a bit?

Besides, too many rules are hard to follow. To be our best selves, well – that should be enough.

The real metric for success is happiness, and that looks different for everybody.

The meaning of life is what it means to you. It may be a life stacked full of sidebars and variables, but at least we can find it on our own terms, in our own way.

That’s real growth worth chasing.

Read the original version of this post at The Collective Of Us.

The Introvert’s Guide to the Workplace

Photo: Unsplash

I’ve been working in digital media for most of my career – building websites, doing marketing, graphic design, and even photography. But there came a time that if I wanted to advance in my career, I had to get out from behind my tantalizingly-oversized Apple monitor and lead actual meetings. It became critical for me to be present in the workplace not only as a project manager, but as someone who was able to successfully lead client meetings as well.

Flash forward to now: I’m a freelance marketer in charge of all aspects of the business from project management to finance, production to sales.

The road wasn’t easy. As an introvert, small talk is not my strong suit — I don’t harbor the gift of gab, and until I get to know someone I tend to be an energetic but typically quiet person. In the past, I had always defaulted to playing the supportive role in the workplace—the cheerleader operating behind the scenes, the lone wolf focused squarely on getting the work done while working with others on a strictly one-on-one basis whenever possible.

Until I started working for myself, I had that choice.

But when I went freelance, I had to do everything on my own.

I devoured books about leadership and doing sales. I tapped into my networks to see what worked well for others. I scheduled lots of meetings and began to practice. Over time, it’s gotten easier. Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Why Repealing Affordable Health Care Will Hurt The Freelance Economy

Photo: Aaron Thomas via Unsplash

Photo: Aaron Thomas via Unsplash

The Affordable Care Act has made health insurance accessible for millions of freelance workers, a number that is expected to account for 40% of the workforce by 2020. For various reasons self-employment is also increasingly popular amongst millennials, with nearly 40% of the millennial workforce already describing themselves as self-employed. To put things into perspective, that is 60 million Americans, and the numbers are on the rise.

A freelance economy revolves around companies who hire independent workers on a short-term basis to complete a specific set of tasks. The term “freelancer” can also include consultants, solopreneurs, lifestyle entrepreneurs, and other types of independent workers able to contribute to a company’s operations while remaining lean to both parties’ benefit. This cohort, known for being nimble and resource-savvy, is key to job growth, economic innovation, and technological progress.

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Why 2017 Is The Year Of The Freelancer

Guest post by Cassie Phillips, Technology & Internet Security Enthusiast; Blogger at Full bio located at the end of the post. 

Another year in the information age has come and gone, and the internet has cemented itself even further as an essential part of not only our personal lives but our business lives. Can you think of many positions that don’t involve the use of the internet and complex programs now?

With that advent comes the rise of freelance labor from all around the world, people much like yourself who wanted more control over their careers and their lives. And from what we can tell, people are starting to freelance every day and therefore joining the freelance economy.

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Environmental Biohacking & Rumbling With The Unknown

Sunset at Big Sur taken during week 4 of my bio-hacking experiment

Big Sur, CA – Taken during Week 4 of my experiment.

The following is based on a talk I gave a few weeks back at Twitch HQ for Women’s Catalyst Lightening Talks.

At the end of September I deliberately kicked myself out of my studio apartment.

I sublet to a friend for two months and hit the road.

Now, I didn’t go very far. I drove around California in my trusty Prius C – living with friends, crashing on couches, spending time in nature.

I did this because I needed to get uncomfortable.

Because I believe that curiosity is greater than comfort.

[ Curiosity Zone > Comfort Zone ] *

I didn’t always believe this.

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