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Tips to stay sane during a big work project (+ FAILS & BEHIND THE SCENE PHOTOS of my own launch)

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Last Updated on by Noni May

So do you wanna know what I’ve been going through the past few weeks? I can’t exactly say it was all joy, because both my iMac AND my Macbook broke down within one month. The month I was busy creating Oh My Press AND finishing up the $5k in 21 Days book. So ehh.. Stress levels through the roof, but I kind of stayed calm. Maybe it’s my experience as a health + happiness writer, maybe it’s the biz experience. But I’d say that I totally rocked it! When can I do this again? 😉

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| 1. Work in the cloud! | 

Can’t emphasize it enough but since my thesis I always work in the cloud! I’ve had too many night I had to rewrite complete articles for my clients because Word failed, so I can’t really trust them any more.

Problems of a blogger, fails, behind the scenes, and more. Evernote

But unfortunately Evernote had A LOT of troubles, so I moved to other places like Google Drive for my writing. And yes, I lost the whole Evernote note, which was a 1500 words article. Arghh! Trial & error I guess. I mean – WHO opens a message to a help account with YO? Blind panic haha! 

Another life saver was Canva, when I had to move from my iMac to Macbook Pro I also moved from photoshop to Canva. And it worked fine! And it’s accessible via other computers. Yaaaay!

Backstage behind the scenes blogger freelancer office and inspiration

A little inspiration for the ‘pop-up office’. haha. The photos is exactly why I work. To enjoy life.


| 2. Find your motivation (or not) | 

My biggest motivation to make money is my desire to travel. That’s all I wanna do. But when my iMac broke down I felt a strong urge to make even more money to have some backup saving to reinvest in my business (and probably a new computer, iek!). Without this motivation, I couldn’t have done it. You need to set a clear goal (for me that was a certain amount I wanted to make in order to book my next trip, and later to also buy a new iMac). After I set my goal, it was time to focus on my motivation. In my time off I sorted out the photos from my most recent trip in order to feel how awesome it was and to urge that I need to work as hard as possible in order to make it work (without ruining my body – see point 6). What is your goal and motivation?

Backstage behind the scenes blogger freelancer office and inspiration

The ‘road map’ to stay organized and to quickly brief the people I worked with on this project.


| 3. Hire help to stay happy | 

Hiring help was kind of a game changer for me. Not only did my computer totally break down, I was also super busy with another project, so there were some standard things I just didn’t want to do. Actually, running a business – there are a lot of things you don’t like and the longer you work, the more you’re like, OK I make some money now, let’s invest in PEOPLE and enjoy more time on the things I like to do (and have a proper weekend!). I LOVE creating the course itself, but everything around it I can perfectly hire a copywriter or VA for. This way I can really focus on my creation and article writing, instead of problems with uploading blog posts, SEO, creating sales pages, Pinterest images and shop items or uploading the actual course materials to the shop. I basically outsourced everything sales-y // technical // PR related because it’s not what I like to do the most. I also didn’t feel much for focussing on PR, so I had some help with my press release and promo too. SO NICE! After a while things get very boring and especially things I don’t really enjoy doing but needs to be done over and over again. It’s an investment, but after being in the biz so long, I don’t wanna do everything myself. I’m so over all the WordPress and Squarespace problems, I just wanna create and write.


| 4. Declutter! | 

This one seems weird, but all I could do when my iMac was away was decluttering. And it REALLY WORKED! I’m always up for some decluttering, but now I learned how important it really is to declutter as much as possible digitally, and also in the office. It quickly cleared my head and by having less on my computer, it was easier for me to concentrate on the small (13’ macbook). I could only do one thing at a time (on my iMac I often have multiple windows open and it handles it well) so less is more. Decluttering and putting things in the cloud also helps with organization in times like this, when you’re crazy busy but you can’t access your computer.

Behind the scenes of a blogger and business owner freelancer office desk with Collective Magazine and Apple Macbook

My ‘pop-up’ office where I worked until I had my iMac back. Editing something quick in Canva as I don’t have PS on my Macbook. Love the cloud and the endless possibilities!


| 5. Do your best – with what you have | 

Jeez, so I LOVE working on my iMac, somehow it clears my mind. My Macbook feels sooo cluttered, but when my iMac was at Apple’s, I had to work with my laptop.. And I did all I could. I gave my copywriter a little bit more work and my VA almost everything 😉

Behind the scenes of a blogger and business owner freelancer office desk with Collective Magazine and Apple Macbook

My number 1 inspiration is Australian #girlboss magazine Collective. Using it as a mouse pad is very inspiring 😉


| 6. Stay healthy and happy |

I think it’s a freelancer/entrepreneur beginners fail to work around the clock. To eat behind your computer and to completely forget your own health in order to succeed. Sure, I did that when I was just starting out, but I really learned after failing hard at this, that your own health and happiness are the key to a successful business. I worked with people who were so stressed I kind of never wanted to reach out to them or even meet them because it would instantly make me feel stressed. It’s not a good look. So I didn’t work too late, I could easily fix problems the next morning. Sure, waking up at 4.30 am helps, as does working with at least one VA in another time zone. But next to that I went to the gym regularly, ate healthy and did meet with my friends every now and then.

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| 7. Have a system + routine | 

Guys, I’m obsessed with routines. I seriously take it a little bit too far, but right in this process it really helped me. I recommend you set up a system for:

  • Weekly (or daily) back ups. Backup everything you need to back up haha. For me that’s my sites, computers, phone and photos.
  • Set up a morning + evening routine. I talked about this a little bit in this interview, but it’s basically waking up at 4.30 AM as often as possible. Shower, drink a green smoothie (works better than coffee for energy) and a coffee, finish the most important tasks on my to do list, go to the gym, work a little bit more and NETFLIX! I mean, my working day is finished around 2pm and I went already to the gym, so often I just work a little bit longer because I truly love my job and often I just Pinterest (because it’s work right!). This routine really works for me, so does my evening routine which includes some visualizing and mapping out my next day including creating my to do list.
  • Take enough time to plan things. I can truly plan some things for weeks, but I’m not the kind of person who stays in the planning mode, I do get to work eventually. More often it just takes a full day to plan my new projects or months. I do recommend you take some time before you start to map your route, because it’s really annoying if you somewhere in the process find out you’re doing it wrong! Planning gives me calmness and it makes it really easy to work with others, just follow the calendar and to do’s. I usually plan in Asana, because it has a beautifully designed monthly calendar where you can put your to do’s in, you can later see them in a list form and check them off. I literally plan everything from social media updates to article titles and e-mails.
  • Take time (preferably early in your business) to set up a good basis. And with this I mean: run your business like you run a company with 200 employees. If you work in the cloud, keep things sorted. Have a up to dated brand book available. Have your systems and canned emails on paper, have a FAQ available, a good CRM system and all that stuff. I’m really happy I did this before I even thought of hiring people, because it saves me a lot of time. And guess what? That’s probably the one thing you don’t have when you need some help so make this a priority early on! For example, for the copywriter I have a text document with general information about me and the company, and for Oh my press particular I had a one page text available so she could write the sales page and the VA could create designs for Pinterest and stuff. I do this with all my projects, because it only takes about 30 minutes to write it all down but explaining everything over and over again to everybody can take up to hours! 
  • Automate as much as possible. I guess this is always nice, but when you’re really busy, you have to make it a priority so you can relax a little bit more and still be visible or ‘working’ while you actually take some time to take care of yourself by going to the gym or something! Example? Most things I automate with Convertkit, I’m super in love with this lil’ piece of email software. I write blog posts and ask my VA to schedule them during the month and I schedule my social media as much as possible!

| So what’s next? | 

I’m so excited about new projects, because I burst of ideas! More about it soon, but you can now pre-order $5k in 21 days to keep you busy!! And download my free business recourses guide here

(+ FAILS & BEHIND THE SCENE PHOTOS of my own course and ebook launch)

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