Working at the times it suits me…

#weeknotes S06 EP09 – week ending 21 April 2019

The Easter holidays has been the first time since returning to working for myself that I’ve had clients in flow at the same time as both my children have been on a break from school.

It’s been great to feel the benefit of this way of working – I can choose my hours to suit the plans for the day, and prioritise spending time with them while knowing I’m not missing out on opportunities or commitments to clients. That alone has made everything feel stress-free and more positive and I’m keen to build on this further so we can have an adventurous summer holiday together too.

Working on

This week I’ve found time and headspace for some deep focus work and it’s been great to get some blogposts together here for clients in the public sector and over at Noble and Wild for those in music. I’m finding the two cross-over more often than not so I’ve been revisiting the content strategy across the sites I run (here, Noble and Wild, Reckless Yes, Popoptica, The Leap – and their associated social channels too) and making sure I’m reusing themes but tailoring to the audiences. I’m also thinking about my practice around this and how I consistently fit blogging and deep focus work into my week (whether it is term time or not) – at the moment I plan to try out time blocking on a certain day of the week and to revisit tools to help me track inspiration, curiosity and thoughts at other times (I’ve previously used Pocket, Buffer, Trello and Evernote but I’d love to hear your suggestions – comment below or tweet me). 

I’ve also been getting some pre-strategy-day work done for Reckless Yes – we’re looking at the long term as well as what we focus on right now. Already this has led to some re-alignment on priorities (after just three shows it’s already time to say goodbye to The Rumble) and some large scale, ‘dream big’ planning as well as a couple of new Trello boards to help us keep track of all the things we could be doing compared to those we definitely should focus on to move forward. It feels as if we’re gaining momentum on building a music business which serves modern music fans and scenes while working ethically for the artist and saying no to the wrong stuff feels as good as saying (a reckless) yes to the right stuff. 

Reading

I can’t get away from the fiction at the moment – I’ve read a book recommended to me by my eldest child (Mortal Engines) and after my breathless love affair with Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin it’s been another inter-war romance and intrigue novel with Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Following on I’m reading David Keenan’s Memorial Device. It’s making my writing-gene itch and I’m going to have to find some time for continuing with my second novel soon.

Other wise it’s been the usual blog posts on crisis comms, social media and digital engagement, as well as some on co-operatives and digital loyalty schemes (the latter two because schemes are brewing – would also love to hear your experience or recommended reads on these – comment below or tweet me). I’ve queued up a couple of non-fiction long reads too – one about memory (which fits nicely with the themes of my novels), and one about creative introverts (which also supports a project on the low burn right now). 

Listening to

My listening over the last week has been mainly defined by my family and in my own time I’ve chosen quiet over music or podcasts. I’ve been setting my eldest off on a discovery trail after he started getting into old school hip hop and rap so it’s been good to revisit some old favourites across these genres (and bore him with the cultural context).

The one thing I did delve into for myself was Camera Obscura’s My Maudlin Career which turned 10 this week and which is not only an incredible indiepop album but one which accompanied a pivotal moment in my work as a music journalist (no comment on whether the album title could be a descriptor of that work). The bittersweet of spending time with an old friend and the memories which come with that has been exactly right for where my mood was at this week.

What’s next?

Next week brings more school holidays / flexible working mashups, but also a planning session with Dan Slee ahead of our joint Vital Facebook Skills workshops, the Reckless Yes strategy day, and meets ups for campaign planning with at least one of our artists.

I have some availability for in-house training, digital reviews and consultancy opened up for early-summer and autumn so if you’d like to find out more about how I can help you face challenges with creating conversations and content which connects get in touch.

Original source – Sarah Lay

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