Welcome to Raspberries and Running Shoes! I am Cindy, a twenty-something living in Manhattan, Kansas. Here you can read about goal setting, technology, and life in general.

Everything you Put Online Defines Your Personal Brand

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image via Unsplash

My personal brand is something I think about often, but just long enough to push it off into my someday file in my head.  I have bigger things to worry about right now than what my personal brand is.

Except I don’t.

Your personal brand is EVERYTHING.  Think about your favorite blogger.  What types of posts do they write?  Do they write about everything under the sun or do they stick to a core topic?  What kinds of posts do you expect from them?  I’d be willing to bet you get excited when you see a new post from them because you know what to expect and you know it will be good.

It feels like every time I have a post highlighted by someone, I don’t feel like I’ve been doing the best on my blog.  Instead of taking the time to get ahead of the curve, I publish a “throw-away” post because I feel like I should publish something.

That’s not good.  I don’t want new readers to come to my site just to see throw-away posts.

Everything we do online is forming our brand.

What do you want yours to reflect?

Feeling Off

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Remember how last week I said I was distracted?  We are hitting all time lows for motivation.

I don’t want to do anything. Everything feels like a chore at this point.  I am putting off minor things like sending an email or commenting on a blog.  I just don’t want to do it.  Not enough to say I won’t, just enough to put it off.

I’ve never been a major procrastinator.  I might push something off for a few hours, but never for more than a week.

This week my goals is just to accomplish everything I need to.  I won’t get behind just because I’m feeling off.

Friday Social

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I don’t feel very good today.  I’m really hoping it’s just this week catching up to me and I’m not coming down with something.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I ordered some new planner pages!  I’m really hoping to integrate some journaling in my planner because I know it’s good for me and I want to start more memory keeping.  I hate that I can’t remember some of the big things that happened this time last year and I have no way to look it up.  I’m going to try the DIYfish pages and see how they work for me.

Have a good weekend!

My Updated Evernote Process

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I have previously written about my Evernote process  and it has changed quite a bit since then.

I have a folder titled “inbox” where all of my incoming posts land.  Anything I email in or IFTTT sends into Evernote go here.  I go through the inbox folder a few times a day and read anything easy to read or clip anything I want to save or read later.

Most articles I clip go into my “Next” folder.  Since I have over 1300 articles in my “unread” folder, this way I can keep track of the articles that are closer to what I’m interested in right now.

As I’m reading through my “Next” folder, I’ll either read the article and move it to “read” or I’ll decide it isn’t something I’m ready to read right now and move it into “unread”.

This way I’m actively using 4 folders in addition to a few storage folders.  Things that require action stay in my inbox until I’m finished with them.  I used to use a “tasks” folder, but I realized if I wasn’t looking at the tasks, I wouldn’t think about them.

April Currently

Currently is a journaling challenge created by Kristin of Rukristin Papercrafts. It only takes a few minutes to jot down your right now and soon you will have an entire album if journaled cards!

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Friday Social

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you this has felt like a lazy week. I know I accomplished quite a bit, but it definitely feels like I spent most of my free time close to home. I have every intention of continuing this through the weekend.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I accidentally left Liam out of his crate while I was gone for a few hours yesterday. He is still pretty mischievous so we typically lock him in his crate while we are gone. Maybe I didn’t get it latched, but when I came home he was hanging out under the table like it was no big deal. He made a bigger mess while I was home with him than when I was gone!

You’ll Be Ok

What Businesses can learn from Bloggers

The String with the Idea at the End.

Closing Comments, Opening Conversation

5 Ways to Blog Better

Opportunity

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The Pomodoro Method

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I’m not sure if it’s the weather change or coming off of a vacation, but I am distracted.

It’s frustrating because I have so much I want to accomplish but I can’t seem to focus long enough to get any of it done.  The Pomodoro Technique is how I make sure I still make things happen even when I get distracted like this.

I set a timer for 15 minutes and focus 100% of my attention on a task until the timer finishes.  After the timer dings, I take a  5 minute break.  Whether I spend my break on facebook or playing a game or whatever, that time is free to do whatever I feel like.  Once the timer finishes, it’s time to go back to another important task.

Sometimes the time seems too short.  If that’s the case, I bump the focused time up to 20 minutes or more.  Sometimes I’ll find my momentum and work for a solid 30 minutes before I take a break (and usually finish whatever task I’m working on by then).

Most people using The Pomodoro Technique will work for 45 minutes and take a 15 minute break.  While I’m sure this works well for them, I feel like my attention doesn’t last that long when I need to rely on the timer the most.

If it’s something like cleaning, I’ll set the kitchen timer and go to work.  15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your clutter.  If I’m working on my computer, I use the focus booster app.  I like that I can adjust the focus time and the break time according to how I am feeling.

How do you accomplish things when you’re distracted?

Momentum: How I Accomplish Big Goals

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I am by nature a goal setter.  I always have big ideas swirling in my head and at that moment, every one of them sounds amazing.
Unfortunately, it seems like my motivation goes before I finish the project.  There are three ways I make sure I keep making progress even when I’m not up to it.

1) Schedule it in my planner

I take big tasks and break them down into small chunks I can accomplish in ten to fifteen minutes and I schedule them in my planner.  Feeling extra motivated that day?  It’s fine to get ahead.  I try to make sure I’m not ever more than a week behind on my schedule.  If I think of a random task, I try to write it down right away before I forget.  I walk into the kitchen and forget why I came an embarrassing number of times during the day.

2) The Pomodoro Method.

I am relatively new to this method, but I LOVE it for days when I’m just not up to it.  I can set my timer for twenty minutes and knock out as much focused work as possible.  Then I take a break to get out as much distraction as possible.
I’ll talk about this more tomorrow.

3) OHIO – Only Touch it Once

This is huge.  It’s easy to read an email, mark it as unread, and say I’ll deal with it later.  But having that hanging over my head gives me major anxiety.  I keep thinking about that email and how I haven’t responded to it yet and it gets bigger and bigger in my head.  If I handle it as soon as I see it I don’t have to spend mental space worrying about it.

What techniques do you use to keep your motivation?

Friday Social

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about how I have been looking into filofax planners in order to spruce up my circa notebook a bit.  I am hooked.  There are so many cool things you can do with your planner and I feel like it really would be an incentive to keep using it.  I probably won’t go as crazy as some of these are, but I am excited to have more fun with it.

If we were having coffee today, i would tell you about how they updated the clipper for the Evernote iPad app.  Before, it would clip pages really ugly so I created an “into Evernote” folder to clip later when I was at my computer.  Now it clips the full-page into Evernote.  I am clipping everything I read now!
Random link in an article I’m reading? Clip it for later.  Article I like? Clip it so I can easily find it later.  It’s amazing!

Here are some of my favorite articles from this week:

What to do if the year is getting away from you
How to Blog Effectively If you’re Feeling Overwhelmed
My Favorite Tools
Someone Else’s Pain and Struggle Does Not Negate Yours
5 Things I Didn’t Know About Blogging
You’re Not Worse Than Other People
Pebbles and Boulders
Hardwood Grows Slowly