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Losing Your Way on A Winding Path (This Is A Metaphor for Getting Shit Done)

Oh, hello.

Remember when I said that when you feel like you’re fed up, and burnt out, you should connect with other humans that remind you why you love what you do? Wellllllll, that worked for me once. But now I have new advice: be a hermit.

How to Get Shit Done (fo realz!)

 

Seriously. The best advice I received for dealing with feelings of burnout was a few days ago, and that advice was: when you are so fed up that you just don’t care anymore, actively attempt to care less. Like just really get all the giving a shit out of your system. Stop caring at a molecular level. Split the atoms of the fucks you do not give, and then split them again. Create a nuclear meltdown out of all the energy that you’re not caring with. Enough metaphors for now…

In my situation, I could never focus on what I was supposed to be doing, due to a number of factors, some of them complex and one of them just being that I am an insane, quality-obsessed, control freak bitch-ola. I was so used to responding quickly to everything that came my way — emails, Slack messages, carrier pigeons — that people expected it of me, and I felt like I owed it to them.

But then my boss told me something radical. Like some life-changing shit right here. She said, “Just… don’t.” That’s basically what she said. There were more words and it sounded better than that, but that was the gist of it.

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Embracing Failure as a Digital Project Manager/Human Being

It’s difficult to accept failure. I think that’s part of human nature — to be proud, defend ourselves, survive, and dislike failing. But sometimes we fail as human beings, and as project managers. And sometimes, spectacularly, we fail at those two things at the same time.

Embracing Failure as a Digital Project Manager (and Human Being)

 

I’ve been a total failure over the past few months.

  • I started this blog, intending to keep it going with new content twice a week. Fail.
  • I transitioned out of project management recently, but didn’t actually transition out of it because I’m a total control freak. Fail.
  • Even though I didn’t transition out of it, I still failed at doing a bunch of PM stuff properly. Fail.
  • I couldn’t think of new content ideas to save my life. Fail.
  • I lost my focus, my energy, my drive, and my love of what I do (temporarily). Fail.
  • I ate an entire tray of four cinnamon buns and washed them down with an entire bottle of wine. Fail (or… win?).

Cinnamon Bun GIF

I think the important thing to remember here is that cinnamon buns fix all failures until you step on the scale and feel like a failure in an entirely new way. Not as a project manager or a human being, but even worse, a failure of a woman for not fitting into your pants anymore.

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When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty: Fighting Creative Burnout

Hustlin’ be hard, bitches.

How to Fight Creative Burnout - When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty

 

Whatever your hustle may be — design, coding, strategy, project management, writing, something unmarketing related — you started doing it because you loved it. You continued because you loved it. You can’t imagine yourself doing anything else with your life, but yet, you hit a point where you just want to quit. What’s going on?

It’s not a lack of passion for your work. It’s not because of boredom. It’s not because you want to do something else.

So whyyyyyy.

But Why GIF

When you feel that feeling of loving what you do and being convinced that you’ve never been more connected to and passionate about your work, coupled with a feeling of absolute dread about going in the next day or doing any of the tasks on your list, congrats — you’re in creative burnout.

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What Your Worst Project Ever Can Teach You About Good Digital Project Management

Everyone has had a “worst project ever”. Mine has been recent and is still ongoing. I don’t mean it’s the worst because the work is bad or the client is bad, quite the opposite with this one. Our team has created amazing work and everyone really cares about this project. The client is fantastic and smart, willing to think outside the box when it comes to design and to take our input. When it finally completes, it will be a great piece of work out there in the world.

But that’s the problem, when it finally completes.

 

What Your Worst Project Ever Can Teach You About Digital Project Management

It’s easy to blame others when things don’t go as planned but project managers need to be bigger than that. If it didn’t go according to plan, it means your plan didn’t work. Why not? Where were you? Why weren’t you paying attention? Or if you were paying attention, why did you miss the clear red flags that things were going awry and your plan was not working? How come you didn’t fix it?

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How to Get a Derailed Digital Project Back on Track

This post is for all my DPM peeps out there. That stands for “digital project management” in case you manage projects from under a rock. So, while I no longer work full-time in digital project management (I only dabble, as now I am a strategist/writer full-time), I’m still passionate about client relationship management and making sure our lovingly crafted digital projects go smoothly. I’ve found that now being on “the creative side” has given me even more passion for project management, as I feel like I have a better idea of what it’s like for the people I used to schedule and plan for, both internally and externally.

How to Get a Derailed Digital Project Back on Track

 

But we’ve all been there: the digital project that goes completely off track and looks like it’s destined for the rubbish pile or worse, public consumption as a warped, ugly version of its formerly wonderful concept. Let’s face it, it’s usually a website.

So what do you do? How do you tackle this seemingly insurmountable beast and tame it back into a (oh god here comes a cliche) beauty? By following these oh so useful tips of course.

But first, we need to identify the signs of a project going off the rails… We’ll assume it’s a website for the purposes of this example because, well, it probably is.

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Blog Post Planner: A Free Template to Channel Your Ideas into Awesome Blog Posts

If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle to come up with new ideas to write about. Or, even if you happen to have a decent amount of new ideas, you struggle with getting them down on paper (err… screen) and just writing it all down into some sort of format that makes sense. Fear not, fellow blogger, I got ya covered today.

Free Blog Post Planner Template: Channel Your Ideas into Blog Posts Quickly!

 

I have like 17,000,000 drafts started in WordPress right now, with a title and maybe a one sentence idea of what I wanted to write about so that I’ll remember later when it comes time to actually write a post. I thought that was a good strategy for awhile. And for awhile, it worked.

But I soon realized that my system wasn’t enough to keep me constantly inspired and writing quality shiz for this blog thingy all the time. I felt very accomplished jotting down my headline ideas and rough article ideas, but when the time came to actually write, I was often lost and felt rather meh about it. I spent a lot of time procrastinating (sometimes that can be good because my house is pretty clean now).

There are lots of great blog post planner templates out there to download, so I got some. But I found that a lot of them were kinda what I was already doing – jotting down the gist of your idea, or the headline, and planning those out for the month. But I wasn’t able to find anything that captured all the pieces to think about for each post in a way that was quick and easy to write down, and that still motivated me to actually write the damn post sometime this century.

So I made this template today. Wheeee.

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Learning to Care Again When You’re Out of [email protected] to Give

I think the hardest thing about working in an industry you’re really passionate about is the eventual feeling of “Is this worth it?” that creeps into your mind. If you’re like me, you’re a 110% kind of person. All in or all out, there is no in between.

Learning to Care Again When You're Out of F*@ks to Give

 

I’m happy and proud to be doing something I love for a living. I love the sense of accomplishment my work provides, and being surrounded by so many talented people with big ideas. It’s fantastic and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But sometimes, it still gets tough like anything else.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing, sometimes I think, “Can I keep going?”

Field of Fucks lol

I guess some people call that burnout, but that’s not really what it is. To me, true burnout is when you are literally so done that you cannot be any more done. You know it’s time to walk away, find a new path, burn bridges to the ground, whatever. You want out of where you are.

But that’s not what I feel sometimes at all. Like I said, I wouldn’t change a thing. So it’s not burnout, it’s just a temporary case of a lack of fucks to give.

Once your supply of fucks to give is restored, all is well.

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Boost Your Bounce Rate: How to Block Spam Referrers in Google Analytics (+Free Spam Filter!)

Your bounce rate is an important indicator of your website’s performance and how interesting your target audience finds your content. A high bounce rate, bad. A low bounce rate, good.

Boost Your Bounce Rate: Google Analytics Tutorial

Blocking spam referrers in Google Analytics will cut out the noise and show you your true stats — allowing you to make actionable changes and decisions for your blog or biz to improve your site, retain your audience, and get new leads.

 

But first, let’s tackle the basics.

Psst! Already a seasoned Analytics Nerd? Skip to the good stuff —>

What is a Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate in Google Analytics refers to the percentage of your website’s visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page.

So, you want to aim for as low a bounce rate as possible. Low bounce rate = more people exploring more than 1 page on your site, meaning they are most likely engaged in your content and liking your shiz.

A high bounce rate is a surefire sign that people aren’t liking your site, or the wrong audience is viewing it.

 

How to Get Your Bounce Rate Low, Low, Low

shorty get low

So blocking spam is a huge way to lower your bounce rate. Cutting out all the spam means that you’ll know the actual stats of your website as it relates to real, live, breathing human beings visiting your site, not crawler robots or phishing scheme drones.

But blocking spam only helps you see the REAL stats of your website. If your bounce rate is still quite high after blocking spam referrers as described in this article, then you need to buckle down and do some serious work.

Maybe it’s just that you’re attracting the wrong audience. Try thinking more about your target audiences, where they hang out, and promote your blog or website there.

The other quite obvious reason is that… well, your shit’s boring. So re-read your articles and look over your website from your target audience’s point of view. Pretend you’re a potential customer or blog reader who has just landed on your site. What do you think of it? What draws you in?

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