So many Bitmojis, so little time… there really IS a Bitmoji for everything right?
Being a little obsessed with authentic conversations and the impact of modern technology on our ability to create them – I personally believe this app claimed the accolade of Most Downloaded App of 2017* for one reason…
The creators of Bitmoji know A LOT about us silly humans.
They have nailed illustrating the everyday, first-world wins, pains and problems us silly humans are facing.
Global demand for their app has reassured us that we are not alone.
One of my most frequently used Bitmojis is a case in point… I have a burning desire to asterisk and correct EVERY SINGLE TYPO I make when sending messages. Sometimes I resist, sometimes I asterisk every single typo I make.
Problem is now solved – I send the following which is far more efficient and means I appear slightly less psychotically obsessed.
(Fellow members of the Spelling & Grammar Police, please back me up – there is nothing more shameful for us than being a stand for this in the world and making typos in messages, right?)
How I feel when someone corrects their own typos before I need to:
Sending the above is far less likely to offend my friends (who know I can’t help myself but correct their typos too, but they love me regardless… I think) than a written text or comment.
On a more serious note, I genuinely believe Bitmoji have 100% capitalised on the very clear need for a creative solution to the right royal clusterfuck (technical term) that we seem to frequently make of our ability to communicate with one another – particularly in the written form.
For anyone unaware of what the hell Bitmoji is (first of all – SHAME ON YOU! Kidding. Kind of…)
Bitmoji is an app by a developer called Bitstrips that enables us silly, silly humans to create personalised cartoon avatars of ourselves. This in turn gives us access to a library full of custom caricatures that can be used to efficiently express emotions via the various messaging apps we all have at our disposal – in a light hearted and fun way.
I bloody love everything about Bitmoji but mostly that last bit.
Light hearted and FUN. No room for ridiculous misinterpretation that in turn can so easily negatively impact connection. Especially with the people we love most.
With all the technology we have at our fingertips, we have more opportunity to communicate authentically than ever before. The frustrating dichotomy of this is that we also have more opportunity to essentially wuss out of doing so. We often choose to take the ‘easy’ option, send written words and in turn, can be so easily misunderstood.
The glorious clusterfuck of the written word…
Allow me to share a couple of personal examples where failure to use this GENIUS tool and reverting to the old school (text form messages) is just a ridiculous and unnecessary move if you value connection.
CLUSTERFUCK EXAMPLE #1:
A fellow Bitmoji fan (oh, the irony) and I had decided recently to keep each other accountable on some new goals and life focus – getting to bed earlier being one. I quickly checked in via text message (IDIOT) knowing it had been a busy day and reminded my friend “not to be up too late faffing about until 2am” (we are both guilty of being night owls and ‘faffers’ – aimlessly wasting unnecessary time on unimportant tasks).
With zero idea what was going on for friend at that moment in time or how that may be received at the other end (as it turned out, not too well), the conversation via text soon went a little downhill and somewhat defensive on both our parts.
GAH! WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Had I used this Bitmoji, there would likely have been a light-hearted chuckle at both ends of the conversation, a gentle but effective reminder to get an earlier night and a win all round… rather than possibly landing as nagging or criticising.
NOTE TO PARENTS OF TEENAGERS: get on Bitmoji – they also offer ‘You Stop That’, ‘Eat Your Greens’ and ‘What Are You Going To Do With Your Life Today?’. Great options for salvaging what love is left when a little nagging is actually required.
CLUSTERFUCK EXAMPLE #2:
How often have you found yourself guilty of being either party in the following scenario due to the advancements in tech?
Sender sends a message.
Recipient reads message and one of these (or other) scenarios unfolds:
gets distracted (y’know, like by their actual real life happening)
gets distracted BUT ALSO leaves Messenger open saying they’re ‘Active Now’ (the WORST – thanks Facebook 🙈)
Smartarse bloody Messenger/Instagram/Whatsapp (delete as appropriate) tells sender that the recipient has read Sender’s message.
expects a response
starts checking their phone every 11.7seconds for a reply
possibly rocking like a crazy person
gets majorly pissed that recipient isn’t dropping everything in their life at that moment to reply
possibly starts having feelings of resentment towards recipient
Sender may well have a legit reason for wanting/needing a speedy response but if that’s the case, Sender maybe should have called instead #justsayin
PLEASE NOTE: leaving your ‘Read Receipts’ on if using a Smart Phone is a rookie error here and an unnecessary hurdle if your preferred method is text message – please turn them OFF immediately.
Now, we all have different expectations of what is an acceptable response time. We also have little way of knowing what may be going on for the Recipient in the moment they receive a message. They may just be dead. Morbid but possible.
So, instead of the messy potential sequence of events listed above threatening Sender’s connection with Recipient (whoever they may be), and sending ANOTHER message in text form – which will likely be a version of “Have I done something to upset you?” or “Did you get my message?” (CLEARLY – messenger told you so didn’t it?!)… try this…
SEND A BITMOJI!
My personal favourites if finding myself as the Sender in this instance are as follows:
GENIUS RIGHT?! Original Recipient is hopefully now less offended/defensive than if presumptuous and clusterfucky words had been sent in text form questioning why a reply hadn’t yet been received.
And let’s face it – it doesn’t take many words at all for it to go south pretty fast depending on the potentially unknown intention, mood or environment the Sender or Recipient is in, in that very moment.
In short, Bitmoji do an EPIC job at celebrating our daily wins with us in language that is ‘trending’ – meaning language we silly humans are collectively creating and understand on a humorous and light hearted level.
Why we all need to embrace Bitmoji…
Communication in text form is rarely a good choice when handling potentially sensitive, challenging or opinionated communication (most communication carries a degree of opinion if we’re honest and that in itself carries risk!)
Once again, technology is providing a solution that takes a LOT of the heavy lifting out of the equation for us in many instances!
We should be welcoming that with open arms. ESPECIALLY if it means maintaining and – better still – building and strengthening the connections in our lives.
Silly humans. Always overcomplicating shit 🙄
(By the way, that eye-rolling thing I just ended with is an ’emoji’… not a Bitmoji – how annoying is it for the Bitmoji loyalists among us when people get the two confused?!)
Click the Bitmoji below ⬇️ to join our Communityof AWESOME individuals (97.3% of whom are Bitmoji fans) who are using our education and online business pathways to transform the quality of their lifestyles!
It’s a question I’ve been getting quite a bit since the big leap of faith from the employment world….
“How are you finding working from home…?”
Quickly followed by…
“Oh, I couldn’t do it… I don’t have the self-discipline”
At that point, some people dismiss even considering the notion that a home or online business could actually bring them a lot of freedom, flexibility and most importantly – happiness! So it’s quite sad to hear sometimes.
But this post is for people who have got as far as at least considering it being something they might want to pursue.
If you’re anything like I was, the idea of a home or online business is potentially a great concept and the dream lifestyle – the schedule and geographic flexibility, maybe being in your pjs all day not having to make to much effort with your appearance, watching that bit of TV you never used to get the chance to, working a few hours later on to make up for it.
All of which I have done at times, all of which is completely allowed – none of which am I judging anyone for who still does it! It genuinely is the beauty of working online and there’s no denying it.
No – this isn’t me. It’s a stock image. But that’s not the point… (you wouldn’t read any further if I put a photo of myself in this state)
I’ve already felt that there’s only so long that lasts before you’re possibly going feel a certain degree of lacking fulfilment if you haven’t yet found your passion. Ugh… “find your passion”… definitely something I discuss with myself on a regular basis.
Whilst there’s always ‘something to do’ when you work for yourself – especially online – if you brutally and honestly apply the 80/20 rule, you’ll probably find you could fit your money producing activities in to a few short, productive hours and give yourself some down time for exploring other things.
Granted, I haven’t quite mastered it to this extent yet, but I am absolutely loving getting a minimum of an hour or so of reading in each day. There’s something extremely satisfying about feeling personal growth and learning even the smallest of insights on a daily basis.
My preferred genre to read is still very much work related but I love learning and it genuinely fascinates me how much of the art of marketing is so relevant to other areas of our lives when done properly… split testing, human behaviour, understanding your own ‘brand’, communication skills – just to name a few – have all been applied in my personal life recently. Among these examples being ‘data dating’ – that’s a topic worthy of a post or 97 of its own… Jeez.
But back to self-discipline. Or the lack of it!
Those days where as much as you have the best intentions to get your endless to-do list ticked off, for me, the fridge, coffee machine, laundry and personal admin just have a habit of getting in the way. You’ll also spot endless little new domestic jobs that need doing. I’ve already needed to redecorate my kitchen 3times over in less than 6months. I haven’t actually done it, but I’ve stood looking at it procrastinating over it for several hours over the last few months.
Worse, I’ve found, is getting on a creative roll before you sit down to start your work for the day and have so many ideas swimming around in your head that you get sweet FA done because there’s no energy left to action any of it! AAAARRRRRGH!!!
If you don’t understand where I’m coming from here, it’s like when your computer slows right down because you’ve stored too many photos, videos and music on it. There’s no space or memory power for it to physically run because you’ve used it all up.
All this may not be a problem or challenge for you if you’re dealing with administrative tasks that require little to no creative brain cells. But when you’re trying to brain dump that genius thought for a blog post you had the other day which has all but escaped your head, you may find switching up your environment helps rejuvenate it.
We all like some degree of structure at times, I don’t care how ‘free spirited’ you consider yourself! Getting some form of morning routine nailed should definitely help give you a start – check out the last post on that here.
Once that’s done, ensuring you’re dressed and made up as early as possible is next.
**A note to the ladies… as a currently single gal, I’m as guilty as anyone on this. It’s gross after a while and a sloppy attitude undoubtedly starts creeping in to other areas of our lives if we’re not careful!
So, shave your legs, pluck your eyebrows and put on a bit of slap even if you are choosing to stay home today! I am the biggest fan of my trackies but they’re not allowed near me ’til 5pm at the earliest. It sucked for a while but I appreciate them even more now!
I am aware I’ve yet to answer the question this post is titled with…
How do we master self-discipline for the purposes of working from home?
If anything in this post so far has resonated with you, my personal take on this would be – in short – DO NOT work from home if you have the opportunity to get out!
Adele and co didn’t get to the top of the charts by leaving their ideas cooped up in their heads. And you my friend must not
My little bubble of blogging bliss… (this one is of me – or at least, my feet)
be cooped up at home all day with your ideas…the world is waiting for you to unleash them!
Trust me, you have an audience waiting if you’ll just get started with something. A quick blog post, a video, something inspiring or an opinion on ANYTHING on your preferred social media platform.
Get to a coffee shop, the library, the gym cafe or one of these funky new hot-desk concept places if you’re near a big-ish city. The world is slowly but surely, 100% catering to your every whim as a millennial wifi-lifer! You have no excuse to not find somewhere that restricts you to just you, your ideas, your laptop and a bit of people-watching.
And THIS is where you will eventually start to discover the things you are curious about and interested in that will one day manifest themselves in to your big idea. I feel like I’m creeping closer to this point so for now, I’ll keep documenting the journey until it’s proven!
Regardless, the journey itself is a lot of fun for now.
Just a suggestion that may help you get organised so you can make your way to each day’s office of choice…
EVERNOTE – this has changed my life! You’ll never need a notebook again (although I have a journal for therapeutic purposes!). Don’t be a tight arse, get the Premium version (approx £40 per year – O2 mobile network customers in the UK – check your benefits, I got my first year free). The app on your phone and accompanying desktop/laptop equivalent sync effortlessly. So when those 101 ideas pop in to your head at the most inconvenient time (the shower for me – still not ideal), grab your phone, tap in the note, and next time you’re ready to focus, continue on your laptop. I drafted the bulk of this very blog post in part on my sofa 3days ago one evening in about 10mins flat because the idea was just ‘there’.
Utilise voice memos: if you’re in a rush or can’t type fast enough to keep up with your brain dump, dictate it in to a voice memo or even a video – both of which you can open from inside an Evernote note! This way, you can pop it open when you open the draft note back on your laptop or other computer. You can even work offline and it will sync with other devices when you’re hooked up to wifi again.
I hope you’ve found some value in this – even if it’s perhaps not the answer you were hoping for. I’ll wrap up with a simple but pretty relevant quote that I’ve seen a few times lately…
Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist) added his own line to the above saying, “…and never, ever, give up”.
Those 6am Duracell gym bunnies and people who talk about getting up and meditating before the sun comes up really got on my tits.
So, about a year ago (when I was still in full time employment) I decided to secretly put these idiots’ theories to the test. Mainly so I could do my usual “yeah, well I’m different and it will never work for me” routine, and continue with my bullshit method of ‘hustling’ late at night because you have to be totally exhausted to earn your success, right?! In our community, we refer to this a ‘brule’ by the way – defined further in this post.
Fast forward a year – I now choose to get up early using an alarm clock – even though I now have the luxury of not having to. I’m a total convert to rising early for my productivity to be at its best. Even with the same number of hours sleep, my energy is nowhere near as good if the majority of those hours after midnight. I have ‘split-tested’ this in true marketing style…
In this post, I thought I’d share what’s worked for me in vastly improving my relationship with a.m hours – even before I was able to fire my alarm clock – as a boiled down version of the things I’ve learned from various books, mentors and tips I’ve picked up along the way.
If you’re currently trying to build a venture of your own around a job with the idea of getting out of it and going full time, you NEED to get your head around mastering the morning. I’ve reluctantly learned that it really does set the tone for each and every 24hours of your life – including the quality of your sleep!
If you disagree, think of a day you’ve ever genuinely overslept (your phone didn’t charge, alarm didn’t work – v annoying) and as a result, you missed something important for work or were inexcusably late. Whether you made up an elaborate lie or were totally honest about it, did that anxiety stay with you all day?! Or when you stub your toe as you get out of bed… Did you then drop your toast butter side down, miss your train or get stuck in traffic, and generally have a crap day where it felt like the entire universe was conspiring against you? Yep, been there.
I had always been much more of a ‘night owl’ for creative juices flowing – working best under pressure. Always finished my school homework assignments at 3am the morning it was due to be handed in. In my early working life, I’d always stay late at work because I got ‘on a roll’ at 4pm.
Even up until I left my last job, I’d go to bed quite late, set an alarm for an hour before I needed to get up, hit snooze a couple of times and leave myself 10minutes to get ready – usually leaving the house with wet hair and half a face of make up which I’d try finish in the loo at some point once I got to the office. Hardly relaxing.
The idea of getting up even earlier to find the time to commit to some extra tasks in my business made me twitch.
But I started to realise that burning the midnight oil really wasn’t sustainable and one night, I hit the wall at 9pm in front of my laptop. My eyes felt like someone had been rubbing them with sandpaper (I had also been crying in impatient desperation that something on my website just wasn’t ‘doing’ what I wanted it to) and I wasn’t getting anywhere trying to draft a blog. I figured it made sense to go to bed and get up early – and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy!
That’s when I started swotting up on morning rituals and routines and decided to give them a whirl. I haven’t looked back! Apart from when dealing with the occasional hangover perhaps…
Here’s what I’ve boiled it down to as a bare minimum to set up my wake-up routine – even on a busy day or when I need to be somewhere fairly early. ANYONE can do these – even if it’s a condensed 20minute version when you’re pushed for time.
1) Put your alarm clock physically out of reach AND…
and set it as loud as possible! Obvious.
2) Choose a effective ring tone that either…
a) repulses you so much you will have to get out of bed FAST!
b) motivates you – mine is currently Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys because taking my mum to New York this December is top of my bucket list!
3) Wake up your BRAIN!
It controls the rest of your body so the sooner you get this guy going, the less likely you are to unconsciously crawl back under the duvet. Try the Math Alarm app – you need to do some sums before you’re able to unlock your phone and turn it off!
These screenshots probably make me look crap at maths… I’m not – I chose ‘insane’ for a reason…!
An alternative to the above that I recently discovered is a brain training app called Lumosity. It won’t stop you unlocking your phone though so maybe get used to that first!
4) Wake up your FACE (and mouth!)
Go straight to the bathroom, splash cold water on your face and clean your teeth. If you’ve never Googled the amount of bacteria in your mouth that builds up when you sleep, do it now and you’ll soon want to make it a habit that this is one of the first things you do!
By now, you should be at least 50% conscious. You can also have a pee if you need it – I won’t suggest you hold that in.
5) Drink a large glass of water.
Hydrating your body as soon as you get up has so many benefits – plenty of other articles will tell you why but suffice to say detoxing, kickstarting your metabolism and mental alertness are 3 of the top reasons that should concern you here.
6) Get PHYSICAL!
Ok, so the Duracell gym bunnies may have been on to something here. But we’re not training for a marathon, we’re just waking up as effectively as possible. 30seconds of running with your knees up high or some jumping jacks will be more than enough to get you to realise you are now fully awake – you may even have a smile on your face once those endorphins get moving!
7) Brain dump.
No devices here (and as an aside – don’t be checking ANYTHING on any device until you complete these 7 steps), grab a pen and paper. But this is the one that has definitely had the biggest impact on my daily mindset and ability to control it.
If you’re a coffee fan, grab one to enjoy while you’re doing this bit – it’s a very civilised experience. Give yourself between 10 and 20minutes for this – the gentle pressure of a time limit means you can’t make excuses later on that you no longer have time for this and it should become habitual fairly easily.
The first thing I suggest you do is write yourself 3 headings:
Wins / Challenges
Then quickly fill in 3bullet points under each of the above headings for your previous 24hours. You may have already learned, won or been challenged by something new each morning by the time you’ve completed steps 1-6! This is also a great exercise to do before you go to bed each night – especially if you’ve had a tough day as it forces you to focus on more of the good stuff that you may easily be neglecting to acknowledge yourself for.
Beyond these 7 things, meditation, visualisation of your goals, a proper work out, motivational listening (podcasts are great – multi-task and listen to them while you exercise) and some relevant reading are all amazing additions to any morning routine. But I found it can easily mean an extra hour or more to fit all of this in properly. Which could be tough if you’re still in a full time job.
There are tons of books and methods for mastering your morning routine – my #1 recommendation being The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – you can get 2 free chapters HERE. If you’re not a big reader, at the very least get the audio version on Audible or similar.
I just wanted to share a basic process for simply getting as far as waking up and not feeling terrible that you now have to get to work! If you can fit any of these in as a progressive addition to your routine, do so – you’ll feel great.
I really do believe anyone can change their habits and come around to this because it’s scientifically proven that it’s healthier for us to do so. Hopefully, this checklist can help you take some baby steps to making these changes! One step at a time – aim for progress, not perfection.
Oh and here’s an idea for your wake up ring tone – god bless Olivia Newton-John and 80s fitness fashion…
Canva.com is a great little web based design tool that I’m always using and shouting about!
I am regularly on there to create blog post images, custom thumbnails for YouTube videos, graphics for social media profiles (eg Facebook cover photos etc) – Canva is, quite simply, AWESOME.
Branding Your Business – A Simple Guide From Canva.com
They recently put together a great resource for anyone wanting to brand (or re-brand) a business (or in my case, website/blog) with a few basics to keep in mind without having to consult with or hire an expensive expert.
Especially if you’re just looking to ‘get the job done’ in the early stages of your business or for the sake of generating some extra sales while you find your momentum in other areas.
To give you an idea, it covers (in easy to digest sections – always nice for those of us with short attention spans!):
A breakdown of design secrets big brands use to stand out and become unique in their industries
A how-to guide to creating your own style guide by picking colours, fonts and images that reflect your brand identity.
Tips on choosing typefaces, colour combinations and how to apply photo filters in your marketing materials.
Advice on how to create a style guide in Canva (which is incredibly easy to produce using their super friendly web based software) to apply across all areas of your business collateral – both online and offline.
I saved the guide for future reference and you can download it below.