Jessie Kwak: On Focus, Freelancing, and Fiction Writing

At Freedom we love our users – not just because they use our product but because they’re cool – cool people working on cool stuff. Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, best-selling authors, editors, designers, star TV actors & writers, academic researchers, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and efficient go-getters. We love to share their stories and advice, because how better to learn about productivity than from the productive?

This week’s Freedom spotlight goes to published author, freelance copywriter, and self-declared ‘farm girl’ Jessie Kwak. Jessie has worked as a  catalog copywriter, a popcorn slinger, a carpenter, a beer monger, a tractor driver, and a house manager at a regional theater, and decided that she liked writing best. She received her BA in literature and minor in theater from Seattle Pacific University and is now fulfilling her passions of writing and travel as a freelancer.

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Matt Sandrini: How to set your daily priorities

Every day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a never-ending todo list.

Usually, we react by adding more tasks at the bottom, just in case we finish early.
As the day progresses, you then realise you have been doing a lot, but haven’t got much done. You have worked for hours, but haven’t yet had the time to touch any real work. It can feel like a constant game of catching up.

It’s no surprise that 41% of tasks set are never done.

Some people react to this overwhelming amount of work by extending their work day into the late evening, taking time away from tomorrow and tomorrow’s performance. It’s the equivalent of using a credit card for time: you’ll have to pay it off, with interests.

But what is actually holding you back from doing great work…in less time?

 

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The Art of Procrastination


I’m the king of procrastination. Seriously, I’m the worst. I somehow manage to spend 100x more energy not doing something than a fraction of the same energy simply doing said thing. It makes no sense, but I have an incredible knack for talking myself out of getting moving on a project. If this sounds like you, I assure you, we’re a lot alike. For me, it’s starting that’s the hard part and unfortunately, what I’ve found is that there’s no trick for getting going. The reality is, you have to just dive in. Prolific advice, right? (I’m pretty much the Shia Labeouf of doing important shit.) Just do it. Really though, I think what’s important here is reminding myself that often times the work I push off isn’t actually that hard. While there’s no magic pill for getting into a project, I have found a couple tricks that help get over the hurdle and allow me to settle in on work that I’m less than enthused about.

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Our Favorite Tools for Writers

Writers Tools

Long gone are the days when being a writer only involved some paper and a pen.  Being a writer isn’t easy, but the process of writing can be – with the right tools. Now more than ever, writers have a wide range of tools at their disposal to help them write, edit, plan, focus, collaborate, and publish whenever and wherever. Whether you’re a writer, author, blogger, researcher, freelancer, or all the above, the right tools can make all the difference in honing your craft and producing your best writing.

Here are a few of our favorite tools for writers:

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Adam Alter: Irresistible Technology

Adam Alter Irresistible Technology.jpgMeet Adam Alter. Alter is a psychology and marketing professor at the University of New York and a New York Times best-selling author. His academic research focuses on judgment and decision-making, as well as social psychology – with a focus on how subtle cues in our environment shape our behaviors and thinking. His most recent work, Irresistible (2017), examines the troubling modern phenomena of behavioral addictions, especially in regard to many of our digital technologies, such as Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, Fitbit, and email.

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Alex Soojung-Kim Pang: Digital Distraction and Rest

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Leisure and sleep need as much protection from digital devices as our ability to focus

We usually think of our digital devices and lives distracting us from work, or capturing our attention when we should be concentrating on other things. For critics of digital culture, constantly checking social media at work, or texting while driving, are go-to examples of how technology takes over our lives.

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It’s Time for a Mid-Week Productivity Boost

 

At Freedom we are lucky to have many of our users write about their experience. From tweets to published articles – the Freedom community is buzzing with productivity strategy, advice, and experiments for a more focused, fulfilled life.

This week’s articles focus on tackling major productivity pain points – including procrastination, focus, digital addictions, and sluggish mornings.
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7 Ways to Use Freedom to Do the Things That Matter Most

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Freedom was created by our CEO Fred Stutzman in order to help him avoid distractions and be more productive while writing his PhD. However, since releasing the new Freedom platform, our diverse and talented Freedom community has found many ways to use Freedom other than just to improve their productivity at work.

Instead of us coming up with ways to use Freedom, we figured we’d step aside and let our users share the many ways that they are using Freedom to live happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives.

PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK

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Cal Newport: On Value and Digital Minimalism

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The Complexities of Simple

The core idea of digital minimalism is to be more intentional about technology in your life. Digital minimalists carefully curate these technologies to best support things they value.

The idea sounds simple when presented at the high-level, but in practice it dissolves into complexities. One such complexity, which I want to explore here, is the notion of “value.”

Revaluing Value

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Fiction Writer Deborah Willis on Becoming a Writer, Distractions, and Retraining Her Brain

debbiehigh_res002.jpgAt Freedom we love our users – not just because they use our product but because they’re cool – cool people working on cool stuff. Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, best-selling authors, editors, designers, star TV actors & writers, academic researchers, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and efficient go-getters. We love to share their stories and advice, because how better to learn about productivity than from the productive?

This week’s Freedom spotlight goes to award-winning fiction writer Deborah Willis.  Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, Willis’ stories have received various awards and have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Virginia Quarterly, Lucky Peach, and Zoetrope. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, was called one of the best books of 2010 by NPR and praised by Alice Munro for its “range and depth…clarity and deftness.” Her latest collection of fiction, The Dark and Other Love Stories is set to release today, so be sure to check out her website at deborahwillis.ca to learn more!

How did you reach this point in your professional life? What led you to do what you do today?

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