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  • Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work

    You would be right if you were thinking I leapt into the 12 Week Year with HUGE success goals, money goals and I-need-a-new-iPad-Pro goals.


    I ended up with less money than I started, but I carved a solid path out as a freelance writer and know what I need to do daily.

    Time spent on courses in Fizzle, Creative Class, Collaboration Superpowers and Rainmaker deeply helped define this.


    Where To Start?


    Have you ever thought about something so much that when the time comes you are paralysed?

    It’s called decision fatigue and I think it’s happening right now so I will write like this.

    If you have ever been a bit worried, anxious or depressed you will know that deciding between tea and coffee can knock you out for the day, seriously!

    While I was engaged being depressed a couple of years ago I wouldn’t wash up for three days because I couldn’t decide where to begin, of course, the pile of washing up only added to the torture of being on my own at home, #Supercoolwife and #Babybernie sought sanctuary at friend’s house for a few days because I was like a Dementor from Harry Potter, actually, I am sure they are more chirpy than a depressed Bernie.


    This sounds a bit of a ramble Mitchell….


    Ah, sorry.

    You will have noticed it’s November and Christmas is coming fast.

    Given the chance, we like to flee to Poland or Argentina at this time of year.

    I hate Christmas in the UK I hate Christmas full stop. But this year my mood is stable, I am almost uncomfortable with how ‘un-pissed-off’ I am at this moment in time.


    Mitchell, the title of this post had Simon Sinek in, I don’t see much Simon….


    Ok mood vs focus is where I am going with this.

    You will have heard our tribe ranting about Deep Work and 12 Week Year (s) and this is where we have ended up.

    We sit down and focus support each other as we do, most of this year I have spent doing a daily meeting with Emily, Phil or Nils to keep going and this week started a Working Out Loud group here @WorkHubs so all get to follow a 12 step program, sorry 12-week programs.


    I had to stop some things to make room for all the other good bits. 


    Being a victim

    Like a monk I read 12 Week Year daily, one of the lines is ‘stop being the victim’ as you can imagine this isn’t the first time I have heard this.

    I am ashamed at how much of my life is other people’s fault, particularly Kenneth Baker who was the Secretary of Education in the UK when I was a child, my Grandmother for not letting me watch Rent-a-ghost because she thought the guy with the beard was Kenny Everett. Both these people affect my ability to function 30 years later, even if they were here now I wouldn’t let them apologise.

    So no more victim. Ever.


    Yes, Yes I gave up podcasts, and inserted courses.

    I have to learn a few skills at a deep level. I listened to podcasts by people I know personally because I enjoyed them, not because they were helping me hone a skill.

    I couldn’t decide what to listen to so I cut them all out, yes even yours.

    My Phone – this is the Simon Sinek bit…

    Bernie, you gave up your phone?

    No, I have gone cold turkey on pressing the buttons on it every 10 minutes. I took off ALL the social media apps, restricted email and now use it to track my progress and listen to books.

    In Simon Sinek’s RSA talk from last week and the presentation talk that you can watch below, there’s a theme of connectedness and dropping your phone, this theme is also strong in both the ‘Deep Work‘ and ‘12 Week Year‘ books.


    What Is Easier Than Quitting Your Phone?


    I found it easier quitting smoking, drinking and cocaine than I have leaving my phone alone. You would ask me a question and I’d look in my phone instead of thinking or asking you a clarification question.

    #Babybernie would look out the window on the bus and I’d check my phone or type something in – that I’d never look at again.

    I leave it off most of the day now, a small amount of people who would need to call me know how to get to me or an SMS comes to my computer, I am actually a bit dejected at how unessential I am.

    Result? I am doing less work, in less time and it’s much better.

    This week is 12 Week Year number two AND we have a Working Out Loud group in our coworking space, and I am looking forward to my new found career.

    So that is the link between Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work – but you knew that.


      This Weeks Links  
    To Work Better, Work Less


    To Work Better, Work Less


    Between 1853 and 1870, Baron Haussmann ordered much of Paris to be destroyed. Slums were razed and converted to bourgeois neighbourhoods, and the formerly labyrinthine city became a place of order, full of wide boulevards (think Saint-Germain) and angular avenues (the Champs-Élysées). 


    Poor Parisians tried to put up a fight but were eventually forced to flee, their homes knocked down with minimal notice and little or no recompense. The city underwent a full transformation—from working-class and medieval to bourgeois and modern—in less than two decades’ time. Read The Full Article Here  
    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Together is Better with Simon Sinek. Best-selling author and TED talk sensation Simon Sinek is fascinated by the people that make the greatest impact in their organisations, and in the… Watch The Talk Here  
    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92 -...

    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92

    In this episode, a VERY excited Chris (founder of Publicate) shares how people are using the new Trello / Publicate Power Up.


    How to use Trello, Publicate and Mailchimp in the same workflow to make resource hubs and plan content.  Find Out Here
    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in

    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in “deep work”

    Our weekly Write Club ‘Deep Work’ is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write and gain the inspiration from being around other writers.


    Join authors, students, comedians, Doctors, freelancers, developers, musicians and people like you for a deep session on writing. RSVP Here    
    created in Publicate


  • The End Of My First 12 Week Year

    On Tuesday we start our Working Out Loud (WOL) group at our coworking space, it’s also the end of my first 12 Week Year.

    Oddly, I feel an imposter when I write about “productivity” part of me wants to tell you ‘I did the 12 Week Year now have a million dollar start-up and run a marathon daily.’

    Those of you who run marathons or become parents know things don’t happen in the flick of a switch, so I don’t know why I think you might expect me to turn life around in 12 Weeks.

    It’s tempting to joke my goal for the WOL is to stop dicking around.

    Becoming a Dad in 2011 and being depressed made me stop dicking around.

    The horror of not being able to get off the couch and feeling suicidal followed by the gift of wanting to wash up and meet other human beings showed revealed to me the difference between depression, learned helplessness and being a spoilt brat

    I Blame The Parents

    Turns out I have more spoilt brat than I’d like, not Veruca Salt type spoilt – more of an inner subconscious compass with a warped take on responsibility.

    I was tempted to blame my parents, after all, they brought me up.

    My Dad wasn’t Nelson Mandela, George Orwell or David Bowie those guys were off doing other work.

    My Dad worked with what he had, right where he was and he certainly wasn’t out to fuck me up or create a spoilt brat.

    My Mother, died before she was scheduled to, I miss her but her timing was inconvenient for me emotionally.

    Stopping blaming my parents – easy.

    Admitting I was blaming them – hard.

    I can’t even tell you what they did wrong.

    I know other people blame their parents, but this isn’t something I’d stoop to doing.

    12 Week Grit

    As I beat depression over the last two years I realised we don’t wake up one day and immediately become free from debt and depression.  

    In the last 12 weeks I have developed a level of grit and determination I’ve craved all my life. Building a tiny little bit daily is where the real pay-off is happening.

    Ten years ago my friend Mike would joke about how I’d jump between extremes in my life.  

    I’d start the month as a T-total juicing marathon runner and end it eating fish and chips while hoovering up a lethal cocktail of class A drugs at a music festival, the weeks in the middle were a void.

    I am interested in a better use of the time I have now. I guess I attempted to speed up space and time and instead discover slowing down and being myself is a better way to live.

    Make Permission 

    At the peak of my break down my mate Daniel would feed me Argentine food and encourage me to ‘give myself permission to relax’.

    At the time being married, being a parent and having a mortgage seemed less of a commitment than ‘giving myself permission to relax’.

    The horror lay in stopping to look around, even more fucking scary was working it all out  a way forward. These days I rage about coworking and food because these two things combined made the solid foundation to getting my life back.

    You Don’t Have To

    Just to be clear, you don’t have to eat avocados and coworking space to prevent a shit life, this is what worked for me.

    My faith in the next 12 weeks is high, I mean my faith, not my expectation is high.

    I have faith I’ll be in an even better place on 26th January 2017 when the next 12 weeks ends, even with all the changes that will happen on the way.  

    Next Sunday I’ll share a few simple things that worked for me on this first 12 week journey, below are a few things I have been using.

    1. This Worked The Best

    My Miracle Morning


    My Miracle Morning
    I have been working on this 'Miracle Morning' thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday's waitress called Polly Anna, but it works.

    2. This Also Worked Best

    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine


    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine
    This app  is SUPER simple to build daily routine & reminders for goals & resolutions. You can see how you are doing and be honest with yourself about what is really working and where you are kidding yourself.  Beware come near me and I'll MAKE you download it 😉

    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks


    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks
    You will NOT pick this up, read it and have everything work.
    I read A LOT and chose to commit to this book with blind faith, so watch out for my evangelical tone on this.
    I have to stress that it is not the first 'system' I have ever encountered, also I am sure that everything else I have learnt makes this work for me.
    It is worth pointing out that there is no cult to join, $100k cruise to go on or other wanky upsell's to endure for following this books program.

    4. I Liked This. Not Everyone Did.

    The Full-Time Job Is Dead


    The Full-Time Job Is Dead
    The full-time job, used to it as we are, is not some natural state of human existence.
    Before the 1800s, few people worked a structured “work week.” That conceit was dreamed up by early industrialists, who needed to bring workers together in a factory at the same time to efficiently make products. For the past 100 years, the 40-hour job has been the centerpiece of work life because there was no better way for people to gather in one place at the same time to connect, collaborate and produce.

    5. Work Alone. Together.

    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"


    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"
    When Philip from @WorkHubs put this on Meet Up the whole dynamic changed, every week a mixed group of people who need to write something come together for a couple of hours and write.
    I have 'grown up' about making time to write at every session I have taken part in.
    "Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write without being distracted."

    created in Publicate

  • My Miracle Morning

    I have been working on this ‘Miracle Morning‘ thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday’s waitress called Polly Anna but it works. 

    Every day I wake up between 5am and 6am, more often 5am and before anything can happen I start listening to an audio version of 12 Week Year, then from there I leap into the kitchen and down a pint of cold water.

    After that, I make a Yerba mate (Argentine tea), pop my vitamins and medication then chill for a few minutes looking out the window sipping mate and listening to the book.

    This first part takes about 15 minutes. Next up is 50 points on the Spanish App Duolingo and then 3 games on Elevate iOS

    I make a decaf bulletproof coffee and I sit and meditate for 20 mins, move onto 750 words, shower, get dressed and off we go. (Yes Decaf!)

    Then I write 750 Words – at the time of posting this I have written over 750,000 words – and I am one of the slow ones!

    All this has to happen before I leave the house.

    Best Way To Start The Day

    Life does go on if I don’t do this but everything works better when these ‘line items’ are delivered.

    The whole process wakes me up properly, of which sitting still for 20 minutes is even more amazing than you think.

    The most important emotion from the whole thing is the sense of achievement that I get before I have even left the house.

    When I am sleep walking into the tube later in the day, feeling tired and defeated my mind goes back to my morning and I recall that I have already had a Spanish lesson, meditated, practised some maths, grammar and whatever else the elevated app throws up that day AND written 750 words which help me sort my head out.

    Another 750 Words?

    Ah – the 750 words! This could be the secret to the whole thing.

    Some days I just write and hope something will happen and other days I can sit down and make a whole blog on one go.

    This sounds like a piece of piss but please hear me out brothers and sisters.

    It is totally possible to write a blog every day but where it gets super tricky is knowing what you are going to write and one of the key tips in Rachel’s book 2k to 10k is to know what you are going to write.

    Sounds super obvious when you think about it, yet, I would even be able to tell you what I am going to write and then when I sit down to begin, I am stumped.

    How To Write Even More Every Day

    I’ll give you a real time example.

    I have this groundbreaking blog series coming on being a freelancer, I am sure it is the world first. After I hit publish it will be so popular my family will have to go into hiding and I’ll make Elizabeth Gilbert and J.K. Rowling look like Reader’s Digest guest bloggers.

    It is all there and it is all done apart from the writing.

    So to cut to the chase when I followed Rachel’s very short and simple framework the whole thing came together in a morning.

    I had to use some special software, once you have this you’ll be fine.

    Software required: paper and pencil.

     The time required: 4 – 5 minutes.

    I already have the idea so spending a few minutes scribbling on a bit of paper the order it will work out in cut my writing time in half.

    At this point I am tempted to say ‘whatever works for you’ – in my opinion, this is a magnolia and beige disclaimer made by authors and trainers – try a few things with deliberate intent and see how they work or probably don’t work out.

    I learnt this best from food, I stopped eating bread, sugar, meat and dairy and nearly died, it was easier to give up smoking, drink and cocaine than it was to quit these three things.

    One of my favourite breakfasts was a toasted cinnamon bagel with butter, ham and cheese in.

    It was immediately satisfying and then later in the day I wanted to sleep,

    later? I mean 15 minutes later.

    I Am Bored Of Dyslexia And Depression

    Being dyslexic and dealing with depression, everything can be hard. I got to the point in the last couple of  years where I was so fucking bored of everything being the same. 

    Everything that happened seemed to point back to the depression, dyslexia, being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, etc. Everything I did would hurt me, wound me, upset me and just generally cause a disaster.

    Now the morning routine has me awake and kicking for longer and I don’t have brain fog and going back to the writing bit, forcing myself to think in a new way was the huge breakthrough.

    I hope that my morning routine will inspire you to begin your own.

    Taking the time in the morning to truly focus on what is important has helped guide and drive me and can do the same for you.

    I believe in God and the internet is my religion 😉

    End of Lecture 😉 

    What works for you? 

  • “It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times”

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness."
    As you can imagine it took me ages to come up with that beginning.
    There are two things to share with you this week and one of them is an ask.
    Thing One - crowdfunding
    Diego, my "hunk of a brother-in-law" has a side project called
    Here he reports and promotes women's rugby in Spain, it is the number ONE women's rugby site in the Spanish language.
    Diego had his HUGE sports lens stolen from him as he reported on a women's rugby in Madrid, Spain.
    The lens is kinda essential for the project and this is not a paid job, it's a passion project.
    Enter #Supercoolwife (his sister and my wife) who instigated a $1500 crowdfunding campaign to buy a replacement lens. 
    We are 70% of the way there! If it works for you please chip in! I'd mega appreciate it.
    Thing Two. 12 Week Year blues.
    Last week was a living in my head hell in my 12 Week Year mission. This is a deep share rather than a moan.
    As I continue to track what I do it turns out that I am doing less of what I thought I was doing.
    It is £u<king scary how time has shot by in the last nine weeks, the time where I thought I was razor sharp focused on important work goals and, er I was not.
    What depressed me is realising how much time I must have just spunked up the wall over the years.
    It's not all bad
    Feeling sorry for myself is sure way back to depression and I'm not going there again.
    But yet, my habit and comfort zone is to assign fragments of my past mistakes to what is happening right now.
    Of course, this is dumb and energy zapping, so why would I do it?
    Because I have dedicated years of building up this skill and to let all that go would be admitting I was wrong and making a change.
    I am making it, even more kicking and screaming that I am letting out here. It is huge for me to realise this and pluck up the balls to smack feeling sorry myself in the mouth and step into the next stage of life.
    This last year has been exiting depression, straddling the gap between proper depression and feeling sorry for myself and is now in an energising JFDI mode which is painful in spurts, in the way I imagine a good game of rugby to be.
    Hit reply and let me know what you're working on this week! 
    Thanks for reading and have a remarkable week! 
    Love Bernie

    Una lente para Diego! A lens for Diego!
    Una lente para Diego! A lens for Diego!

    2. Un£@ck The World

    The Only Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics Showed Us How To Solve The Climate Crisis
    The Only Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics Showed Us How To Solve The Climate Crisis
    We’re now certain that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. However, rather than reduce green house gas emissions – something that has to happen quite urgently in order to avoid crashing through the safety barrier of 2℃ warming – we continue to pump more into the atmosphere.
    Thus far, the collective international response to climate change has been similar to a frog passively sitting in heated pan of water. We are in danger of being cooked alive from inaction.

    3. How To Serve Your Customer

    What Happened When We Cut Back on Refunds
    What Happened When We Cut Back on Refunds
    In Buffer’s history we’ve tried many different experiments that have soared – or flopped.
    Some with our culture. Some with our management structure (or lack thereof!). Some with launching products.
    If a belief or philosophy hasn’t been examined recently, we like to take a closer look and perhaps try something new. We feel that one of our biggest responsibilities as a transparent company is to share the story of these experiments – what went well, and what went wrong.

    4. Education

    A boy told his teacher she can&apos;t understand him because she is white. Her response is on point.&nbsp;
    A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she is white. Her response is on point.
    Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.
    As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

    5. Write Club

    Write Club &quot;Deep Work&quot; @Work Hubs Ever Thursday
    Write Club "Deep Work" @Work Hubs Ever Thursday
    Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write and gain the inspiration from being around other writers. The group meets every Thursday, writes together and then shoots round to Drummond Street for Lunch!

    created in Publicate

  • Bernie’s Newswire – How My Son Scared Me This Week

    12 Week Agony = Good Agony 
    Sometimes I feel like I am complaining about breaking a fingernail when I write like this.
    When you run or do something physical people can see your agony and see you getting there and you have something to show.
    People in my orbit like Simon, Judy and Chris who run and push themselves will know what I mean when I say agony, it's a good agony.
    It is the pushing through and ignoring the screaming pleas of learned helplessness that are so alluring when we feel a little down or are trying something new.
    In Your Head. Zombie
    Dealing with your head is not something people can see.
    I don't look any different to how I was 8 weeks ago and sometimes I am not sure I have made any progress.
    Ok, there are more podcasts, blogs and email newsletters and I am tracking my miserable life in an app called Exist and with a trello plugin called Burndown so actually I do know I am getting somewhere, even if I don't want to.
    You mentioned about your son...
    Ah! Sorry.
    Yesterday we had a Mexican Stand Off over homework, five words to be read and put into the right sentence turned into a three-hour epic.
    I am not here to write an entertaining story at #Babybernie's expense, more to highlight the stages of avoidance, joking, frustration, anger, denial, self-delusion that happened in the three hours, that ended in him choosing to sit down on #Supercoolwife's lap and doing the whole thing in ten minutes.
    This three hours felt like my 12 weeks, many days I am kicking, screaming, stopping and starting.
    This is exhausting, dripping with negative energy and frustration.
    Daily Practice
    The days when I dive in before my head has a chance to question anything are the days when I produce something meaningful.
    It goes like this: fifteen minutes reading, ten minutes of Spanish app and elevate app followed by 20 minutes meditation and then writing in 750 Words.
    It is worth noting this all works like a charm when done early in the morning and before I leave home.  Try and do this whole routine later and it takes three hours of kicking and screaming.
    I knew #Babybernie was frustrated yesterday, even if he did articulate  it in a colourful way.
    As #Supercoolwife and I tag teamed the homework journey I was scared, but not surprised.
    Not Suprised. I know I do it.
    He looked desperate and painful, he would not let us help him.
    I was Scared because I still do this.
    The Allure Of Stuck
    The amount of bloody energy it takes to avoid doing something is huge compared with the positive charge of doing it.
    Yet the pull and allure of staying stuck appear much more rewarding, this is the little area here is where the reward and agony are in my 12 week year commitment.
    Sticking to the daily practice with a little every day is building the most solid foundation I have ever had.
    Before I would have saved all this up to blow in one drama, now I am caring for it and accepting help on the way.
    How is your week?
    What are you working on? 
    Come and check out Write Club - bottom of the page! 
    How To Become A Freelance Writer
    How To Become A Freelance Writer
    Working as a freelance writer has attractive benefits, including flexible working hours, location independence, and the ability to build a business doing something you love. Learn how to become a freelance writer in this guide featuring insights from 25 experts.

    There's An App For That

    Exist - Track it all in one place. Understand your life.
    Exist - Track it all in one place. Understand your life.
    We turn numbers into insights. We collect data from the services you already use and find trends and correlations in the results. Start by connecting your fitness tracker, and add other services like your calendar for greater context on what you're up to.

    Agile Families

    The Sage Strategies Of Agile Families - Trello Blog
    The Sage Strategies Of Agile Families - Trello Blog
    There is a growing movement of parents implementing agile strategies at home. From weekly standups to logistical coordination, there are lots of ways to adapt agile ideas into your home. Aside from the tangible solutions to scheduling, agile practices also help to instill a core set of values in children at surprisingly early ages. We asked a few agile families to share their experiences:

    You'll Love This Podcast

    Repeat Trello Cards With Brian From Trello
    Repeat Trello Cards With Brian From Trello
    Alongside 'offline syncing' 'Repeat tasks' is the next requested feature.
    In the latest round of Power Ups by Trello we got what we wanted!
    In our latest catch up with Brian, the Product Marketing lead at Trello, we go through a step by step how

    Write Club &quot;Deep Work&quot;
    Write Club "Deep Work"
    I noticed in our tribe and coworking space that people were always saying 'I must sort my website out' and 'I never get time'.
    So a group of us with 'wounded websites' and 'no time' started sitting down together each week for two hours and suddenly BANG!
    We were posting content and felt instant karma.
    You can come and say hi every Thursday from 09:30am - 11:30am, there is coffee and power and taking part is the reward.
    Give me a shout if you have a question!
    There is no charge but it really helps if you RSVP below. 
    created in Publicate

  • How To Use Trello And 750

    Wow, do I feel dumb.
    For the last three years, I have been obediently logging into 750 Words every day to dump my head in there.
    It has changed the way I deal with life, sparked ideas and significantly increased the speed I write at.
    Best of all it has rewarded me with the type of happy discipline I craved all my life.

    So why do you feel dumb?
    I have spent more time than I am prepared to share here copying and pasting text into other apps and lists.
    750 words is a place I make the most connections between people, projects and ideas.
    I am sure I have spent HOURS dicking around with plugins to move words from one place to another.

    So What Happened
    Today without thinking I wrote some stuff and then pressed the Trello Google chrome browser extension and dropped an idea from 750 Words into the right Trello board.
    Why have I not done that before?
    I stood in our kitchen and gazed out at the rising sun while I scraped around the inside of my brain to see if I could find an answer as to why I’d been missing this obvious trick in my daily practice.


    Trello And

    The Action Step
    So I nipped over to Trello and made a 750 words column in my main Trello board.
    As I carried on writing I added cards to this column that I could sort out later.

    How does that help Bernie?
    I was long ago scarred by this Buffer Blog on ‘Decision Fatigue’, the gist is we only a certain amount of energy to devote to make decisions every day.
    By dicking around every day on where I am going to save the items I want to take action on I am draining that well of energy.

    You sound a little bit too excited about this Bernie

    Hands Up! I am over the moon about this. I have just started week seven of my “12 Week Year”, to which I have committed deeply.
    Now it has got this far and I am killing it, and being killed I am ok with writing a bit more about it.
    By paying attention every day to my routine I have started to notice the gaps in it.

    The is my reward of doing the dumb thing of reading the same book every day for 12 weeks……

  • The Big Avocado In The Room

    Most interestingly this week has been one day of euphoria followed by one day of devastation.

    I am putting this rollercoaster week down to my ongoing battle with the old comfortable Bernie, the Bernie that secretly blamed every atom in the world for the crap he has to deal with.
    The Get Down
    I was sick on Tuesday and a big part of it was because of something I ate.
    At the risk of sounding ‘Woo Woo’ I am also sure the other 90% was to do with moany, entitled, miserable, stuck and scared inner Bernie being ejected.
    I was cured in a spiritual awakening that happened on my sofa with four avocados and the whole first season of ‘The Get Down’ on Netflix..
    Wrong Side Of 40
    When I looked back on the week I’d got further than the last week even with one day out. So I am certainly moving faster each week, even with all my drama, as each week of my 12 Week Year flys by.
    Of course, this killer insight comes from hoovering up Deep Work and the 12 Week Year.
    Trying to change is a really messy, uncomfortable process for a big kid like me on the wrong side of 40.
    The Big Avocado In The Room
    On Wednesday when I was back up to speed, Phil and I were in the park by @Work Hubs talking about our next actions and chatting about our own work.
    The big avocado in the room was how we sidestep ‘success’ (yes we hate the word too but stick with me).
    “Suddenly” we are 35 podcasts in on the @Work Hubs project and actually learn from the mistakes we make.
    Even the mistakes that seem like good ideas are actually roads that don’t need to be travelled at this time.
    Doing the small, monotonous things every day is what builds the kingdom, not another new idea.
    My Two Other Kicking And Screaming Moves This Week
    1. Nil’s and I nailed the launch of our trello course for next Tuesday.
    I’ll include an offer to this for you in next week’s news, don’t worry I won’t be including a 9-page sales letter – just a link!
    2.  Adding my profile on UpWork the online platform for Freelancers.
    As shit as it sounds, I was delighted to have found the confidence to set up shop here instead of waiting to be ready.
    This week’s articles and apps.
    There is a lot of ‘space’ in these articles, I’d bring your attention to the digital vacation by Pilar and Lisette, two people whose energy I love!
    A huge leap in creativity and action for me has been cutting down device time, screen time, hence my enthusiasm for this podcast, and Listte’s blog.
    Thank you for reading and have a remarkable week!

    Love Bernie
    p.s. Come and join us for breakfast on Tuesday! See below. 

    1. Work

    Gig Economy - When Your Boss Is An Algorithm
    There are no good estimates on the global scale of the gig economy but in the US there are about 800,000 people earning money this way — via online intermediaries such as TaskRabbit, Lyft, Uber and Deliveroo — without being anyone’s employee. The term “algorithmic management” was coined last year by academics at the Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and it is this innovation, they argue, that makes the gig economy possible.

    2. Workflow

    25 Favorite Workflow Tips
    We’ve all felt that feeling where, at the end of the day, you wish you felt better about the stuff you accomplished. (Unless you’re perfect, of course.)

    This podcast is the type of thing I LOVE about the Fizzle site – it is spoon-feeding me the stuff I know but I allow it to swim around in my head and worry about. Even if you think you are GREAT (like me) you’d do well to give this a little listen 😉 

    3. Major Tom

    Sit Next To Bernie ?!@&pound;
    Would you like to join Euston Street’s NUMBER ONE freelancer community? 

    We have six desks available here @Work Hubs – we’d LOVE you to pop in and see how it works for you. Ideally, you’ll be a Freelancer, independent worker, remote worker and be looking for a place to get good work done with a supportive community. 
    @Work Hubs Coworking Space is located just 30 secs from Euston Station & Euston Square Underground 105a Euston Street London NW1 2EW

    4. More Space 

    Digital Detox - Virtual, not Distant
    Pilar and Lisette catch up after almost a month of not podcasting together!

    Lisette tells us about her honeymoon (not a virtual one!) and her book developments.
    Pilar talks about.. podcasting. 
    Lisette went on a digital vacation. (Read Lisette’s below about vaction)
    Professional and personal life are led through the same devices.
    Finding a sense of balance between on and off screen time.
    The need and addiction of being connected to others. FOMO.
    (Tell us if you take these digital vacations or digital detox!)

    5. Come and Play

    Tuesday 08:30am @Work Hubs Euston
    Every two weeks at my Coworking space by Euston station they hold a BYOB – bring your own breakfast.

    Show up with some food to share and throw in in the middle of the table and meet some other good people.
    Bake a cake, buy something from Tesco, bring vegan pancakes, get a bacon sandwich from the cafe next door. 
    Entry is free but you need to bring food and good conversation. 

  • Lacerate Your Brain With Deep Work

    Bernie News

    First thank you for the feedback on this weekly newsletter, as much as I hate email I secretly look forward to hearing what you are up to that you want to share it. #Blush
    I urge you to hit leave a comment and let me know what your goals are and working on this week, it influences the content of this newsletter and also what Nil's and I blog about on, see the article below on time tracking.
    My 12 Week Year / Deep Work Experiment - Week Three
    Quite frankly this is fucking painful and I am really glad I did not give up therapy when I felt I'd got over depression.
    I urge you to laugh out loud at that line, I find it funny and painful at the same time.
    Week Three
    Week three had some really agonising points (which I blogged about here) and being able to recognise this as 'productive tension' rather than I 'I hate myself, I am a total C*^T, I'd be better off dead' was a huge lifetime breakthrough for me.
    Most days last week I had at least a few minutes of 'horror and despair' as I got to a point in the day when I had not hit publish, ran out of money, forgot to write something down, watched another day go by and had not sent a podcast invite.
    Then I went back to my tracking board called which plugs into Rescue Time and I even started using Todoist as this plugs directly in Exist (don't worry kids I am still using it with Trello via IFTTT) - there is a blog coming next week on this!
    I'm Sorry
    So another thing snapped in me, how to pace things out?
    What do I do now, next, tomorrow?
    I feel like a naive child saying this out loud, surely by this stage in life I should know what to do?
    Sorry. I don't, in fact, bollox I don't even know why I am apologising.
    What to do next?
    Nil's and I are always talking about what to do next, and it was a smack in the face not to hit launch day for our Trello course (my fault, not his - he is the academic one).
    I thought I knew what to do next, we used the 'launch a product in 30 days plan from Fizzle' and Nil's had written an ebook called 'What to do next' - how could we fail?
    Are we there yet? 
    So it kind of dawned on me that I was skimming a lot of stuff, I could repeat it but I was not really injecting it into my bone marrow and, even better my lizard brain.
    Also, this is part of a journey, a key point in it was last year when Emily and I started our daily stand-ups using Trello after she became a Scrum Master, in this post here Emily shares her outline on how we work.
    You can't teach a kid to rid a bike at a seminar
    Like my mate Dave used to say, 'You can't teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar' you have to go up and down the street until they get their balance and their confidence, the only way they will get there is through learn and do, learn and do, learn and do.
    I am starting to get my balance.
    It's Ok. We're nearly there
    So not I feel less of a dick. Being able to drill into where things are not working, is becoming a superpower.
    It is painful - not in a depressing way or 'I am so stupid way' - it is painful that I slip into auto pilot so much, and sometimes even see myself doing it and still carry on.
    This week's articles
    These articles below will give you a decent insight into what is really helping me on the way through my first 12 weeks, scroll to the bottom and come and join me for Write Club @Work Hubs next Thursday - I bet you have to write something next week! (I do).
    Have A GREAT GREAT week and let me know what you are working on! 
    Peace, unity and Love Bernie 😉
    p.s. We have some coworking desks @Work Hubs in Euston - give me  a shout! - I can get you an 'in' with Phil. 

    The Fastest Route To Big Change?

    Ask BIG, Uncomfortable Questions


    Ask BIG, Uncomfortable Questions
    The YNAB team recently read a great book (because I made them, because I thought it was so phenomenal) called Deep Work by Cal Newport.
    The premise of the book is that Deep Work is meaningful, hard-focused, heady, difficult stuff that takes time and attention, but produces wildly different results than its seductive counterpart, Shallow Work.
    Deep Work means you tackle big, tough issues and give them your all. You focus and eliminate distractions for long periods of time.
    My Book This Week Is... (Still)
    I'm reading the 12 Week Year - Again!&nbsp;


    I'm reading the 12 Week Year - Again! 
    This book really struck a note with me, instead of year planning you plan for 12 weeks and every week is worth a month, which means every day is worth a week.
    Reading Deep Work last week had me go back to this, so far I am FLYING. I will keep you posted of progress and set backs, something has really really clicked in me which makes me put this on my "lovesick fanboy" list.
    If you have read this give me a shout! I'd love to compare notes.
    There is an app for that
    Time tracking in Trello using Toggl


    Time tracking in Trello using Toggl
    Time tracking used to mean complicated spreadsheets and boring time-sheets that you were forced to fill in every Friday afternoon. In recent years this industry has seen a massive online resurgence. The time tracking app Toggl consistently ranks as one of the most popular tools and we decided to take a deeper look at how it integrates with Trello.
    Terrible Advice
    The Invisible Problem Wrecking Your Productivity


    The Invisible Problem Wrecking Your Productivity
    In all of the myriad articles and advice on productivity, there is one evil lurking in our activities, one activity that when mastered, opens the door to potential productivity paradise. When it comes down to it, distractions (or lack thereof) are the real crux of working better. They’re a big culprit behind one of the worst productivity destroyers of the work day: context switching.
    Collaboration and Society
    Reinventing Bookkeeping &amp; Accounting&nbsp;(In Search of Certainty)


    Reinventing Bookkeeping & Accounting 
    (In Search of Certainty)
    Double-entry bookkeeping was deployed in its modern form in the 1300s. While minor innovations have occurred since then, the fundamental atomic unit of tracking and managing value–our accounting system–is still based on this 700-year-old invention. With today’s computers, networks, and cryptography, we now have the opportunity to create a system of accounting that brings us into the 21st century–a system that looks beyond numbers in ledgers and utilizes machine learning, multiparty computation, and algorithmic representation to redefine “value.” So what’s holding us back?
    &quot;Write Club&quot; VERY focused writing Session&nbsp;


    "Write Club" VERY focused writing Session 
    10am - 12pm by Euston Station London
    Bring your laptop or typewriter - chat about what you are writing today and enjoy a quiet and focused writing time with free Tea and gorgeous coffee.
    We usually run around the corner to Ravi's the AMAZING vegetarian Indian restaurant after.
    There is no charge but you must book below

  • Rescue Time, takes a cigarette

    I have really got into tracking my time in the last few months.
    It is out of frustration rather than amazingness needing to hand in time sheets.
    I don’t like trading time for money, it is dumb in this day and age and even dumber if you are a freelancer or indie worker, but that is another blog.
    If you are wondering about the David Bowie picture, well I love him and need to get a refinance in as often as I can! But read on there is some blogging gold coming up. I think.

    Time Taking.
    I have been using Rescue Time app for well over five years now and it was a punch in the face how much time I spent on social media, especially Facebook.
    I did not think I used Facebook that much, I was more of a twitter and Instagram kinda guy.
    Facebook is a fucking wormhole, watch out! HOURS for what?
    Also, I spent a lot of time on Amazon and Audible even when I don’t need to buy anything.

    Hang On To Your Self
    Rescue Time also highlighted where I was NOT spending time.
    The best places for me to hang out on my computer are Rainmaker for my site and @Work Hubs, Trello, Google Apps and Mind Meister – mapping app.
    This is where all my meaningful high-value work is done, what I really mean is this is the shit I can do that converts into cold hard cash.

    So why would I hang out on Facebook?
    It delivers short term reward for me, a lot of our family and friends live outside London and the UK so I can keep up with them.
    Somewhere deep in a synaptic tendon next to a molecule of serotonin on its way to my medulla is a little voice saying “getting them to like your picture on Facebook is as good as a plane trip – isn’t it?
    The frustration was knowing what I have to do, having the time to do and then suddenly waking up and not to have done it.
    I am way past the point of putting it down to being dyslexic, depressed or laughing about being easily distracted.
    I have all those things going on and coping systems in place to fend off and overcome that toxic and self-loathing behaviour.

    Lacerate Your Brain
    While I have no empirical evidence to hand I am certain that flicking through Facebook every day for a few hours crushes your head.
    The combination of scrolling and never ending combined with shit news from shit news channels and people you know doing ever so slightly better than you is like pouring acid into our head. Well, my head anyway.

    All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
    I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain

    Productive Tension – helps me with the pain
    I am now in my 3rd week of my first  12 Week Year. I have deeply deeply deeply committed to tracking what I do and don’t do and how these daily actions serve to transition me from a life I tolerate to one where #Babybernie, #Supercoolwife and I are thriving in the sunshine.
    Instead of diving into deep depression (like I did this time last year) the 12 Week Year has quickly taught me to recognise this ‘doom’ as “Productive Tension” –

    “One interesting thing that often happens around this time in the 12 Week Year, is what we call “Productive Tension.” Productive tension is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re not doing the things you know you need to do to reach your goals.
    Productive Tension is exactly what you want to experience. It is the lead indicator of substantive change. If you eliminate bailing out as an option, then the discomfort of Productive Tension will eventually compel you to take action on your tactics. If turning back is not an option, then the only way to resolve the discomfort is to move forward by executing your plan.”
    (Moran and Lennington 12 Week Year)

    I have always suspected I am playing way smaller than I am capable of.
    (Just don’t tell anyone I said that.)

  • Getting Back On The Horse

    So here I am again about to cut my eye out with a spoon.
    Every day I get a little bit more behind and then a little sadder.

    Sorry, I’ll make this quick.

    I am not crying into my milkshake or anything like that, it is just a kick in the teeth, my teeth and I kicked them in.
    I am a few days behind with my blog and catching up!

    I am on this “blog everyday thing” – how stupid is that?
    I mean how long does it take you to write 750 Words?
    A whole morning?
    About 30 minutes.
    So that still leaves you 23 hours and 30 minutes to do everything else?

    This could have been a Mandela and Gandhi post-Bernie, they always went down a storm.
    No just keep writing and then you’ll be able to think about that later.

    What are you going to write this in Bernie?
    Directly into your site on Rainmaker or in Grammarly and then copy and paste it across?
    You started to write it in Grammarly and not you realise you could have just stuck it into Rainmaker and Grammarly would have worked there.

    Every Day People
    See what I go through every fucking day people?
    And that is just posting a blog.
    What is even worse is after all this meditating, healthy eating and being self-aware I am, well self-aware.

    On of the perks of being really depressed was that I could watch 17 hours of Netflix and be numb to the passing of time and block out my ability that I could just get up and change everything.

    But now! I have spent time working the how what, why and everything to make podcasts, blogs and emails that zoom. I have accepted that I am learning and don’t need to know everything.

    In just a few weeks of blogging every day, apart from the last few days where I have not posted anything, I have enjoyed a quantum leap in self-confidence, focus and creativity.

    Listen to Andy Traub’s podcast on “21 Things That Will Happen When You Publish Daily” which I listened to AFTER I got involved in this little blogging charade with Canters, Anwyl and Dodson. The podcast reminded me of why I got into this to beging with!

    Andy points out things like, when you blog every day you will unblock the pipe and have even more ideas.
    That people will sneer at you saying ‘you want to be like Seth Godin’ – which I have had in the past I had a bash at blogging every day.
    ACTUALLY – that person really was joking and it was ME that took it to heart.

    Nasty Internet People
    People just are not nasty to me, that might be pity or something else.
    In nearly a decade of living online, I have had maybe three or four “off moments’ with people, one I REALLY asked for as I was being an ungrateful dickhead.
    Another one I asked the guy to meet me for coffee and he spoke non-stop for 30 minutes and then left.
    The other two?
    They are just unoriginal and amazingly bitter with the world – I could have been a lottery win and a mud wrestle with Kylie Minogue and they would have complained.

    Get back On The Horse

    The other thing that promoted this “Get Back On The Horse” post is Christina’s post about “How I work“a few days ago.
    The gist of why she committed to a coworking space was to knock out the decision-making chatter she’d endure every day.

    Shall I work from home or a coffee shop or maybe a library today or I could get lunch there or maybe I could make lunch and then buy a coffee and then go to the library and then work from home or make the lunch at the library and then go to the coffee shop and then come home for a coffee that I could……… (That is not exactly what she wrote but that is how I read it!)

    I know what she means
    It is easier and more productive for me to write something and put it out there and then go and cry in the corner for 10 minutes and then get on with my day.

    I am this far into the post and very happy with the last 672 words of drivel and have made a host of connections between what I have been reading and what I am working on, so I am off to hit publish a few hundred times elsewhere!

    Best of all – I feel alive again and that only took 24 minutes.

    Go and click all the links to people in this post, read their stuff and join in with them – I love them and their work.