blogging

Let’s get Productive: 4 tips to get to it and get shit done

This is a post in my dildoholiday series. If you’d like to read the whole shebang of what happened while we were out there, you should totally start out here.

Moving right along.

Day 2 in the #dildoholiday household started at a reasonably late hour, with a few cautious tweets from a couple of us around noon. As we stumbled about in our sleepy bodies, we found the Cherub of Shame juding our food choices from inside the refrigerator. Jerk.

Photo by Girly Juice

Photo by Girly Juice

The day had one main topic to be touched on at some point: productivity. Trouble was, we’d all stayed up so late being excited and settling in to the house that we’d all barely slept. I’ll touch on why that’s shitty for productivity later, but I imagine you can draw a correlation in your own life beteween those nights that we get 4 hours of sleep and the amount of work you (don’t) get done the next day.

We all eventually gathered around the big kitchen table with our laptops and ideas, and Girly Juice led us in a chat about productivity. Her output is amazing, and we all particularly adore her for it. Her dedication to a regular release schedule, and the amazing content that she throws out shows that not only does she write a lot, but that she does work to make that writing turn out so well.

Look 'ma, we got off the couch!

Look ‘ma, we got off the couch! photo by Reenie

So, without further ado, here’s Kate’s tips for productivity, inspired by #dildoholiday and Girly Juice:

1) Make more effective lists

I live by lists. I can’t concentrate on any one thing for longer than half an hour generally, and so I really need to write down all the shit that I need to get done in a day or none of it will happen.

I also know how I handle stress, and how I let myself get defeated by tasks. For example, if I have the list item “Clean your office”, I might start that task but will quickly get distracted and move on to some other thing that is either on my list or just something shiny nearby that catches my attention. At the end of the day, my office still looks like shit and my list has just as many things on it as it did before, since I didn’t really finish cleaning my office.

So instead, here’s an example of my lists:

-Pick up papers off bed and sort them
-wrangle sex toys
-dust desk
-take out the garbage
-replace bag in the garbage bin

Can you see the difference there? I’ve made all kinds of little list items based around cleaning the office, but I get to check off way more shit way more quickly. It really helps me to manage larger tasks by listing the steps involved.

The exact same thing goes for work tasks. For example, I’m in the middle of planning an East Coast screening tour with a colleague on Evernote (which is great for coworking). Obviously the list could include something like “Get venue”, but there are so many steps hidden in that one step. The list, as it stands, for the venue in each city contains the following types of steps:

-research venues via locals
-find contact person
-email re regulations on screening nudity
-settle date
-book venue

Break it down into small, manageable tasks that you can check off easily and, more importantly, keep track of super easily.

2) Make yourself get out of your comfy spot

I never do anything but this in bed.

I never do anything but this in bed.

I have a super comfy spot on the couch in my living room, and also I have my bed. I’ve spent a long time perfecting both of these spaces so that everything around them calms me and makes me think gleefully of the past, present, and future. While that’s awesome, I often find myself just sitting there, thinking, for literally hours. I can’t be stopped.

I like to physically put myself in a space that is built for my productivity, or in a space that is quite simply not my fucking couch. While my couch is great, it lacks a place for me to put my mouse and use it in any useful capacity. Most of the work that I do require some serious mouse use, and I primarily work from a laptop since I travel so much.

All of that said, your space to work in should be comfy. My office in my house is a space that celebrates the accomplishments of my reasonably short time here on earth. I keep framed copies of newspaper articles about me, awards I’ve won, etc, all around just to remind me to keep at it. But it’s a space that’s specifically meant for work. The couch was not meant for work, for me. If it was for you, then by all means work on the couch. But try to separate your comfy relaxing spaces from your work spaces, whatever they look like.

3) Get fancy

Here I am, getting fancy for a day of productivity.

Here I am, getting fancy for a day of productivity.

This tip definitely won’t be the same for everyone, and I understand the classism inherent in getting fancy for business. But this element really works for me, so I’ll talk about what it means to me in the context of my own experiences.

I started to like “dressing up” around the age of 24. I had previously been a very jeans and a t-shirt kind of person, and didn’t really do the femme thing. I think I owned two pieces of what I’d call makeup, no nail polish, and maybe one dress. I also didn’t have much disposable income. But even back then, I remember that getting up, putting on whatever made me feel good, doing my hair (it was short, easy to do, but even just the act of *doing* it was important), and sitting down to work on whatever was in front of me really got me started.

Since then, I’ve amassed a lot of “fancier” items, but the ritual itself remains the same. Now it includes things like earrings and fancy nail polish (I cut the waiting time involved in this by using Julep’s Polymer Topcoat, which dries super fast). The trick is to get a bit fancy, feel good about yourself, but also not spend the entire morning/afternoon/whatever getting fancy. I try to limit myself to about 20 minutes, and I should also note that the idea of getting dressed is actually a thing that motivates me to finally get out of bed. Maybe this is a way that I can pitch to myself that buying all the clothes I buy is actually an investment in my business. Yeah.

For me, it’s a dress, earrings, brows, lipstick, putting my hair up, and a nice set of underpants. For you, it could be your best sweat pants and a top that makes you feel awesome about yourself. The idea of the whole thing is to make yourself feel really good about yourself before you start working. As a few #dildoholiday participants pointed out, feeling good about yourself can also mean feeling *super* comfy. Harness the power of clothing, however you like!

4) If you work from home, try leaving home every now and again

It's my laptop working on things from a college campus in Winnipeg.

It’s my laptop working on things from a college campus in Winnipeg.

This is more important than you’d think. Getting out of your space can stimulate creativity in ways you didn’t know it could. Being in a new environment kicks you out of your habits and into new ones.

I tend to either rent space at 245 McDermot, which is a coworking space in Winnipeg owned by ACI (Creative Manitoba) that rents hot desks for $30/day, go to an hOffice, or go to a local haunt that serves frosty beverages, since I don’t drink caffeine at all. I have a magical productivity spot that lives around 1.5 drinks and then sharply drops off, and so I do have to make sure that I pace myself with great discipline. I imagine this is the same for coffee drinkers. (and please don’t think this means you need to consume alcohol or caffeine or any other drug in order to be creative or to focus)

Stay tuned for the next episode of #dildohoilday on my blog, where we’ll talk about making our own glass dildos!!

And if you haven’t read part 1 of the #dildoholiday series, go read it right now!! 

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Dildoholiday: 7 people and the sea.

And the sex.

Where do I begin?

#dildoholiday was a bunch of friends from the internet getting together in a beach house on the Oregon coast. We’re all internet personalities in some way, but we’re all definitely involved in sex blogging. Epiphora, Aerie, and BexTalksSex were the main organizers of the whole thing. The rest of us just came in from 5 other cities across the continent to join in the fun.

Flying into the Pacific Northwest always floats my boat.

Flying into the Pacific Northwest always floats my boat.

What I didn’t expect from Piph, Aerie and Bex was just how prepared they were for us, and all the amazing things that they had in store. They’d asked companies that they regularly work with if they could help make our vacation even more exciting, and ended up creating quite the experience for us.

I arrived in Portland in an airplane for the first time. Previously, I’d driven down from Vancouver (I’m a Canadian), but as such had never really experienced the glorious Portland airport. I, of course, took a snap of my shoes and the famous carpet, then got on my way to Piph’s house in a rented autocar.

Portland PDX carpet feet

The notorious carpet at PDX.

And then it was right in to the family. I was the last to arrive, which means I found everyone happily hanging out at Epiphora’s place. I met Girly Juice and Reenie for the first time, but I’d met Penny, Piph, Bex, and Aerie before. We all got settled in and gave each other some hello gifts. Maple candy and personalized drawings from Reenie, coasters with original photography from Penny, and I gave everyone a Naked on the Internet shirt from cherrystems.com (my soft porn company), perhaps in anticipation of seeing everyone naked that weekend!

Girly Juice models one of the Cherrystems shirts like a professional.

Girly Juice models one of the Cherrystems shirts like a professional. (photo links to her original tweet)

Starting off by playing a few rounds of Concept, then moving on to watching the classic film, 50 Shades of Grey. Most of us hadn’t seen it, but decided that in order to keep up with pop culture’s idea of BDSM, we should probably give it a go. We got about halfway through before we had to get on to the next thing of the night, but there will be more on this later.

Next up, we headed over to SheBop for a hello! I made sure to thank the staff for selling so much Fuze, and you should probably also go to their shop (or their website) to purchase some of our super awesome silicone toys. I did make a few purchases, which I’ll definitely note because I loved them so much. First was a card to be mailed off to my husband back in Winnipeg from Foulmouth Greetings. I absolutely love her cards, they’re just the most adorable. I definitely picked up the one with the house on it! I also finally picked up the 2014 copy of Smut Peddler, an amazing anthology of sexy graphic smut.

The last item I picked up was a bottle of Good Clean Fun lube. I’d actually never encountered it before, and bought it on the recommendation of Bex. I’ve only used it a few times now, but so far I’m really loving it. It has a tiny hint of vanilla, and is aloe based, which my crotch seems to absolutely love. I’ll keep using it a little more and report back on my experiences with it!

Following that, we headed over to Salt and Straw which, for those unaware, has amazing ice cream. I filled up a waffle cup with two flavours – Olive Oil, and Black Truffle. WHAT?! I’d had the olive oil ice cream before, and knew that it has a light, subdued fruity flavour with a texture like fucking butter, but I was trying the truffle for the first time. I was a bit concerned that it might taste mushroomy, but daaaamn! It was perfect and earthy.

Epiphora took this cute photo of me taking a photo of myself and my iced creeeam.

Epiphora took this cute photo of me taking a photo of myself and my iced creeeam.

The rest of the night was spent eating at food trucks, drinking cucumber lime soda, and then heading over to Devil’s Point – a strip club in Portland. Now, I’ve seen people take their clothes off in many a city. Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, New York, and more. This? This took the fucking cake. The dancers were amazing, approachable, and totally pros. Their floor work was just as impressive as their pole work (WHICH BLEW MY MIND), and I adored being there.

Well, you certainly can't take photos while you're in there.

Well, you certainly can’t take photos while you’re in there.

I did have to move to the back while Bex, Piph, and Penny got private dances – but I made use of it and got a few people to buy me tumblers full of whiskey.

I fucking love Portland.

The rest of the night saw Bex, Piph, Penny, and me catching up like the oldest of friends. We went to bed a little late, considering that we needed to be up early enough to get on our way to Lincoln City. Still, we managed to get out of bed and on our way on time.

This

This “Captain my Captain” donut actually made me shake from sugar overdose. It was horrifying (and tasty).

We hit Voodoo donut, payed a great visit to JoEllen, and got on the road at a reasonable hour. A quick grocery shopping trip (which was amazingly a treat of SheVibe!), a two hour drive, and a whole lot of French folk songs (ask Girly Juice and Reenie about this one) and we arrived at the house!

As soon as we arrived, we were in a bit of a rush to make it to the SUPER SECRET SURPRISE. Bex, Piph, and Aerie were all in on it, but Penny, Girly Juice, Reenie and I had no idea what was going on. I did have a moment of anxiety around this super secret surprise, as all we’d been told was to wear closed toe shoes, pants, no flowy clothing, and that it might make us sweat. Because, like many, this conjures up ideas of gym class, I got a little freaked out – I won’t lie. This was actually one of the first times I’ve been surprised in my life. I’m usually the planner of surprises, so who surprises the surpriser? Dildoholiday folks do! We hopped in our cars again for the quick ride to the surprise. As we turned corners, with Bex and Piph in my car, I saw us going toward the ocean. My mind automatically went to boats. “OH MY GOD ARE WE GOING ON BOATS?!” I asked. I was wrong, but definitely got laughed at for being so restless about the surprise. Two turns later, however, I saw a building with writing in the window. It said: Blow your own glass! HOLY SHIT WE ARE MAKING DILDOS AREN’T WE?!

pennysblog_20150604_16

Photo courtesy of Penny!

Yes, yes we were. (and on behalf of the good folks at WeVibe and Tantus, no less) Or, we thought we were. Bex had prearranged with the owners of the glass studio to have us come by at 6:30, when the shop was closed, so that we wouldn’t scare off the tourists. Sadly, Kelly, the person we’d coordinated with, spaced it and forgot that we were coming. We hung out for half an hour, then went to pick up some margarita supplies and headed back to the house where we ate food that we so badly needed. So ultimately, it was probably good that it didn’t work out that night. Luckily, we got a hold of Kelly the next day, and we rescheduled for 6 the next day.

We were all asked at that point to retire to our rooms to allow for the setting up of a surprise by Bex, Aerie, and Piph. There were doin’s a-happening. I used this time to move in to my room, on the same floor as Bex, Penny, and Girly Juice.

Moving in for me includes the Buckinator Glow, my journal, a paddle, lube, and earplugs. Because reasons.

Moving in for me includes the Buckinator Glow, my journal, a paddle, lube, and earplugs. Because reasons.

When we were called back up, we couldn’t believe our eyes! There was a bag of treats for each of us, chalk full of surprises hand picked for us. Bex, Piph, and Aerie worked really hard on all of it to make sure that we’d feel super special and welcome, and it worked! I’ll run through a list of some of the amazing bits we got, so you can be sure to support these lovely companies in the future.

So many great things! So many thanks!

So many great things! So many thanks!

With that all settled, we moved on to the next part of the evening: Popcorn, Pyjamas, and Porn. This was an evening of porn curated by yours truly (that’s me) for all of the #dildoholiday folks to watch and enjoy. I’ll post the list here because if you don’t know about any of the films, you really should:

It was amazing! I opened with Taken, which actually features essentially no pornographic video content. Instead, it’s like a spoken word erotica piece. And I love it, so so much. If you have a chance, you should check it out. I’m really into it for so many reasons. I won’t break down every other film though. I really think you should check all of them out (and pay for them too!).

Taken by Penny - Porn cuddles among internet friendsies.

Taken by Penny – Porn cuddles among internet friendsies.

But what I will talk about is the magic of watching porn in a group that is so sex positive. We cuddled and watched the scenes with colourful excitement, and really got to know a lot about each other. Popcorn came out, wine was poured, and we ended up staying up til far too late. It’s around this time that we made a new frienemy in the household – The Cherub of Shame.

There he sits, in his home.

There he sits, in his home. Photo by Aerie.

We found him perched above the windows to the sunroom as we were starting the porn night, and decided that he maybe shouldn’t be exposed to the sins we were about to unleash. I pulled him down and stowed him away. While we thought it was over, he was soon found peeping on us in the washroom by Epiphora. Shouts of discomfort rang from that loo as she pulled him out and commented on his presence. Suddenly, we noticed, he HAD A TWITTER ACCOUNT.

As the porn played on, we tried out toys – new or old to us. I spent some quality time next to Girly Juice on the couch, both of us fully clothed and trying out some vibes, having casual orgasms.

The sun started to rise as some folks paired off. I tiptoed my way gleefully to bed and couldn’t wait to find out what tomorrow would hold.. I MEAN, DILDOS GUYS!!

For more dildoholiday updates, keep up with me here on mskatesincliare.com! Next up: Productivity tips from #dildoholiday!