Office Space

How to Put Your Distracted Brain on a Schedule

by Lindy

Can I interrupt you from the important task you really should be doing to share this riveting 20 minute podcast? It is about counteracting constant tech distractions (which leads to burn out) with practical tips. I stumbled upon this Harvard Business Review IdeaCast, “Your Brain’s Ideal Schedule” with Ron Friedman, Ph.D on SoundCloud today (while avoiding daunting tasks). In the audio, he discusses how to structure your day to get the most done, with the most satisfaction.

This discussion is so relevant for busy professionals like myself who are always connected to their smart phone (and now Samsung Gear Fit smart watch) with all the email and app notifications, which leads to being reactive instead of proactive with your work load and communication. Much of the stress, anxiety and frustration I experience stems from the constant interruptions, inability to focus, prioritize and disconnect. If I implement Friedman’s advice for an ‘ideal schedule for my brain’, it would greatly diminish my stress level and increase my overall contentment.

I like how the interviewer brings up how some driven people turn their passion/hobby into the demands of more work (i.e. taking it very seriously and making it all encompassing.) Play is very important, just for the enjoyment of it; not for the ‘return on investment’ per se. I need to practice that.

Do you struggle with the inability to disconnect like I do? How do you schedule your day for maximum productivity and enjoyment?


Introducing an Ingenious New Work Desk

by Lindy

At work, I’ve been known to sit on an exercise ball, peddle an under-the-desk stationary bicycle and do crunches while I sit at my desk. I like to multi-task by marking items off the to do list while working on my fitness simultaneously. I’ve always wanted a stand up desk or treadmill desk, but could never justify the cost…until now.

Knowing about my enthusiasm for such health/productivity devices, a conscientious coworker introduced me to a new phenomenon I can embrace – the ‘Hamster Wheel Standing Desk‘!! Even better, it’s a DIY project you can do for a team building exercise.

In the future, I would like to have a ‘fishbowl’ work desk invented: a small swim spa, floating desk and waterproof PC. Can someone in Redmond get on this stat? Heated water, please.

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk

 


Homemade Typewriter Poetry Valentines Cards

by Lindy

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope your heart is filled with love on this special day for romance. Here are some homemade Valentine’s Day cards that I made for a pen pal swap through Seattle paper magnate, Lyndsey at The Stationery Place.

This is my second year participating; it is a rewarding to receive thoughtful, homemade valentines from new pen pals from across the globe. I like to make the homemade valentines using my red Olivetti Lettera typewriter (named Beulah Hildegard Francis) to create my typewriter poetry cards.

This year’s poetry includes:

Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.

Love is a verb. Take action.

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.”

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.”

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a verb. Take action."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a verb. Take action.”

Here are the homemade valentines I’ve received from my pen pals so far, from gals in Iowa, California, Washington, England and Australia.

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Speaking of handcrafted, I also received some beautiful Signorelli-Mix “Venetian Date” Italian sterling silver earrings in the mail this week! The designer, Janine, is a family friend who has her heart in Italy as well as Los Angeles and creates beautiful jewelry out of silver and colorful Italian glass. Please take a moment to check out her unique selections on Etsy. I will be writing and showing more photos of her beautiful jewelry later this week.

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Finally, here are the homemade valentines I made for my eight year old’s classroom using my fun typewriter poetry. I believe they were the best valentines in class and received a standing ovation (in my overactive imagination). Poems included were:

Love is a verb. Take action. (3rd graders need lessons in English, so this is an educational poem.)
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. (An oldie but a goodie.)
You are just my type. (See the fun play on words?)
Friends are like family, but better. (Profound, huh?)

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition


Typewriter Tweet

by Lindy
Typewriter Tweet

Typewriter Tweet: “Stop ‘being social’ and start cleaning the messy office.”
#procrastination

My typewriter, affectionately named Buelah Hildegard Francis, is excellent for tweeting. Instead of disappearing into the vast wasteland of Twitter, my <140-character tweet is captured beautifully here for eternity on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper for me and my four household ‘followers’ to see.

The message and takeaway from this typewriter tweet is that I should really focus more time and energy on the ‘real world’ instead of dwelling so much in the online social realm. There is an entire office of clutter literally screaming for attention! I’ll get to it; maybe tomorrow.


Upgrade to a Typewriter 2.0 – Mad Men Style

by Lindy

I am love with USB Typewriters – here is my future ‘Typewriter 2.0’! I stumbled upon them online and I haven’t been the same since. Thank you for this ingenious invention, Jack Zylkin! I will have to kick my old electric typewriter to the proverbial curb when I get my hands on this one (sorry Beulah Hildegard Francis.)

USB Typewriter Computer Keyboard — Smith Corona Sterling — 1960s Mad Men Style

Smith Corona Sterling 1960s Mad Men Style USB Typewriter Computer Keyboard

You had me at Mad Men

I envision myself showing up to my marketing meetings with one of these beauties and clanging away on the keyboard. Of course I would be teased by some technology elitists, but I know at least one person in my office would admire it. We were both drooling when we first saw this most incredible invention. I MUST HAVE ONE!

This one that I am lusting after is steep at $599, but it’s so versatile and gorgeous, that I can (almost) justify the expense. It is adaptable to your PC and iPad, so I picture myself showing up at my neighborhood coffee shop, perhaps wearing an eccentric beret and smoking a long, skinny cigarette, and typing feverishly on this turquoise dream machine. (Kidding — I don’t smoke; or wear berets.)

USB Typewriter

Like a kid in a candy shop… more soon-to-be-released colors for USB typewriters.

About USB Typewriter (from USBtypewriter.com)

“A Groundbreaking Advancement in the Field of Obsolescence”

The idea for USB Typewriter all began in late 2009, when I found a clunky old Royal typewriter on the side of the road. After a little spit polish and elbow grease, I was really amazed by how pristine this machine was underneath its century’s worth of rust and dust. And even more amazing: it still worked!

Typewriters are just really beautiful and elegant pieces of technology, and it has always struck me as sad that they are now neglected and almost forgotten, especially considering that most computer stuff today is so disposable and utilitarian. People love typewriters, and lots of people have them on their mantlepiece or in their attic, but there is just no place for them on a modern computer desk. So, with the USB Typewriter project I am trying to help people rescue typewriters from garages and attics and put them to use again.

In my online store, I sell a do-it-yourself kit can add a USB port to any typewriter.  The kit can either be purchased pre-assembled and ready to install, or as a fun solder-it-yourself electronics kit.  I also sell a range of lovingly restored and USB-enabled typewriters, but they are frequently sold out, so if you don’t see one you like, just ask.

USB Typewriter has been in business since June 2010, and since then has helped to rescue almost 1,000 typewriters, while constantly improving the conversion process to make it as easy as possible. The USB Typewriter has been featured by NPR’s Morning Edition, The Martha Stewart Show, CNN HLN, WIRED, Gizmodo, and many others.  It was named one of the “Top 10 iPad Accessories” by PC Magazine.
Just as I was promoting this post on Twitter, I stumbled on a new film coming out featuring typewriters: The Typewriter in the 21st CenturyI want to work on getting a screening in Irvine; it looks so interesting! I love the quote mentioned on the site:
Manson Whitlock, at age 95 the oldest person in the film and likely the oldest working typewriter repairman in America, is blunt about it: “I think that something that was made to be thrown away ought never to have been made at all.”

Masterwriter for Creative Writers


Appreciate Your Mail Carrier This Christmas

by Lindy
My mail carrier's thank you note for my gift of chocolates.

My mail carrier’s thank you note for my gift of chocolates.

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