Categories
productivity remote working work culture

Your async arsenal 💪

Welcome to Issue 84!

I joined the async movement this week.

Member 6,128 of a growing community who believe in the power of asynchronous communication to transform how we live and work.

Asynchronous – the new business buzzword, which OED defines as ‘not existing or occurring at the same time’. Meetings are the exception, not the rule.

Companies like GitLab, Doist, Zapier, Trello, Gumroad, and Automattic have worked this way for decades, so we can learn a lot from them.

Research shows that async brainstorming results in more novel ideas than real-time approaches.

Join the async movement here.

Scrolling through the member forum, I see we’re struggling with the same stuff: deep work and flexibility, slower productivity, working seasonally, and being free from the meeting monster.

#WorkAsyncNotASAP and “Life becomes fun again.” 💯

Great initiative and ideas from Doist to help you rethink your relationship with work and educate yourself on new ways of working.

Convince your boss and sell it to your teams

It’s challenging to ask your clients to adapt their routines and work differently, especially in big companies. They expect you to adjust to them, which causes friction.

I’m taking baby steps towards a (mostly) async way of working – show not tell. Documenting everything, sending links to Google Docs or Dropbox, asking for the goal/agenda of a meeting before agreeing to it, and sending Loom videos for visual work.

Clients love a weekly round-up email: “I really like this way of working.” They can see what you’re up to, and if you have too much on your plate, work can be reallocated.

Daily bookends – do the thing in the morning when I have the highest energy. Writers’ Hour (4 pm GMT) to wrap up and reflect in good company.

Slowly chisel away at it…let’s break the 9-5 apart.

Send them the async toolkit 🛠

It feels like a more intentional, focused way of working. But I’m mindful of not letting it overspill into my life – micro-actions and community are important and help me feel connected.

It’s convenient to drive to the supermarket, listen to a podcast and self-serve at the checkout, speaking to no one. Or I can walk there, help someone do their shopping and chat with the cashier. I have a choice and I know which one will make me feel better.

– Nika

PS. Here’s one tiny action you can take to help spread the async movement – steal this email signature.


Designing an async-first workday (The Async Review), Almanac’s excellent magazine.

What happened when we stopped having meetings and sending emails (GDS) – great to see Government is reevaluating ways of working.

Onboarding at GitLab is self-driven, self-learning while remaining as async as possible to help people settle in.

Cal Newport on slow productivity as an antidote to burnout and chronic overload. These ideas boil down to: Do fewer things. Work at a natural pace. Obsess over the quality.


Written by Nika Talbot, founder of award-winning Firebird Studio. Content designer and tech storyteller. Based near Brighton, heart in Italy 🇮🇹

Contact me if you have a project to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi.

Enjoy reading this? Why not buy me a glass of Prosecco? 🥂

Categories
future of work remote working writing

Merry Christmas🎄✨

An ode to offline. I’ll be back on January 9.

Thank you for all your support this year.

May this holiday season bring you lots of love, joy and happiness!

Here’s to 2022.

Nicci 🙋🏻‍♀️

Ps, I’d love to know what products and services you’ve found useful and the best book you’ve read this year. Doing a quick roundup to share.

Leave a comment

  1. Design inspired by Creative Ode
Categories
future of work remote working technology work culture

The Metaverse and You 🙋🏻‍♀️

How are you doing?

I’ve been down the crypto rabbit hole this week—the future of money is digital and decentralised, so I wanted to share some valuable resources.

A big shoutout to Lavinia Osbourne, founder of Women in Blockchain Talks (WiBT), a total badass babe who has planted a seed and got me all excited about the possibilities in this space. I did a two-hour workshop: The Metaverse and Me via the Women in Digital community – a deep dive into the building blocks of Web3—blockchain, NFTs and the Metaverse.

Lavinia’s passion is learning and education, financial wellbeing and female empowerment. WiBT’s mission is to bring 50K more women into blockchain by 2023, see her campaign #Creatingspace4all. In January, Lavinia is launching Crypto Kweens, the first NFT marketplace for female artists. A place to buy and sell NFTs and learn about them—how to create one, sell one, set up wallets, buy crypto and market NFTs.  

NFTs are an accessible way into the blockchain space for many creatives, and there’s plenty of inspiration—check out the women aiming to change crypto bro culture through NFTs

Thank you to Lucy Hall, founder of Digital Women, for your notetaking! 

  • The Metaverse isn’t one thing, and it’s not owned by Facebook (Meta); there are several metaverses of which many exist already, e.g. Roblox for gaming. Although big tech companies are hoping to build future metaverses that we will spend our time in. 
  • Metaverses are already here and will be built on the blockchain in the future. While early virtual worlds were owned and controlled by companies, crypto metaverses are typically decentralised, meaning they are not owned by anyone.
  • The Metaverse is built on a handful of platforms⁠, including the Sandbox, Decentraland, Mirandus, and Axie Infinity⁠, creating an interactive version of the internet where users can play games and explore virtual worlds, and do business.
  • Cryptocurrencies will be how we buy products in the Metaverses, and NFTs are the digital assets we own.
  • Our assets will be viewed in our crypto wallets, and eventually, we’ll be able to show our art on the walls of our space in the Metaverse just like kids do in Roblox.
  • We kind of already do ‘Metaversy things’ like buying digital products in games, so our characters look better. But the ideal vision is that the Metaverse brings the reality of Web3 into motion. 
  • What is Web3? The next iteration of ‘the web’, Web2 or the social/mobile web started in 1998 and connected us like never: social media, the cloud and mobile apps became the norm. But Web3 will include more immersive applications, and for now, we can only guess what these will be…

…and lots more, so if you’re keen to dive in, you can watch the replay here. Super!

Crypto isn’t something I want to do alone—you can’t be naïve in this space!! I’ve been put off by the insane gas fees with Ethereum so it’s good to hear about Layer 2 living. If you’re looking for ways to earn more, collaborate, help, and lift others, check out the WIBT community events.

As Lavinia says, “You don’t know what you don’t know!” WiBT isn’t just for women either because “You can’t clap with one hand.” We all need to work together.

I’ve also signed up for the world’s first free MOOC on blockchain and digital currencies—starts on January 31, 2022 🙌

Heads up: February will be Metaverse month at Digital Women. Lucy will be bringing in more experts to discuss Web3, the Metaverse, NFTs, Crypto and more. So, you understand what’s coming next and how your skills and knowledge can be used. 

Some resources below. Have a read, digest, let it percolate… and think about what you want to bring to this space and how you will position yourself. 

What really resonates with me – there are no barriers to entry, taking a slice of the pie, claiming your space, sharing wealth, and gender equity. Rather than playing catch up, chasing from behind, working within old systems and trying to close the gender pay gap, let’s embrace the new and experiment. 

The Metaverse is still new, and we can be pioneers and help shape it.

Have a fun week.

Nicci 🙋🏻‍♀️

📚 Speaking of the importance of community, I’m reading Noreena Hertz’ brilliant book: The Lonely Century: A Call to Reconnect. A look at what’s driving the loneliness epidemic and a crucial call for governments to rebuild better. Bold and empowering solutions—we have the power to reverse it. Using remote work to repopulate rural areas is one way.


🔗 Links

Virtual land in the Metaverse dominated NFT sales over the past week (Cointelegraph)

NFTs can be a good pathway to draw women into crypto (Cointelegraph)

Metaverse – a guide for virtual enthusiasts and a Whitepaper (Vault Hill)—an extended reality Blockchain-based Metaverse designed to make you feel more human.

Crypto Kweens: The female-focused and female-led NFT marketplace 

What has blockchain got to do with me?! (with translated editions) (WiBT

What have NFTs got to do with me?!

Workshop: Create your own NFT (live recording) 

Women in Tech, BITCOIN & Financial Wellbeing w/Lavinia Osbourne—Women in Blockchain Talks (Cryptonites)

Free MOOC: Introduction to Digital Currencies (UNIC)

Goodbye Gas Fees: Hello Layer 2 Living (Almanack)

Global Report on Women, Cryptocurrency and Financial Independence by Marina Spindler (The Defiant)

Matthew Ball VC: The Metaverse Primer – a 9-part series on what’s to come… 


💌 Enjoy this newsletter?

Send me a note: nicci@niccitalbot.io

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Help me build an Ecologi forest! To offset the carbon emissions of my online work, I plant 12 trees every month via Ecologi 🌿 🌎

Categories
digital nomads future of work remote working Small business

Interview: Jesse Chambers, CEO & Founder of wrkfrce. “Design your career around your life” 🚀

Happy birthday, wrkfrce! It’s a year since Jesse Chambers launched wrkfrce—a one-stop shop for remote workers, so I wanted to catch up and see how things are going. What’s it like building a business on the road during a pandemic, and what’s in store for 2022?

We had a chat about online media, the rise of Substack, morning routines, the pros & cons of the nomad lifestyle, and regeneration. He is hugely inspired by David Hieatt, Co-Founder of Hiut Denim Co and the Do Lectures, who is on a quest to get 400 people their jobs back in a small town (Cardigan in Wales) that used to have Britain’s biggest jeans factory.

“I’m a disciple.” His wife bought him the Do: Purpose book, which he says has been truly foundational in building his brand. Amen to that. I loved Do: Open and often come back to it—short, punchy, insightfuland great design.

wrkfrce’s missionTo build a brand that can inspire and empower all of us to make our careers around our lives.

When we design our careers around our lives—and not vice versa—we are more productive and fulfilled.

Great to see an equal emphasis on wellbeing and work (50:50 article split), and I like what Jesse said about talking to the remote worker, not about remote work (enough sites are doing that already). Also, it’s refreshing to read articles about remote blue-collar work as most I see are written for the white-collar tech/knowledge worker.

Jesse is self-funding this project, so check it out and spread the word 👏

Enjoy!


5 minutes with: Jesse Chambers, CEO & Founder of wrkfrce

Happy 1st birthday! It’s been a year since you launched wrkfrce. What key lessons have you learned along the way?

Thank you! There are too many lessons to count, but the biggest lesson is that getting started is the most important thing. One of my favourite sayings has become “it’s perfect enough” 😉

What are the challenges and opportunities for niche media in 2022 and beyond? What are you excited about?

I’m most excited that remote work has grown beyond a niche! There are so many benefitsboth for professionals and businessesin distributed work, and I’m excited that wrkfrce has an opportunity to play a role in helping shape the future of work.

What is growth for you, and how do you stay grounded while growing an online business and managing a remote team?

Growth is trying to get a little bit bettereven 1% or .5% betterevery day. If you’re able to sustain growth like that over time, the results will be profound. To keep myself grounded, I have a morning routine that includes four things: meditating for at least 10 minutes, writing down 5 things I’m grateful for, eating a healthy breakfast, and getting some exercise (which lately means a 15-minute jump rope workout).

If I’m able to do most of those things most days of the week, I’m a better leader, husband, friend, better everythingnot perfect, but better.

Tools for thoughtwhat book has inspired your thinking and process?

Very early in founding wrkfrce, my wife gifted me the book Do: Purpose by David Hieatt, and it has been truly foundational in building the wrkfrce brand. It’s an easy read; lots of pictures and ideas, but not many words. You could read the whole thing in under 45 minutes, but at least for me, I’m never done reading it; I go back to it all the time for inspiration or when I’m struggling with something. I’d recommend it to anyone thinking of founding a business or just looking for inspiration.

More insights and ideas at www.wrkfrce.com.


Small biz, big opportunities

It’s Small Business Saturday on December 4, a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages people to ‘shop local’ and support their communities. A brief history of the movement here.

You can promote your services in the Small Biz Saturday UK business portal for free. Share your stories and give local businesses a shoutout on SoMe using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSatUK. I’ll be doing my Xmas shopping in St Leonardsit’s all indie businesses here, bar Boots!

Jesse said he’s been focusing on SEO for the website, so I sent him the piece I wrote on Building Backlinks, doing the rounds on Twitter. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so my digital marketing strategy is little and often. As a colleague said this week: “From small acorns, big trees grow.” 🌱🎄

Have a great Sunday.

Nicci

I’m working on a new project: Reimagining the future of scientific exchange and helping organise a hackathon for HCPs in 2022. If you’ve helped organise one or know someone who has—get in touch. I’d love to have a chat!

Unicron/Omicron = anagram = moronic 🤓


🛠🖐 5 Things

★ Free 1:1 mentoring with Google to help you grow your business online and find new customers. Get paired with a mentor from Google who will help you develop your digital marketing strategy—from building your brand on YouTube, Google Search and Maps to creating more ways to bring customers to your site.

→ Grow with Google

★ Monzo’s founder Tom Blomfield on why he left his £1bn business after it negatively impacted his mental health (Management Today). On what he’s learned from his time at the top, and what he’ll do next… A call for better communication and transparency: it builds trust and happy customers.

→ “As CEO, I never switched off”—Monzo’s Tom Blomfield

★ 2021 Ideas Report (WeTransfer). They asked 10K people from over 135 countries how 2021 transformed their creative worlds. Big shifts in power with Latin America challenging the status quo. The Great Resignation: How creatives leave their jobs in droves in search of fulfilment (and money isn’t the answer). Also: how to get featured on WePresent.

→ Ideas Report 2021

★ TRL 131: Starting a country on the internet & social safety nets for the new world with Sondre Rasch (That Remote Life). Sondre’s views on the future of remote work and why SafetyWing has invested thousands researching the topic of internet countries. Remote visas vs digital citizenship, and top takeaways from year 1 of the Plumia project.

→ That Remote Life #131

★ Focused work sprints on Zoom (via Hannah at Better Not Stop). Get your free 7-day trial. Start with the most difficult thing first. Do not disturb. Monotask. Facilitated by an experienced Cavedweller. Love the backstory. I don’t have a SheShed, so this could the next best thing.

→ Get more done in less time in the cave


💌 ✍️ Enjoy this newsletter?

Send me a note: nicci@niccitalbot.io

If you like what I do, sponsor my work

Help me build an Ecologi forest! To offset the carbon emissions of my online work, I plant 12 trees every month via Ecologi 🌿 🌎