Anna Burgess Yang

Tinkering With Ideas #007: In praise of praise and organization

Published over 1 year ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader 👋 -

Happy Thursday.

People are always so eager at the beginning of the year. Some people relish the opportunity to "start fresh" but if that's not you, it can be overwhelming,

I take a more measured approach. I usually reflect on the prior year and maybe set a few goals, but no major upheavals to my routine.

What do you have planned? If you're willing to share, reply and let me know. I'm curious to hear how fellow "tinkerers" think about the possibilities. We all have a new calendar of days to fill.

1) Reflection:

It's far too easy to remember criticism. We don't always remember the wonderful things people say about us: our work, our contributions, our interactions with other.

Years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a "praise file." Whenever you receive a complimentary email, or a good review, or anything that makes you smile, you save a copy to your file. In today's digital world, this might be a Google Folder — something you can revisit easily when you need a pick-me-up.

I created a private Instagram account for my Praise File. I'll take a screenshot (or, in a few instances, a photo) and add it, along with a comment if the context isn't obvious. Instagram makes it easy for me to scroll back through past praises.

If you don't already have one, please create a Praise File for yourself. I promise you'll love it, especially during the moments of doubt we all face.

2) Product:

I am a time-blocking fiend. It's been a critical part of my life as a freelancer, but even working 9-5 jobs I blocked out time for certain tasks during the day.

But sometimes my blocks are "two hours to get X task done" — and that's a long time. So I also use a small cube timer that sits on my desk.

I flip the cube and it sets a timer for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. Great for small tasks, like "I promise I will only spend 15 more minutes on LinkedIn..." And easier than setting the timer on my phone.

3) Tip

"Personal brand" may be a little cringe-y, but it's true. We all have one. At a minimum, you probably have a photo that you use across your social profiles. And if you're like me, you also have a slew of header images, links to different sites, etc. etc. etc.

And if you make a change (like a new profile pic), do you know how many places you have to update that info? I had new professional photos done this year and yikes. I didn't even remember all of the places I needed to update. And then it's embarrassing to trip across outdated info.

So I started organizing my "brand assets." Sure, you could store your new headshot in Google Drive. But if you take the added step of creating a GSheet that lists every profile where that headshot exists.

Your list can include sites that have your profile link or Linktree, your landing page, your portfolio. At some point, you'll inevitably make changes and it makes the updates so much easier.

More Resources:

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang


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Anna Burgess Yang

Writer. Productivity Geek. Always Tinkering.

Practical tips to make your day better & make your life easier.

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