Hack your life workshop

I recently hosted a “Hack your life” workshop for Manchester Girl Geeks.  We were at Bworks in Manchester City Centre, a nice co-working space.

The workshop was developed by me and Zoe Breen of Care Labels for Humans. It was organised by Manchester Girl Geeks co-chairs Gem Hill and Emily Hopkins.

First up we had Dr Nicola Davies of Cutie and the Feast, who is a scientist by day and crafter by night. She gave us a very interesting talk on using your geekiness to run a side hustle, focusing mainly on Kickstarter, and sharing her successes and challenges of using crowdfunding. You can buy Nic’s lovely sciencey products from her Etsy store.

Next up was Dr Katie Steckles who showed us a nifty “working out the percentage” hack, before demonstrating how Benford’s Law works. This is about the first digit frequency in numbers from real-world data – you’re more likely to get numbers that start with a 1 than with any other number. The point of this is that if you want to falsify real world data (NOT on your tax return, as Dr Steckles was keen to emphasise), you need to make sure that your made-up numbers follow Benford’s Law, or you’ll get found out.

I was next, and I gave a talk called “Crafting life hacks that fit”. I talked about how to manage your:

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Information
  • Motivation
  • Emotions

Which is a lot to cover in 15 minutes! I try to talk about things that are very general – that anyone can take and adapt to their situation, whether it’s finding time to set up a side business, or getting started, even when it’s something they really want to do.

So much business information online just assumes everyone is the same as them (I’m looking at you, white and/or Asian guys in suits who bang on about growth marketing) and don’t account for anxiety, neurodiversity, or just the fact you’ve got a billion things to do!

Finally, Gem Hill talked to us about bullet journalling. She brought both her old and new bullet journals to show us (which was brave, I think I would rather eat my pages of hastily-scribbled notes than share them), and talked about her experience of bullet journalling. She also pointed out that your bullet journal doesn’t have to be neat and you can use stickers if you can’t draw!

We had an ample supply of hot beverages, some very clean, spacious gender-neutral toilets, and a really lovely bunch of attendees who were engaged and gave really useful feedback.  Here’s some of it:

  • “I liked the relaxed atmosphere.”
  • “Lots of things I could research and take forward.”
  • “It was great.”
  • “Was perfect.”
  • “All useful.”
  • “Very interesting and motivating.”
  • “Speakers were really good.”
  • “Plenty of ideas.”
  • “Really informative workshop in a relaxed, informal community.”

I also brought a ton of worksheets for people to do between sessions, or to take home. You can choose and download the worksheets here.

Thank you to the Girl Geeks organisers, our fantastic speakers and our attendees for making this workshop a success!

If you want to book a workshop for your organisation, drop me an email. I can tailor the workshop to your needs, so let’s have a chat!

Image credit: Diane Atkinson

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