Monthly Archives: June 2013


G’day gorgeous ones!

Got this Ask Leonie question + I thought it was such an important one to share:

“Hi Leonie!

Love your work + your honest take on life + biz.

I REALLY love what I do and get SO excited by the possibilities + ideas that I find it really hard to switch off.

Can you give some advice on how to switch your brain off during downtime?”

I think we all can suffer from this.

The thrill of the new idea. The glory of being brilliant on weekends.

Getting downloads of the next ten thousand dollar idea.

We think we NEED to be switched on constantly, otherwise our business will fail.

And yet, and yet:

If you want to be BRILLIANT in business, you need regular brain holidays!

The switch off + power down needs to happen. The brain + soul need space + time to dream.

Your business needs space from you in order to grow.

You need some goddamn perspective, and it’s not going to come when you are constantly fixated and IN your business, fiddling + fluffing around.

So, hon: switching off your brain is really, really important to do.

Lemme give you some reasons why it’s important. When we rationalise stuff to our brain, it’s way easier to get its support in making switching-off happen.


1. It’s not sustainable to be a 24/7 idea maker.

Babycakes, as much fun as it is, you can’t do it forever. It’s thrilling, yes. But sustainable, no.

And you want to be doing this for a hundred thousand years. And for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, sleep + remember to brush your teeth + get your needs met.

2. You are a whole being, not just a brain

Your body needs energy + time too.

Your heart needs energy + time too.

Your creative + spiritual + emotional selves all need energy + time too.

3. When you tend to all of yourself, you can create from all of yourself

Give yourself some brain space, and the new, big ideas will come.

You’ll get startling bouts of clarity. You’ll have great washes of perspective.

You’ll find out what you need to know for your business… by not thinking about it at all.

It’s why our greatest ideas come on the loo or in the shower or as we drift off to sleep at night – daydreaming and the idle wandering of a mind gives it the space to make great cognitive shifts.

4. Burnout sucks giant panda balls

We all know it. Push yourself without rest + you’ve got yourself a one way ticket to Burnoutsville.

It’s a suckful place to be – for you, your family + your biz. So let’s do what needs to be done so you don’t end up there!

So now we know WHY ya need ’em – let’s talk about how to make ’em happen!


Set boundaries

You need to describe + scribe down parameters of when you will work + when you will not.

Write them down for both macro + micro: year/week/day:

  • How many weeks’ vacation will I take over the next year?
  • What days off will I take each week?
  • When will I switch off during each day?

What’s right for you may not be right for me + vice versa.

Here’s how my year/week/day nourishing mixup looks:

  • 4 weeks vacation a year (I used to take 3 months – but don’t really want or need to because my daily + weekly time offs are much more balanced now!)
  • I take Saturday + Sunday off
  • I don’t work at night after 6pm (and I work just in the afternoons usually – the rest of my time is family time)

Get a life/hobbies/other things in your world that light you up aside from your biz

I say this with love, sweetie. I say it because I tell it to myself too.

“Leonie, get some gosh darn hobbies already!”

Find some things that make your brain go on holiday.

Send your executive high-powered always-cogitating business brain on holidays.

Welcome in Leisure Suit Larry brain instead, whose main job is to sit on a li-lo in the pool, sipping frappes + loving life.

Some things that might make your brain go plop plop snooze (in the very best way):

  • knitting
  • romance novels
  • trashy mags
  • craft
  • sewing
  • gardening
  • walking
  • woodwork
  • needle felting
  • finding new music
  • finding the most comfortable place on your lounge
  • cooking
  • talking to friends on the phone (you know! those people you know in real life! who have voices!)
  • even OMG! seeing them FACE TO FACE! and doing stuff! like restaurants + concerts + picnics + going to the river + hiking + gossiping!
  • drumming
  • woo woo women’s gatherings


All those things you’ve always wanted to try! All the things you like moodling about with! Now is the time to actually dive deep into them!

If you’re stuck on ideas, this book might be a good reference point.

Most of all

Love the shiz outta your life.

When you are radiant, nourished, excited by loads of different non-biz thangs…

you bring a light + a joy + a brilliance to your work

that peeps who are workaholicked + burnt out simply cannot.

To be brilliant… turn your brain off. Regularly + deeply.

All my love,

5 Ultimate (+ FUN!) Productivity Hacks

by Leonie Dawson on June 18, 2013


Hey hummingbirds,

I’m sitting here still in my pyjamas and (obviously) no makeup. The hair hasn’t seen a brush in an age.

But I have my camera close by and a wild case of nutbaggery (don’t worry, it is probably not contagious. Maybe). SO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. RIDICULOUS ILLUSTRATED BLOG TO COME.

Don’t disregard the silly as excluding the smart though.

You can have both, ya know. You can be the clown genius shaman anytime you like.

Your kind is well understood here.

Fuck, I can just feel myself ready to jump on a tangent here.

Instead, I’m going to FOCUS ALREADY…

and just write ya the damn blog. YEAH?

If you’re ready to find out how to work less, earn more, get more shit done + have more fun as you do it…

put your hands up! Then put your hands down.

Because you need to scroll.

Now scroll away! And bathe! In Leonie-style productivity hacks that WILL make things more rad for you. High fives!

1. Self Control App

Honestly peeps, I reckon that the reason 98% of us aren’t getting shit done as quickly and easily as it can be is because we are ENDLESS DISTRACTED BY SHINY THINGS.

And by shiny things, I mean the internet.

Yeah yeah, I know I know. I get it. The internet is important. Hey, the internet is where I run my whole business.

But guess what? Being ONLINE is NOT my job.

Nor is it yours.

Get the fuck off the internet + just do your shit already.

And because I know your self control compulsion might be all jacked up on Twitter-anticipation, here’s a handy way to enforce your way into tech-solitude:

Self Control App.

Install it (it’s only for Macs, sorry PC lovers.) Ban all the sites of distraction (FB, Twitter, Instagram + Youtube are all on my ban list). Choose how long you can cope without it. And BAM. TOO BAD FOR YOU. NO MORE INTERNET UNTIL TIME IS UP.

In the meantime, you actually, you know… get the important shit done. Who woulda thunk it?

IMG_1965 copy

2. Ye Olde Fashioned Self Control App: Take Self Away From Wi Fi + Have An Artist’s Date

Here’s another handy hint: fuck off to a cafe. Drink (chai) tea + eat (gluten-free) cake.

Steer clear of the joints that give you free wifi. That’s kinda counter productive to the whole shindiggle.

Or head to the museum. Or the park. Hey, I used to do ALL my work up a tree, in a park or trawling cafes.

Give yourself an artist’s date (as coined by the magnificent Julia Cameron). Read more about that kinda goodness here.

Fill your well. Enchant yourself. Get inspired. Pour your miracles out.

3. Engage the Wild Donkey Technique

Seriously, possums. Tell me you know about the Wild Donkey Technique To Getting Shit Done, yeah?

If not, download this little (free) e-book for ya that me + my daughter made for you a couple of years ago!

This shit is seriously world changing… I still get emails about it all the time from happy creatives who are finally getting their miracles finished + out in the world!

Click HERE to download your FREE Project Finisher Ebook!

(Right click or Option click and choose “Save As” or “Download Linked File As”)

4. Keep A Pen + Paper By Your Side

When I’m reading business books, studying education programs, reading the paper, am falling asleep at night or am just out and about… I make sure I keep a pen + paper nearby. That way, whenever I have an idea, I immediately jot it down so it’s out of my head + actionable.

I might have a ginormous brain but I don’t like all its room being taken up with thoughts like

“Must buy brasso next time I’m at the shops so I can clean down all that antique stuff my ma-in-law brought me. Also, I should probably do the polishing of them this weekend. And SHIT I just remembered must book an appointment with my accountant to discuss financial planning. Also: what kind of love affair did Eleanor Roosevelt have with her husband? That might be inspiring. I should read up on that. And holy crap, just remembered, must rewrite all my email autoresponders because they are probably getting old now. Must read up on new potential indigenous health charities based in Australia to support too. And I have to send a card to my bestie. Probably a unicorn one.”

Honestly peeps, that’s exactly how my brain works. That’s like five minutes inside my brain.

And if I tried to remember everything, it’s just not going to fucking happen. I’d feel muddled and anxious all day long.

I pop ALL of these ideas down in my journal in my to do list section. And then when it’s the appropriate time, I cross it all off my list.

And my brain gets to keep all its space for thinking up magical, world-changing ideas. Like this:

IMG_1967 copy

5. Don’t stop believing.

As in: don’t spend all your time fucking around, wondering if you’re good enough to do this. Make sure your to do list doesn’t look like this:


  • Sit around second guessing myself
  • Procrastinate because I’m shitting myself with fear
  • Look at what everyone else is doing and compare myself mercilessly, convincing myself it’s “research” but really it’s just fodder to make myself feel like secondhand shit.

Instead, your to do list should look like this:

  • Have total faith + belief + love for what you are doing
  • Do it.

That’s it panda bears.

Go out and do the stuff that matters.

Your work is needed in this world.

Stay focussed, keep the faith, fill the well + pour your miracles out.

All my love,

p.s. if you are reading this in Google Reader, please note that Google Reader will be shutting down on July 1st of this year. To continue to get updated content, please subscribe to my email list (if you haven’t already) which will include a weekly recap of articles written on the blog.


Hola darlinghearts,

Three pieces of inspiration to share with you today.

They all made me gasp with delight.


I read this quote on the weekend, and I honestly did a double take when I read it, before squeeing YESSSSSS! It affirms a fundamental principle of humanity that I hold dear.

“Although human beings are capable of being selfish, lustful and aggressive, that is not what they are fundamentally. Beneath the surface, at the psychological and biological core of human nature, we find basic goodness and decency. When people appear to be something other than good and decent, it is only because they are reacting to stress, pain or the deprivation of basic human needs such as security, love and self-esteem.”

– Abraham Maslow

How amazing is that? #soamazing




It was my mother-in-law’s birthday on the weekend. We celebrated by spending pretty much the entire weekend on the verandah, BBQ-ing and eating and talking and reading and blue butterfly spotting. On Sunday afternoon, Starry got a bit overstimulated from the laid-back celebrationfest… so I ended up making her a little nest on her mini trampoline. She curled up on there, surrounded by her beloved puppies + mermaid toy + dog toy + books. And it was the most beautiful sight… one that curled up in my heart.

It honestly felt like such a beautiful affirmation that all the work we’ve done – as a family, in my business, in our lives… to create the life we wanted… it’s come true. And I’m so glad I get to cultivate this life for my daughter. I’m so glad this is her childhood.

Also: now to make a giant nest bed for the Leonie!


Once upon a time, I sent myself off to boarding school. And honestly peeps, it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself – I was so tired of being bullied at my old (state-run, small town) high school. It seemed like there was a chronic case of dickheadedness there, and I left so I didn’t catch it.

ANYHEWSLES, I chose a lil boarding school that was out of the way + filled with kids off remote cattle properties around Northern Australia + Papau New Guinea. Everyone there was kind of just nice and excited to have human contact really, so dickheadedness was contained only to those unfortunate ones that were born with it and weren’t able to shake it off.


I met some really beautiful souls there. One of them was one of the 13 year old girls I looked after (because, you know, I was a totes responsible 16 year old). Leanne was a ridiculously sweet, kind soul with an angel voice. We spent a lot of time hanging out at the music house (she was there to actually, you know, practice music. I was there to practice kissing boys. #justsoyouknow)

Years later we reconnected, and keep weaving magic together.
She’s still making music. She’s the lead singer of an awesome band — LittleLam. (I still practice kissing boys, but there’s only one of them now, and he’s mega hot. Also, probably not classed as a “boy.” #justsoyouknow)

Anyways, Leanne messaged me to let me know she’d written a song after reading this post of mine.

At which point I melted into a puddle of happy.

SO happy to be doing this work. SO happy to be witnessing others doing theirs.

Behold, the magic that is:

How effing rad is life?

big love,