A Word with Amanda Cox

When I asked Amanda Cox to be a part of our interview series, she jokingly responded, “love to help seeing as I am such an organisation freak! Pahahahaha”  🙂  She may joke that organising is not her strong point, but I know how much she gets done, so she must be doing something right!

So let’s get into it…

Amanda Cox, aka Mad Cow

How did you get into the work you do? I got into doing what I do (an online support website and safe haven for Australian Mums) out of my own needs. Helping my husband run a business, studying, raising two kids and having succumbed to postnatal depression, but also having a sense of humour and the ability to have a laugh at life, other websites and forums were too fluffy, too serious and I just didn’t fit. So I created one. It has grown considerably since, and now includes articles, ecourses, products, downloads and a paid membership (and more, I’m sure!) which has allowed me to indulge in stuff I love doing, like writing.

How do you stay on top of your list? Hmmmm…  great question. Usually, I have to break it up into smaller chunks and, subsequently, smaller piles. Then I put those smaller piles into small piles on the floor and rest my feet on them. That’s about as close as I come to staying on top of my List. I do find breaking things down, for example “Finish writing this 400 page document” becomes “write chapter 1” – is less overwhelming and actually doable! Then I sit on it – literally. Just another way I keep on top of it … 🙂

Diary – Paper or Electronic? Paper diary! I do have my phone which I keep on me as little reminders, but I love to be able to see my whole day laid out before me. It’s easier to see just what chaos I have on. I’m a “day to a page” kinda chick. Week to an opening does my head in! Who has that little on?????

I like to write details of my appointments, too, so I like to have room to add them. Also, it makes me look very important when I say “Oh, I have to check my diary” and flip through pages. This also works when you’re on the phone, if you flip the pages loudly. I have to admit, I’m still looking for the elusive, “just right” version (so much so, I’m creating my own).

My favourite organising tools are my paper diary – of which I have two in circulation. One is for my Life, the other my business projects and to dos. I’ve also created a set of what I refer to as Mayhem Managers, which help keep not only me but the rest of the family in check … takes a HUGE load off my shoulders when I can just point a finger towards the fridge (obviously, where the Managers are) and not have to think for three other people. I LOVE it. They are also my sanity savers … if I forget to utilise them, my life goes into (more) chaos, and I feel my mood slipping.

If you could be or do anything, what would it be? I would LOVE to be able to just focus on my writing. I don’t have a specific project in mind, but have several going at once, novels, blogs, e-courses and e-products, facts sheets, articles … just to be a writer would be fabulous. Also, Professional Holiday Taker would be nice at times. Just not all the time – only when I need it (hmmmm, then I could write about it, yes?)

How do you spend your down time? Watching Thomas the Tank Engine and other children’s DVDs and wishing I could get back to doing some work, and that I had some “proper” down time where I could go to a growed up’s restaurant or movie …

Thanks so much for sharing your busy, productive life with us, Amanda.

Amanda Cox (aka Mad Cow) is the founder of Australia’s safe-haven for mums and online parent support website Real Mums (www.realmums.com.au), a writer, speaker, author, wife, mum to three boys and avoider of housework and the joining of committees.

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