Emma Norris is the epitome of the new age creative. As an award-winning writer, blogger and digital marketing specialist, she has helped create one of the nation’s most celebrated websites, ‘A Girl In Progress’. Treating the website as a “how-to” guide, it champions and empowers women in all areas of life, from health and wellness all the way down to work and those conversations we don’t want to have with our bosses. Having recently launched her latest venture, 'Blogging in Progress’, it’s easy to spot Emma’s entrepreneurial and driven side. But what we really wanted to know is how she gets it all done and what we can all do to empower our girl gang. We asked Emma to take 5 out of her busy schedule (did we also mention that Emma is deputy editor at Girlfriend Magazine?) to talk to our Happy Way family about work, motivation and the apps you need to get organised.
You often discuss women’s empowerment in your blogs. What does this mean to you?
To me, women’s empowerment means having the freedom, strength and confidence to go after the life of your dreams — no matter what that looks like for you. That could be working and travelling the world as a digital nomad, becoming the CEO of your own company, starting a family or championing a cause that’s important to you. Whatever it is, it’s having that courage and resilience to pursue the things that light you up inside - no matter what obstacles or naysayers stand in your way. And, on a broader level the women’s empowerment movement to me means supporting ALL women (regardless of culture, age, size, walk of life) in their pursuit of those goals.
What are some of the biggest hurdles women face in the workforce?
While we’ve certainly come a long way, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to closing the pay gap and creating better conditions for working mums. However, in terms of something I’ve experienced personally, it would be not being taken seriously as a young woman — particularly when I was in my early 20s. As I also looked quite small and young, I sometimes felt that people discounted me as ‘just a kid’ and cast my ideas aside. As a result, I felt a bit hesitant to voice my opinions and ideas. However, I think it’s important that everyone’s perspective and voice is valid and to have courage in your own convictions.
What is the one thing we can all do to empower our girl gang?
I think the biggest thing is just listening to them — making them feel heard and allowing them to feel that their dreams are valid and important. And letting them know that you 100% believe in their ability to achieve those goals, because they’re incredible!
What are the 3 podcasts women should listen to if they want to feel more empowered at work?
-I’m going to be a bit biased and say my own podcast, A Day In Progress! We give you a glimpse into the daily routines of inspiring women, including the morning and evening regimes, productivity hacks, and goal-setting techniques that set them up for success.
-The Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutcher. She’s a self-made millionaire and an absolute boss! Whether it’s her solo shows or her interviews with inspiring guests, her episodes are packed with actionable business and marketing advice.
-The Rise and Conquer podcast by Georgie Stevenson. As well as health, fitness and body image, Georgie delves into things like mindset, goal setting and habits and I it’s an excellent podcast to start your day on a positive note.
You have recently started another business, ‘a blog in progress’. You also work on various marketing and content projects. What are the three things you do to stay organised.
Yep, as well as running the blog and podcast, I work 4 days a week as deputy editor at Girlfriend magazine and have Blogging In Progress, where I specialise in blog writing and content marketing. I’m also currently writing a book on mindful productivity through A Girl In Progress, which is due in a month!
I’m definitely a type B person and am not naturally organised, but I kind of have to be because I have so much on my plate! The three things I do to stay (kinda) organised are:
-ALWAYS writing down my deadlines. Because as much as I’m pretty good at remembering things at the top of my head, things can sometimes fall through the cracks.
- I use an app called Cushion to plan out and forecast my freelance projects and see how much space I have in my schedule to take on more work (because I have a tendency of saying ‘yes’ to too many things and overcommitting myself).
-For A Girl In Progress, I use an app called Airtable , which is basically a supercharged spreadsheet program. I use this for our editorial calendar and I find it really keeps me on track with posting regularly and ensuring we have a good mix of content across various verticals.
-Momentum Dash, which is actually a Chrome extension. It looks like a desktop screensaver with a beautiful image that changes every day and I love it because it pops up any time you open a new tab. It prompts you to set your intention for the day and you can write your to-do list on there. I actually use their paid, premium version because it allows you to set countdowns along the top bar,
-Coach.me This is an excellent habit-tracking app, where you set goals and check in every day to report how you went with it. For an extra fee, you can even get paired up with an accountability coach who will check in every day to see how you went with your fitness and body goals.
-Focusmate. Okay, so this one definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s absolutely changed my life when it comes to getting sh*t done! You book time slots where you’re paired with a virtual study buddy for 50-minute, focused productivity sprints. You tell each other what you’re working on and they’re there in the background (via video) while you work away, then you both check in again at the end and say how you went. It’s definitely a little strange to begin with, but I’ve been about 10 x more productive since I started using it