Permission to incubate

published6 months ago
3 min read

💡Tapping into flow and letting ideas incubate
✏️ A shitty drawing for you
🤓Curriculum design leads to ADHD discoveries

Why hello there.

It feels like a lifetime has happened in just the last month!

Right now, there's a lot of "work" happening that doesn't look like work.

Thinking, mapping, drawing, talking... lots of talking. Lots of synapses firing and connections forming.

What isn't happening:

  • following up on emails in a timely fashion
  • checking things off the list
  • shipping YouTube videos
  • chilling

Indeed, it's one of those seasons.

Do you have those too?

I'm not talking necessarily about calendar seasons, but cycles of work and flow. In my experience, there can be large chunks of the year that use a disproportionate amount of time in a specific mode: doing, deciding, delegating, or designing.

Starting something new has a different energy than scaling and sustaining. Making decisions uses different energy than creative work. Planning, writing, video editing, socializing, documenting... all of these can give and drain energy in different ways.

So as our projects ebb and flow, our attention is pulled in different ways. Work has seasons. Projects have seasons. Life has seasons.

The trick is knowing how and when to give ourselves permission to be in a discovery process, and resist the urge to beat ourselves up about not having "machine like productivity."

Questions to ponder:
Do you give yourself permission to incubate ideas?
Or to give projects a deep enough discovery phase?

I'm still working on showing myself compassion when I'm in incubation mode...

Sharing the messy thinking that happens in my brain while I'm in incubation mode.
what's this?

Visit the shitty drawings database


The On Deck Course Creator Fellowship kicked off this weekend. As a founding fellow and peer mentor, I'll be very immersed in all things Transformational Online Courses, both as someone with real world experience, AND as someone who knows there's always more to learn!

BLOWN AWAY by their onboarding and kick-off call! So excited to learn and participate in this cohort!

As I've been reworking and revamping my own course curriculum, I've been struggling to put concepts into a clear, methodical order.

I found myself going into beast mode, with long periods of hyper-focus, unable to turn my brain off.

Between this hyper-focus, my general (long-standing) difficulty sequencing information (isn't everything a choose-your-own-adventure of possibility??), and my sister's somewhat recent ADHD diagnosis... a sneaking suspicion emerged.

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marie poulin
April 4th 2021

In an effort to understand my sister's somewhat recent ADHD diagnosis more deeply, I ended up on a wild journey of research and self discovery that opened my eyes to seeing my own behaviour and "family quirks" in a whole new light.

I'm still processing it, but it has given me a new lens on curriculum design, both from a teacher's and learner's perspective.

I find it fascinating how many folks with ADHD and other neuro-divergent tendencies seem drawn to Notion and drawn to my work. I don't think this is a coincidence, and I plan to share more insights about these discoveries as I go.

Not everyone consumes information or makes connections in the same way. There are many different learning preferences, and I am working to understand how to accommodate different learning preferences and learning outcomes within the same course.

How do we give people options without overwhelming them?
How is this type of information best learned?
How can we reduce the cognitive load of the student?

Reminder: don't assume that your preferences are everyone's preferences.


Course Design Formula: How to Teach Anything to Anyone Online
This is an excellent read. I highly recommend it if you're working on an online course, whatever stage you're in!


I am OBSESSED with High Score on Netflix. If you were a video-game-playing child of the 80s you will appreciate this 6-part documentary series.

I was blown away by the stories behind the art, people, creativity, innovation, and individual decisions that completely changed the face of whole industries.

I felt like a kid in a candy store watching this series, it was so fun. My favourite part of course, was seeing the sketches of the ideas before they came to life! Ahhhh!! Brain flooded with dopamine!!!


If you ARE thinking about creating an online course, do yourself a favour and start talking about those ideas publicly. Whether on Twitter, YouTube, email newsletter, or whatever other channel has traction for you.

You don't have to be active on all the channels, but the important thing to ask yourself is... do people have an idea of what you're about, and what you're working on?

You don't want the first time people hear from you to be an invitation to purchase.

Share your thoughts + ideas generously; I promise it will come back tenfold!

That's it for this week!

Wishing you that sweet Spring energy...

Marie Poulin
Workflow Mastery with Notion

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