Work-life balance is sometimes about having a little fun at the office. Here are 10 truly awkward things you could do- or dare a friend to do- when they bump into their boss in an elevator.Read More
Hear crickets when you ask your kids how their day went? Me too. I don't know if their memories are too short or they just don't want to share, I rarely get anywhere with generic questions. And even if they did speak up, they probably wouldn't share what I really want to know. As an alternative, here are questions I came up with for my kids. You can try these two or come up with your own versions to get the information you want and need to know about how you're doing as a mom.Read More
Want to create a beautiful flower arrangement? Here's how in 18 simple steps (with wine!) Whether you're looking to build a new skill or for something fun to do with the kids, flower arranging is easy, fun, and has the immediate benefit of a beautiful decoration for your home.Read More
We created our 2017 family vision board this weekend. This is our third and biggest board yet. The kids- Marin (5), Baya (4), and Linc (2)- are starting to get the concept and enjoy putting it together.
Vision boarding is a perfect activity for kids. It blends danger (use of scissors), mess (use of glue), and a focus completely on themselves.
It's a not so perfect an activity for me. I'm a control freak and over-complicator. Putting this collage together is an annual exercise in restraint and important reminder to myself that it doesn't always have to be my way.
Here's what we did:
I try to keep it simple and use whatever we have on hand. My inclination is to make a special run out to Staples for all new supplies but we had plenty of poster board already. I also let them stop when they're feeling done and not push them to finish it to my standards of completion (all white space covered up.) What works for us is to blend the sources of pictures. Some come from magazines, some I search and print from Google images, and some come from the photo library on my phone.
I should have stated upfront that my husband has nothing to do with this. He'll politely ooh and ahh once they're done but doesn't do crafts or anything he thinks is too "woo woo."
So, what's on tap for the Camarotes in 2017?
- As far as Marin's concerned, the only important thing on here is a trip to Notre Dame for a football game. We'll have to see about that.
- They came up with a bunch of small, random goals- mostly around stuff they wanted to eat. I'm feeling pretty confident about my ability to manifest some Goldfish and juice boxes for them.
- A couple of recurring items are our garden and dinners on the patio. We plan to log some time at the pool, heading down the slopes, and running on the trail.
I'm feeling good about 2017 and love having this visual reminder of the stuff we want to and plan to do in the new year.
You want to love your job but you just don’t. On top of that, you can’t quit—at least right now. Perhaps your job was better when you first started and the environment has changed. Or maybe you’ve changed and you’re now struggling to get motivated to do the same work. Maybe you got a new boss who you’re not that crazy about. Whatever the circumstance, not loving your job AND not feeling able to quit can leave you feeling really stuck.
This easy-to-follow worksheet was designed to help you better your immediate circumstances while keeping your eye on your long-term vision and dreams. By completing these simple lists and questions, you will identify what you like about your current job, what you don’t like, and what you can reasonably change. Do this with the intention of:
- Finding out more about yourself and what you’re looking for an
- Identifying some practical ways to bring more of those work experiences into your current role
Since I started freelancing (or independent consulting as it's more commonly referred to in my industry) people reach out for advice on whether or not they should do the same. I'm delighted to take these calls and talk. The question, to me, seems to boil down to this... "will I be happier freelancing or staying put?"
I like to talk through their expectations and what they imagine post-corporate life to be like. I captured the key concepts in this quiz. Answer the questions to determine where you'll be the happiest and able to do your best work in the coming year.
Powered by Interact
In the comments below or in a private message, let me know if the answer surprised you or got you thinking about an alternative way of working. I'd love to hear from you.
For those who know me well, you can probably imagine why. I complicate things.
I don't mean to but I can't help it-- and it starts at breakfast. For example, I'm on an oatmeal kick at the moment. Easy enough, right? Sure but no dump and stir packets will do (though they are in the house because my more sensible half takes them for his breakfast). No, I instead confine rolled oats, salt, coconut oil, toasted pecans, a squirt of agave, and fresh blueberries in a travel mug with some boiling water. This is all assembled while my 14 month old's chubby fingers empty every box and can from the pantry stored lower than 28 inches.
After I dust off the baby and restock the pantry, I head back to my room to get dressed. As you can probably guess, things get worse. Imagine for a moment my "before" closet. Actually, don't bother. Just see below.
An affection for clothes and shoes coupled with 20+ years of disposable income (including a prevailing goal in my twenties to start every Monday with "something with tags on it") took its toll. The drawers were bursting and rods bowing under the weight of "I might want to wear that one day."
I'm not exactly sure what (or who) caused the breaking point but I'm there now. I am over my stuff so it's out. I've been convinced by the ideas in books like this one from best-selling author, Evan Zislis, that life will be better when it is less complicated. In short, I'm fine with the hard stuff being hard and the stuff that doesn't matter being either easy or gone.
Deciding to simplify then actually doing it are two different things, of course. Within minutes of coming to this realization, I made it complicated. Grand visions and aspirations bloomed and, all of a sudden, the very act of simplifying seemed daunting. I needed a plan.
That plan started with (of course) a Google search that led me to this Real Simple article on wardrobe basics. Of course, I couldn't just read it and go clean out my closet. No, I downloaded it, tailored it to my tastes, edited it, formatted it, printed it, taped it to the wall in my closet.... then cleaned out my closet.
Things are better now. I've actually taken another pass through since I took these pictures to eliminate everything outside of a basic black, white, blue, and gray palette.
My goal was to put some structure to my closet clean-out plan and head into Fall with a clearer picture of what I actually needed-- versus what was on sale at Banana Republic or looked cute in the moment. What I got was that and more-- surprising given that we are still just talking about clothes.
As a regular reader, you might have reached this point wondering what this has to do with federal government programs and communications. For me, they're related in that a simplified life helps conserve energy for both client and personal challenges. I honestly feel lighter, my brain less cluttered, and more focused. Having a plan made decisions easier and more deliberate. Now done with this step, having less stuff to wrangle in the morning makes me feel more productive, organized, and capable of tackling other big messes. That pantry is next.
Here's the printable list. I hope you find it helpful too.
You have an idea and a planned approach to take to your leadership and to start the journey toward buy-in and support. If your boss is a numbers person (and they all are, right?), metrics will be helpful in making your case.
The metrics I’m referring to are different from the data you might use to demonstrate the problem or to create a sense of urgency. Performance measures are typically implemented near the end just before launch. The idea, of course, is to understand the results or impact the change has had on our desired goal. Articulating what these metrics might be can be a compelling way to demonstrate our understanding of the problem and how tuned in we are to solving it. Giving tangible examples might also help our leadership envision a future state and begin thinking how powerful that information would be.
Yet there are many challenges with creating meaningful metrics, collecting data, and interpreting the results.
- In the beginning, setting up metrics (or even imagining which might be most useful) can be a hurdle to overcome.
- Issues may surround the cost and time associated with collecting the right data, establishing a firm baseline, and figuring out a way to credibly tie back any results you observe to the idea or action you’re proposing to take.
To overcome these challenges, I created this guide to map existing and develop new performance metrics that align to your organization’s strategic plan. You can also read more about building buy-in with metrics in my book, Flock: Getting Leaders to Follow. Hopefully, the examples will help jump-start your thinking on what might resonate with your leaders.