Happy Labor Day!

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It is the Friday before Labor Day weekend… with a much deserved extra day off!

Check out your to-do list, rock out what is mission critical, and leave work on time today!

You have been working hard all year so take your 3 day weekend to rest, relax, and recover to come back next week with restored energy and drive!

You’ve got this!

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To Done List

To Done List

 

What. a. week.

Deadlines loomed, projects were knocked out of the park, timelines were met (or stretched). And inevitably/happily/exhaustedly, Friday afternoon has arrived.

I’ve always found it fascinating what one remembers about the week on a Friday afternoon.

Try it – take the next 3 minutes to pause and think about your week.

Where were you successful?

What did you learn?

How can next week be even better?

Now – write it down, scribble in your notebook, flowchart in your favorite app – whatever works to get it out. The more concrete you can be, the better. It’s kind of like the opposite of a ‘To Do’ list.

A ‘To Done’ list, perhaps?

Try this for a few weeks- you’ll be amazed at what trends you’ll find out about yourself, your work habits, and your life.

 

Have you ever compiled a ‘To Done’ list or something similar before? Discover anything that surprised you?

Meditations on the Middle

Nightstand

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I learned to keep a notepad on my nightstand.

Have you ever woken in a panic, remembering that one task you forgot to do today? Or, on a more positive note, a brilliant idea of how to solve that one nagging problem in your project plan/executive presentation/direct report dilemma? That was me nightly. For some reason, sleep helped me gather my thoughts on everything and I learned that if I didn’t write it down immediately, I forgot once my head hit the pillow.

As a middle manager, I couldn’t find enough real thinking time during the day. There’s a reality to the life of a middle manager that can’t be denied – you really are in the middle. There’s top pressure, bottom pressure, middle pressure- the need to succeed so that my team can succeed. I jump from executive meetings to 1:1’s with my directs to project management calls, and then still have some actual work to do myself. And in the middle of that – we have to think strategically, manage processes, and develop our people.

Half of what my brain comes up with during REM is nonsense – or I can’t read my own handwriting. The other half is brilliant, thought-provoking, remarkably creative. I firmly believe that’s because sleeping became my time to think, even if on a gut level.

Looking back on the middle of the night wake-up calls from my brain, there were some pro’s and con’s.

The Pro’s:

  • Good Ideas – brilliance even!
  • Creativity

The Cons:

  • Randomness
  • Crummy sleep
  • Waking my cat, my partner, and myself

A more useful way of doing things (with less of the downside) has been dumping my ideas, to do’s, and problems on my notepad throughout the day and then clearing my mind (it took practice!) of anxieties, fears, and lists.

I sleep better, am working better, and there’s more room on my nightstand.