Blab Replays: Work, Life, Health, & Social Media Balance

Blab Replays: Work, Life, Health, & Social Media Balance

This week’s topic was on the honest and transparent side for us I would say. Typically how we manage our lives can be seen through curated material in our social media channels and streams. But how we’re juggling all of that is more of a mystery than glitz, ease, and glamour.

In this replay we talk about how we manage our days, apps that we use, best practices, and also provide some health tips. Be sure to add your comments below if you’d like to add to the conversation.

Blab Replays: Time Saving Apps for Blogging and Social Media

Blab Replays: Time Saving Apps for Blogging and Social Media

Hey everyone! Back with another replay. This time Bess and I were talking about some time-saving apps that we use everyday. We also had some guests jump on and discuss some apps that they use also. On top of all that, there were a bunch of app suggestions by viewers in the chat room as well.

While the show was fantastic and full in great tips, there’s too much to type. So I highly suggest you watch the replay and have a pen and paper ready to write down the app suggestions. A lot of the suggestions were for free apps, and some freemium (meaning free options, then a paid model for more features). Check it out and let me know what you think!

An Honest Look at Procrastination and Distractions as a Creative

Let’s face it,  distractions are a good part of our day if you’re spending it on a computer. Being a creative, I have laptops, a tablet, a smart phone and probably notifications and bells going on each at random times of the day and night. Yea even at night. Especially when hanging with friends when I try to pay them attention when I get a notification about something from a client while at dinner.

It’s rude. Not just to the people around me, but to my life and what I could be doing at the moment of the interruption. I used to feel so productive and now a days I end my days not sure if I was productive or just kicked some cans down the road for another day. 

I used to look forward to weekends like they were my escape from my busy work week. Now my weekends are a busy blur of projects and tasks I didn’t finish during the week because of my interruptions, lack of focus, and distractions. 

So what I’m I going to do about it? Well like a recovering 12 step plan, I’m first going to admit that I have a problem. I enjoy my distractions. Yea I said it. Deep down I’m proud of them too. I feel important and needed. My client needs me to do this, my virtual villagers need me to do this, I need more engagements on social media, blah! The appearance of looking official and busy like the shows I watch have consumed me. 

So now that all that is out of the way, what am I going to do about it? Time to keep myself honest and remove my self-destructive interruptions and gain back the precious minutes and eventually hours of my day. I’m going to write down clear objectives for each day and get all of them done. Then close the lid of my laptop and not open it again until the next morning. I’m going to disable my group chat notifications and only check them twice a day when I literally get up and walk away from my desk for a scheduled break. My email app will no longer stay open all day. I’ll check it at the top of every hour like it was the post man doing a scheduled delivery. No more business emails on my phone. (Well, maybe I don’t want to get ahead of myself) And finally, weekends will be truly a time to relax. If I take a meeting it’s because money is being given to me to start a project. Otherwise it can wait till Monday. 

Now what about you? Any distractions keeping you from being truly productive in your day? Let me know in the comments below and let’s all compare and laugh a little. 

Cognizant Colleague Communication

Last week’s blog definitely caused successive waves of emotions regarding client communication and the rocky waters one can hit if misunderstood.  Now this week I want to focus on the pitfalls of not being cognizant of gaps in communication with your colleagues.  When life imitates art, reality reflects what had previously been expressed in that art (or literature, real life drama, etc). As I’m finding out more recently than ever, so does an experience lay the foundation for writing these blogs & learning how to do somethings better as you go along.  If we’re not cognizant of what we’re conveying or implying to a colleague, we can misinterpret key points, directives and pertinent goals of a project. And that doesn’t just affect the working relationship but also goes to heart of productivity (or lack thereof) and the trust a client puts in you to get the task/project completed.  And I’m sure we all know from last weeks blog how detrimental that can be!

Tomato – Tomahto?
If I say the sky is blue and you say yes, it’s Robin’s Egg, are we going to split hairs over which is accurate or engage in the debate of semantics (the meaning/interpretation of words or groups of words within a certain context commonly used in order to win some form of argument)? There’s nothing wrong with individual expression, however lapses in correct communication with your colleagues can cause not just frustration but a host of other issues.  Some of which might include:
*Lack of Productivity    *Missed Deadlines    *Delays in the internal workflow system    *Disintegration of team morale & cohesiveness    *Stressful work environment
And I’m sure there is a bevy of many more.  It’s an “if / then” , “cause/effect” kind of issue.  Recently I had a situation where a client colleague  gave me some documents and wanted them converted to another format.  I thought we were on the same page, but the simple misunderstanding of “what it is vs. what I want it to be” caused longer hours, more resources and impacted the financial investment into the project.  A frustrating lesson to learn but nevertheless, it’s in my handbook now!
Tone Can Be Everything
One of the valuable lessons my father instilled in me from almost birth is that it’s not just what you say but HOW you say it that makes the difference.  Yes, I know you all have probably heard that a thousand times but as I was writing this blog, I thought about how that same motto holds true in business.  Whether its in a meeting, over the phone or responding to an email and/or text; HOW you say something will certainly determine WHAT people hear when you speak and/or write.   If your tone is biting, snippy or inpatient, that can determine the “joy” your colleague will have when needing to collaborate with you or fulfilling a directive.  Body language also plays an important part here as well.  A hand on the hip, an audible sigh or a rolled eye can easily cause a “in one ear & out of the other” effect.
That’s Not What I Said! 
Last week I talked about the regurgitation method or otherwise known as rephrasing.  When having a conversation, try to fully engage &  listen to what others are saying.  Then rephrase and repeat back to them what you believe were their important points.  For the time it takes to do this, it will certainly be time well  spent rather than going back on multiple occasions for clarification.
Not On Their Dime
If you are not concise regarding the instructions on how to complete a particular task, you might waste valuable time and have to go back for a do-over. That could also cause an unexpected financial impact on the project from the clients wallet.  So it behooves us all to make sure that what we are conveying to one another is accurate such as confirming the plan of action, workflow timeframes and completion dates.  

In conclusion, better communication leads to a more productive workplace, which in turn increases a company’s revenue.  If the company is doing well, that means clients are happy and possibly you & your colleague(s) can enjoy the financial fruits of your labors.  So let’s all try to be a little more cognizant of our colleague communication so that fruit stays ripe & abundant for  both the workplace and financial harvest.