See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

See Why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World

Work-life balance is one of those phrases that people with way too much time on their hands talk about. Usually they have their own yoga studios, grow all their own food, and can afford really swell vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. And that’s not even a generalization!

 

When Is There Ever Balance?

When Is There Ever Balance?

When Is There Ever Balance?

Never, that’s when! This is the week of Easter and tax returns. Many people with businesses are filing at the last minute instead of being involved in an Easter egg hunt. Unless, of course, you call looking for business deductions in a huge pile of receipts an Easter egg hunt. Then, yes, there’s an Easter egg hunt.

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We Strive for Balance

We dream of balance during those nights when we don’t sleep enough because we were up late worrying about whether everything for that upcoming conference got finished. Was there one last person to call, or a piece of paper that didn’t make it to the right place?

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Finding Time

By the way, if you need to find a little more time, here’s my article on Social Media: Time Management for Busy Entrepreneurs that you might like. Finding a bit of time here and there in your day can be cause for celebration!

Vacations Are for Sissies

If you’re involved in a startup, do you ever really go on vacation? Or is your idea of time off working a couple of hours less on the days you’re strolling on the beach? And speaking of strolling on the beach, here’s a brilliant idea from Forbes: Want a Brilliant Idea for a Startup? Go on Vacation!

“…ideas emerge when someone frees their mind up to wander – this often doesn’t happen in day to day life,”
~ Jessica Livingston, founding partner Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s best known incubator

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You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

Who among us has not heard this pithy bumpersticker-sized statement? Startups have a reputation for fueling sleep deprivation. Startups have also begun to fuel new ideas about sleep, as outlined in this nifty article: How Tech Startups Are Waking Up the Sleep Industry. In fact, new startup Cereve has a Sleep System to cool the forehead and soothe “a racing mind.” Something many in the startup world suffer from.

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Is Balance Possible?

How have you created balance? While I’d love to believe in unicorns, maybe we are better off believing they don’t exist. Or are we all resigned to being comfortable being uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments! And thank you.

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Finding that sweet spot between live interaction and posts can be a tricky business. Some people like to automate everything, and others are purists about live posting. A hybrid approach can save you time and energy, but what is the best ratio of automated to live posts? And how often can you post before your audience starts to roll their eyes and unfollow you? Here’s a look behind the curtain, so you can choose what you want to do.

By the way, you may have missed this post about social media automation.

Being Informative vs Being Annoying

Hardly anyone sets out to be annoying, but sometimes there’s a fine line. Being top of mind is what we’re all aiming for. In an interesting article from Buffer about social media frequency, author Kevan Lee suggests posting 14 times a day on Twitter, or about once per hour. Of course, there’s another ratio to consider: how often to post about yourself. Could you post about your own brand once in five or once in ten times?

Scheduling Tweets

Scheduling Tweets

Twitter: Live Engagement & Automation

For Twitter, I started with scheduling nothing, then went to scheduling 10 tweets daily, then 5 scheduled tweets, and now 0. When an interesting topic comes up, it goes into my scheduler so it appears at an optimal time. Besides that and the Tweet Old Posts plugin (every 4 hours), the rest is live engagement. The result has been that my follower count has gone up. My ratio of automated to live tweeting is about 1:3 or 1:4. By the way, here’s an article about why not to buy followers and who has the most fake Twitter followers.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics

Facebook: Optimizing Through Analytics

Do not believe those articles and infographics about the best times to post. Check your Facebook analytics to find your best times and frequency. Unless you bought followers, you should be able to see when your fans are online. I find the best engagement before 9 am and up to 3 pm. It’s important to use a big picture. Some people like to tag others, but I find those posts annoying. For Facebook, I post about once daily. Hubspot has an interesting article about how often you should post on Facebook. As far as automation goes, I’d recommend it and especially if your audience is up early, for instance, and you’re not. Again, check your analytics.

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest

For Pinterest, since about half of all users are in the United States, you might want to limit your pinning to those times when your audience is online. I’ve been pinning roughly 8 times a day: 4 times live pinning and four scheduled pins. The scheduled pins are from my own blog, and go out between 5:30 to about 8 pm. The others go out usually all at once.

What Works for You?

Do you schedule? How much? Leave me a comment! I’d really like to know!

 

 

The Startup Guide to Sleep

The Startup Guide to Sleep

The Startup Guide to Sleep

During the past few years, public perception about sleep and its importance has started to shift. While some founders and CEOs may still brag about how little sleep they need, many others are waking up to the significance of getting enough sleep. A sleep industry has begun to develop, with apps, mattresses, and devices to assist us in getting enough shut-eye. Here is my post about blogging tips for startups, by the way.

Is Sleep the Secret to 2 World Series Wins in 5 Years?

Is Sleep the Secret to 2 World Series Wins in 5 Years?

San Francisco Giants’ Sleep Coach

Perhaps you’ve heard that the San Francisco Giants have won three titles in the past five years. But did you know that for each year that they won they had a sleep coach? Dr. Chris Winter, whom the Huffington Post calls “the sleep whisperer,” coaches the team on getting the most recuperation so they can play at their best. Although the Giants pay more in hotel bills (to allow the players to rest rather than fly home immediately after a game), their players are well rested and perform better. And by the way, the Giants can improve your game in other ways, too.

Napping is Your New SuperPower

Napping is Your New SuperPower

Your New Super Power: Napping

Napping is your new best friend for more reasons than one. A nap can rejuvenate you so that you can work longer and can also extend your life. If you’re driving while tired, a few minutes napping at a rest stop lets you continue your drive safely. And did you know there’s a perfect time of day to nap? According to Dr. Sara Mednick, you can design your own nap using her nap wheel. Many companies are now allowing employees a place to nap at work.

Hack Your Nap

Hack Your Nap

Hack Your Nap

If you can’t get a solid eight during the night because of early-morning meetings, there is another way: hack your nap. According to this article in Forbes, a quick look at Google trends reveals that search interest in sleep has risen by 50% in the past decade and interest in napping has doubled. Ultimately, what are people looking for? Power nap info, of course! Of the power hacks, choosing between the 20-minute nap or the 70-90-minute nap is the most interesting. Nick Meyer, who is working on A Guide to Optimized Napping, explains this in more detail in his article.

Arianna Huffington's Big Secret is Sleep

Arianna Huffington’s Big Secret is Sleep

Arianna Huffington’s Story

Arianna Huffington, in her TEDx talk, explains that she “learned the hard way” about sleep deprivation. Her “small idea,” one that includes more joy and productivity, is to get enough sleep. She describes sleep as a feminist issue, and jokes that we women are literally going to “sleep our way to the top.” She goes on to say that a high IQ does not mean you’re a good leader. You may be making a lot of stupid mistakes because of sleep deprivation. Sound like any startups you’ve worked for lately?

Perchance to Dream

Perchance to Dream

Perchance to Dream

Founders and startup members may want to use their sleep time to find answers to their problems.  They may not have the time to become lucid dreamers, as outlined by Stephen LaBerge, the father of Lucid Dreaming, but they could use their dream state to solve difficult problems or rethink some issue. For instance, they may decide to “sleep on” a decision to take on a new team member.

Have a Personal Sleep Success Story?

How does sleep help you? I’d love to hear your story! Unless it cuts into your nap time, that is.

 

 

 

WordCamp Orange County 2014: Awesome Moments

WordCamp Orange County 2014: Awesome Moments

WordCamp Orange County 2014: Awesome Moments

Recently, I attended WordCamp Orange County 2014, not to be confused with WordCamp Orange County 2013. Here are a few of my favorite moments.

The Women

Mary Baum’s class on responsive design was Sunday’s funniest seminar. She kept us entertained while educating us on design challenges. And apparently, she loves golf!

Chris Lema

Chris Lema helped make the conference a community. He followed his own advice of being helpful. Getting the Most from Your Blog was definitely not about any get-rich quick schemes. Chris Lema set the tone for much of the conference.

Live Tweeting

You may have read my blog post about Live Tweeting at Conferences. Live tweeting is a fab way to connect with new friends. In fact, two of my besties (Bridget Willard and Peter Woolvett) were both people I met through Twitter. Some people we met couldn’t believe you could actually meet people from Twitter. Who knew? And here’s a partial hashtag report, in case you think live tweeting doesn’t make a difference in amplifying an event.

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Offsite Meetups

Offsite Meetups at WCOC 2014

Offsite Meetups at WCOC 2014

Another favorite moment was going to Café Vitaly with friends for extra-strong doses of coffee or the best sorbet and gelato around. Strolling on the beach, walking back from the Durty Nelly’s after party, and seeing some unusual trees (and giant cockroaches) along the way were also good ways to “play hooky.”

Jason Rosenbaum’s Business Coaching Workshop on Contracts and Proposals

Jason Rosenbaum’s talk was surprisingly useful. As a result of hearing his talk, I’ll be changing how I word some of my proposals. For instance, no more 100% guarantees—especially if clients want to “do it themselves.” Good, solid advice.

Slide Presentations and Videos at the Speed of Light

As we watched on Twitter, the presentations started to appear online. Many presenters uploaded their talks even before the weekend was over. How awesome is that?

Food Trucks

Gourmet food trucks, with items like Coconut Risotto (A Bite Truck), Mexican food, and bacon (of course!). Worth the wait. Also the gourmet mini-cupcakes, Skittles, and gluten-free brownies.

Artwork at Cafe Vitaly

Artwork at Cafe Vitaly

Style Revisions

Derived straight from the creatives at Minecraft, WordCamp’s new direction feels somewhere between Super Mario and Flappy Birds.

The style is everywhere, from the giant mugs and t-shirts to notebooks, stickers, and buttons!

Chance Meetings

Meeting people like Justin @student_otc at one of the first talks, connecting online with @DownTownRob who met me and my friends at Durty Nelly’s. Meeting attendees and speakers while waiting in line.

Generosity and Friendliness at WordCamp Orange County

Generosity and Friendliness at WordCamp Orange County

Generosity and Friendliness

Without the volunteers and sponsors, WordCamp Orange County would not have been such a success.

Finding Work/Life Balance As a Remote Worker

Jon Brown’s  course outlined ways to stay sane while working remotely. And he was even more fun when he went off-script and discussed all the tools he uses (such as electronic devices to bring while backpacking!).

Did I Leave Anything Out?

What were your favorite moments?

 

Time Management for Baby Boomers: Managing Social Media

Time Management for Baby Boomers

Time Management for Baby Boomers

If you’re a baby boomer, you probably have been to some of the time management classes, especially if the place you work ever offered free ones. Remember the Franklin Covey system with the binders and the page inserts? How about the Dale Carnegie training? Did you know that Tony Robbins offered time management courses, too? Just when you thought you knew the rules for time management, along comes social media and your previous attempts at managing your own time go right out the window! So what’s a boomer to do? Here’s how I handle my own social media.

Use the Basics Plus

Do you have a system that works for you? Or did you leave all that behind in the 90’s? If your system works, then by all means continue. But, when I began working in social media, I added some tools to better manage my time. For instance, I like using a hybrid system, with a zen timer app when I’m out of the office, along with an old-school egg timer for when I’m in the office. And I still carry an old-fashioned notebook and pen for my to-do list. Yes, maybe you’ve seen one in the museum!

Batching Tasks

Batching tasks works on social media as well as any day-to-day activities. For instance, you probably run all your errands at once to save wear and tear on the Prius. In my case, I do all my Twitter stuff first. I see who has mentioned me and who has followed me. I try to reply to everyone who has mentioned me (unless it’s in a huge, long list). If someone wants a conversation, I usually reply to those first. I also scroll through my timeline and try to engage with some “new” people each day by asking a question or retweeting or telling others to follow if I find something great. (And as a boomer, you’re quite good at engagement!)

Facebook

After Twitter, I head to Facebook and check all my conversations there. I don’t read each and every post, but scan. My Facebook is very dialed in and if you want to know how to do that, check this post here. I schedule right on Facebook (usually for that same day), not using a third-party app.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, that most favorite spot of baby boomers, is a good place to engage. I like or comment on posts, and schedule posts through HootSuite Pro.

Pinterest

If women boomers are part of your audience, you need to be on Pinterest. I check my Pinterest for new followers, and see what’s getting repinned. Then I start pinning by scanning my Pinterest stream and also doing searches.

Blogging

Baby Boomers Have Excellent Writing Skills

Baby Boomers Have Excellent Writing Skills

Next I work on my blog. As a boomer, you probably have good writing skills, so a blog is a natural. Each day, I blog for at least 15 minutes, although that usually turns into 30 minutes or an hour.

Gym

Staying active is important to me, so I make time for it six times a week. Eating pie might be important to you. Whatever. With good time management, you can do the things that you care about.

Simple, But Not Easy

So there you have it. I like simple. What about you? Is your time management simple? Or do you need someone to help you? If you need someone to help, I know a person!

 

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