Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v6

I’ve had a hectic personal schedule of late and with the professional piece of my life also going full steam, it can be challenging to remember where I’m supposed to be and continue to stay organized! I heavily rely on outlook and google calendar to check and re-check my schedule so that I don’t double book. My to do list is on Trello and articles that I want to read later for the blog or for my own education are dropped into Pocket. What useful tools do you use to keep organized?

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • In my intro, I talked about how life is getting a bit chaotic. People comment on my ability to go to the gym and the honest truth to it is that I will become an angry person if I don’t sweat out my anxieties and push my physical limits. It’s good for me and it’s good for others around me to not have so much negative energy emanate from my being. That being said, I schedule my work activities and then schedule my gym work outs around them. I know that my evenings are generally tied up with fundraisers/work obligations and it’s nice to have some spontaneity in the evenings to catch up with friends should an opportunity occur. Who wants to spontaneously ask me to meet them for breakfast at 8am – really no one! I’m also a morning person so I get antsy when I wake up in the morning and there’s no exercise waiting for me. As of late, I’ve had a bit of trouble waking up for my 7am sessions. I usually wake up before my alarm and lately, I’ve been slightly startled when the alarm plays the lovely sounding Hawaiian music I chose to begin my day. All of this being said, I was reminded of my priorities when Randi Zuckerberg talked about choosing between work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends. I made a strategic decision to reduce my workload (it may not appear that way to others!) in that I would only work on projects that I was totally committed. If I had any doubts that I was doing the project for different reasons, then it was rejected. I was making room to do other things, such as my French lessons and even though I haven’t done as much as I would like, I know that it’s more a mental shift than the excuse of not having time that tells me that I should focus on work more than my other interests. I recently spoke with a friend who is starting her own consulting firm and we discussed it’s the feeling of guilt of not being accessible when others are working traditional 9am-5pm work hours. Those of us who have the flexibility should use it and those of you who don’t, I hope that creative scheduling lets you choose how you want to prioritize without the guilt.
  • Last week I shared the story about how the U.S. Senate was run entirely by women during one of the days of the snow storm that hit DC and it reminded me about how women have always had to fight so incredibly hard to get to our positions. It can be a double standard for us and even more so when you’re talking about women who are from underrepresented communities. We are often judged by our appearance and it’s society’s definitions that tell us what is deemed appropriate for our gender. There are days when I sigh in frustration and days when I want to tear it all down, but fortunately I get my act together and help where I can. This opinion piece by Catherine Rampell describes the daily lifetime(!!!) challenges that exist in a woman’s life and you start to wonder, when will it end?
  • I’ve been working with a few women who are at different points in their lives: a recent college graduate, a woman who has taken time off to raise a family and is now looking to return to a professional career, and an experienced political operative who is transitioning to another geographical area and wants to create a new network for herself. All very fascinating people who have one very similar goal: to work in a career field that allows them to enjoy their work and get paid for it! I didn’t have a career path other than find a job in politics after I graduated from Tulane. There was no grand scheme to be the next “fill in the blank” or the where are you going to be in 5-10 years plan. As a person who has had a career for 20 years now, it worked itself out – YAY – so it’s possible to not have a plan and still make a living! It doesn’t sound very together but if you want to get it together, you may want to read this handy guide. As I was reading it, I realized that I was really in the area of “accept that I’ll keep changing” mentality. I’m certainly not the young whippersnapper I was in my 20s and I’m OK with it.
  • I’ve said multiple times that I started my own firm because I didn’t want a boss. After spending years working for someone else, I realized that I had the ability to do things on my own. I didn’t want the structure of someone else’s creation. I worked in the hospitality industry for a James Beard winning chef as a front of the house manager and I learned so much, including the fact that I didn’t want to experience life at someone’s else discretion. It takes a lot of risk to dive off the deep end and swim – lots of people do it and find that it’s not for them. That’s completely a personal preference. To really understand your motivation about your career choices, you really need to ask yourself 2 very important questions. Keep coming back to the answers and you may find yourself in a career that was always meant for you.
  • Deep breaths – this one is a doozy. I break things down into incremental steps. I do it everyday when I fundraise because if I didn’t, I would be overwhelmed in the enormity of my goal. I’m sharing this article about mastering the art of setting goals in 4 steps. Each step is HUGE! I’m not ready to take this tact for fundraising but I may be ready to do it for a different project in my own life. Let’s be audacious together!
  • There are a lot of readers of this blog who are fighting the good fight in the land of nonprofits. It is a place that pulls at your heartstrings and during the good times, leaves you fulfilled and at the worst of times, makes you wonder if you’re clinically insane (#amiright?!??). It is a place where efforts to do good can sometimes but thwarted with the challenges of just running the place – can I get an “Amen” on the fact that I’m sure that a lot of you are working 3 different job descriptions under one job title and getting paid for the job description a step below you. This infographic gets it all right with the myriad ways that nonprofits lose their talent. Perhaps it’s best to check in on your own organization’s grade for each section and see how you’re doing great and how you can improve.

Alright folks, that’s it for this week – thanks for reading/sharing and let me know of your triumphant tales!

— Madalene




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