Top 16 Communiques of 2016

Lists and more lists. The word of the year. The color of the year. The best of. I decided that while I was reviewing my blog posts for the year, I, too, would compile my top 16 for 2016. I based it solely on numbers from WordPress because, honestly, I was too lazy to add in the posts that were most retweeted or talked about on Facebook.

I describe my blog as providing insights for communicators. However, what I am discovering is that the blogs that have the biggest views and the most comments are related to the career I’m moving toward; namely, that of life coach. That’s encouraging, and I’ll continue to offer more of these types of posts in 2017. I’ll still have posts related to communications and leadership because these are areas that remain relevant to me and, I hope, I can continue to share with you what I am learning.

If you missed out on some of the top posts, below are links to them. I’ve also shared a thought or two about each post.

Comments Wanted: I find it ironic that a post requesting comments was my most popular post. I can also tell you that the request worked. I had many more comments throughout the year. The reason I want more comments is that we can all learn from each other and have a stronger conversation. #KeepCommenting

My Weekend of Nothing: I did nothing and I was better for it. When was the last time you did nothing?

Do You Need an Accountability Partner?: I know I did and still do. Turns out that having an accountability partner helps you get things done. In 2016, I’ve been hard at work on a book, created my website, rejoined a mystery writers group and joined a coaching federation. My accountability partner is the best! Thanks @lizbryantmedia.

Don’t Waste Leap Year Day: An extra day gave us 1,440 additional minutes. I spent many of those hours writing. I asked readers to share how they planned to spend the day, and a few shared their thoughts. Most, I think, were too busy spending the minutes.

What’s on Your Happy List?: Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what makes us happy.

My Travel Checklist: Since I love to travel, I shared some of the things I do to make traveling easier.

Creating a Powerful Presentation: Apparently, we’ve all suffered through too many insufferable PowerPoint presentations as many people read this post.

Do ‘The Hustle’ to Succeed at Pitching: I was delighted when Michael Smart agreed to an interview with me. I’ve been a member of his Inner Circle for some time, and his pitching tips are spot on.

Finding Direction This Summer: I love lazy summer days, but sometimes they need purpose. Readers provided additional encouragement.

Interview with Shonali Burke: I participated in Shonali’s Social PR webinar and wanted to learn more about her. She graciously agreed to an interview.

Blog Goals for 2016: Who knew that my post about my blog goals would make the cut, but it did.

4 Reasons to Join a Professional Group: If you haven’t given thought to joining a professional group, this post might make you consider doing so.

3 Steps to Transition from Vacation to Work: The three steps all involve managing your time.

Advice on How to Write a Novel: The surest way to write a novel is to start writing. Several authors share additional tips.

7 Tips to Get the Most From a Conference: Prepping before a conference and taking a nap during the conference are two of my tips for getting the most from a conference.

Dial Down Your Stress: I offer three suggestions on how to dial down your stress.

Reviewing my blogs has helped me prepare for 2017. I also have a request (or two) to make of you. If you have suggestions for topics, please let me know. If one of these blogs resonated with you, please post a comment and share why. Even better, please share my posts with your colleagues and friends.

Here’s to a great 2017!

Why Emails Are Not My Priority

If I keep checking my emails, I can keep up with them.

If I don’t check my emails, I might miss something urgent.

I have told myself both of these statements more time than I can count. And either way, I don’t succeed with my emails.

dscf2419I have made strides with my inbox, but the other month something Michael Smart said in an online workshop hit me.

“Stick to a schedule when checking and responding to email,” he said.

Now he’s not the first person I’ve heard say that. But for some reason when he said it, this time it resonated.

It may also be because he helped me to realize that emails are not my priority. They often are a means to reach my priorities – whether that is pitching a story and having it placed in a news outlet or tracking down information to write a blog post.

I’d been thinking about my priorities and how I often find myself busy, but not productive. Reading Greg McKeown’s book, “Essentialism,” is helping me to focus on getting the right things done.

As a result, I’ve slowly been weaning myself from checking emails constantly. I also no longer reply to an email the second I see it so that the sender won’t always expect me to be so speedy with my replies. And I try to never respond to emails on the weekend unless it is a crisis.

There are some exceptions for me with respect to checking my inbox. If I have just sent a media release or if I am handling a crisis, then I am checking my emails constantly, you might even say continuously. It’s okay in those situations.

When I am out with friends, I may keep my work mobile handy in case it rings. Only a few colleagues have the number, so if it rings, I know it’s urgent. I don’t have to keep checking the screen and the emails.

Ultimately, managing my inbox is not about the emails. It is about managing my priorities, and I know I need to spend my time at work pitching the media and strategizing. At home, I need to spend my time writing my book or relaxing.

Finally, emails don’t own me.