Monthly Archives: October 2009

Series Ideas

I’m trying to keep my blogs updated, but somedays I have a hard time thinking of content. Here are a few of my current, day of the week themed ideas:

Friday Fitness- tip or idea
Sunday Son-day (this play on words is almost too lame, but it would be a theme verse for the upcoming week)

My daily goals

Or to-dos…or whatever. This is the stuff that if I get it done I will feel like I’ve accomplished something today:

1) Make a working list of the Pilates Principles
2) Go for a walk (guess I should have worn different shoes…I can go with the kids when I get home).
3) Look at 2 more master’s programs.
4) Fix my prodcut links on the Pilates and Pregnancy Product Reviews. (If you read them and have other suggestions, let me know!)
5) Set up google analytics

Thank Yous

I’m over thanking people for doing their jobs. Now, I know this is going to come off as snarky and synical, but hear me out:

I guess I should clarify- I am all about please and thank you. I say them both way too much to the point that my boss has taken to coaching me not to say please so much because it makes people think they have an option when really they don’t. I kind of disagree with that premise, I think adding a please can go a long way in softening an “order” but whatever, it’s not worth arguing over. What I’m over is giving special recognition to people for doing the basic tenants of the job you have hired and paid them for. I think that recognition should be reserved for special circumstanses- when they have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Some feel that giving special recogognition for the small things will acutally motivate people to do more, but in my experience it has the opposite effect. It seems that many people, when they receive special recognition, think they have already done something special and that they should continue to work at that level. They seem to forget that what they did is their job, so they wait for special instructions to do the same thing again.

This is all very abstract, so let me give you an example: if you are a content writer for a website, it is your job to write the content. It is the website’s job to make sure their relationsship with major search engines is such that people can search for and find your writing. You don’t get a pat on the back each day that you post an article, the website techs shouldn’t get a pat on the back when they correct a problem that was causing your articles to be in impossible to search. But because they got one, the next time there is a problem, rather than buckling down and quickly fixing it, they remember that the last time there was a problem they got special recognitio for finding a solution, so therefore working on it must be outside the scope of their day-to-day work and it is placed on the back burner.

Another example is if part of your job is to scan documents into a database. Your supervisor has discussed this with you, but you don’t like this particular aspect of your job, so you put it off and put it off, until the person who needs to retrieve the documents from the database asks your supervisor about it. So, you spend some time that day scanning the documents that have been waiting for weeks to be scanned. You shouldn’t receive special recognition for the getting them all done in one day or hour or whatever it was, you should be reprimanded for not doing your job in a timely manner and having to be asked mutliple times like a child.

Nobody ever thanks me for cleaning out my inbox every day, or administering my programs to the best of my ability, and I don’t expect them to. It’s my job. I get recognized for doing that job on the 15th and 30th of each month when I get my paycheck.

I’m just saying…our efforts to be polite and encouraging are biting us in the ass.

The Noticer Review

The Noticer is okay. It’s not bad, it’s not amazingly good. At times it feels like a series of short stories around the the theme of “Jones” rather than a cohesive book about a certain period in Andy’s life. The end of the first chapter launches into a resume of Andy’s accomplishments in such a way that the book feels like it’s becoming a self-help guide. Later, a large portion of that first chapter is repeated, and not even in theme, but word for word, which gets to be a bit much.

The book seems like it was made to be used as a discussion guide for a Bible study which makes the story feel forced, like there were certain themes that the author knew he wanted to include. If you’re using it as a discussion guide, you will be pleased. If you’re trying to just read it on your own, you may not feel compelled to finish it.

Strong Life Review: Ah ha!

The concepts laid out in this book fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but as Buckingham develops them with numerous examples from both research and real life, you have that “Ah ha!” moment. As a mother of 2, with a full time job to pay the bills and a part time job that I love, I have had a constant struggle to find balance between doing what I love, spending time with my family, and being fully present at work. No matter what I do it doesn’t seem to work (and I have an incredibly supportive husband.) Then I read Buckinham’s explanation of balance and why it is an unfulfilling goal. Ah-ha! In order to balance, the scale must be perfectly still. There can be no movement from balance- once you achieve it you’re stuck.

This is just one of the numerous “Ah ha!” moments I had while reading this book. I dog-eared pages, I marked the parts I wanted my husband to read. The advice is real, actionable and practical. In fact, the final portion of the book is a sort of “FAQs of a Strong Life”- you’ve gained all of this amazing insight into yourself, your work, your family- here’s how to implement it.

Highly recommended. It’s written in a conversational style that I could have breezed right through, but it resonated in a way that made me constantly put it down and think about what I had just read and how it applied.