Tips in 10: Tips to Keep Facebook from Driving You Crazy

In this week’s Tips in 10 I talk about ways to navigate Facebook so that your stream has more of what you like, and less of what you don’t. And I give myself a grade for how I did one a week of trying to cut back on Facebook. As always, you do not need to be on Facebook to enjoy this video.



How to Make the Most of Remote Work at Coffee Shops

It can be productive--here's how

In another post, I shared that my attitude toward working at coffee shops had changed. But I don’t want to throw the idea completely under the bus. There are good things about working away from your normal office, such as

  • A fresh perspective.
  • The energy of people.
  • A stimulating environment.
  • Coffee.

But coffee shop work can be distracting, too, so if you work at a coffee shop regularly, here are some tips to help the time be more productive.

  1. Plan ahead. Block off times in your week for working out of your normal office. Pick a specific task or two you will be focusing on during that block of time, and perhaps even add notes to your calendar appointment to remind you of those tasks.
  2. Pick appropriate tasks.  Decide ahead of time what kinds of tasks best match the coffee shop atmosphere. Do you do design work well? Does writing come more easily? Are there tedious tasks that are best? For example,  I find that adding or preparing material (i.e. social media images) to client social media libraries works well as a coffee shop task, while appointment setting and email communication may not.
  3. Expect to be distracted. Whether by conversations around you or just the normal hustle/bustle of a popular coffee shop, you are not going to have the quiet you might get at a library or your home office. This may be fine, depending on the type of work you are doing. Just don’t walk in there expecting everything to be quiet and perfect for your work.
  4. Create your atmosphere. My coffee shop bag includes ear phones, an inspiring pouch, a coaster, a fake candle, and a large scarf that can act as a shawl or lap blanket. These don’t take much space but help me create a mini oasis of inspiration for the time I will be there, which often is two hours or more. 20160908_072656
  5. Allow yourself time to ease in. Hopefully you are planning to purchase something to eat or drink (don’t be a coffee shop squatter.) It gets a little cumbersome to type, sip coffee, eat a bagel, etc all at once. So allow yourself time to enjoy your snack while you do something such as reading to ease into work mode.
  6.  Jot a schedule or use a timer to keep yourself on track. It’s easy to fritter away time scanning social media, watching videos, or even reading helpful material. Use a timer app to keeping you on track, working in segments on writing, researching, or interacting.
  7. Enjoy the unexpected. You may run into a friend or business colleague at a coffee shop, or strike up a conversation with a stranger. Maybe you’ll notice someone who needs a little encouragement or decide to discreetly pay for the meal of the next person in line. Don’t miss out on the little serendipitous opportunities that may spring up. Productivity is great–but people are important.

Here’s to a productive “coffee shop” work session (and good coffee!)

You do NOT have to be on Facebook to enjoy these videos. If you can’t see the video in your email or feed, you can click here.

Replay of our Facebook Live Tips in 10 about successfully returning from a vacation!

Tips in 10: How to Say No Graciously

You do NOT have to be on Facebook to enjoy these videos!  If you can’t see the video, you can click on this link to see it.


Big, or Solid?

What's the best type of platform?



If they don’t know who you are, then you have been given the gift of obscurity. Let this not be offensive. Let this be a relief. – from the book Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

One of those thoughts that make you go “Wow.”

I am a platform builder.
I work with/for platform builders (among other things.)

I am a charter member of Platform University, a professional education website that helps me grow in various topics related to entrepreneurship, marketing, and managing a lifestyle business.

But the quote above from Simply Tuesday reminds me that having a large platform is not the end goal. Obviously the author hopes her book gets “out there.” But she’s learned and observed that being well-known or “famous” (even if not like a Hollywood celebrity, but within your own region or industry) is not all it’s cracked up to be. It can remove your privacy. Change who you are. Make you too concerned about what people will think.

“What others may think” has been a stumbling block in my life. This may be why my own “platform” has only grown in small increments. God knows what I can and cannot handle well so perhaps I’ve been protected from what can come when you are known nationwide.

I recently had an experience where a casual conversation could have led to me revealing something that would not have been wise. It would not have been an earthshaking mistake, but it was better to act with discretion.

A wise person (Person A) that I’m close to did not reveal too much of their opinion about a certain local situation. Person A knows I have a “platform” in social media and in our hometown.  In a totally different environment, I had a conversation with Person B who asked me if I knew what Person A thought about the situation. The question was innocent and not intended to be gossip–they knew Person A was involved in a particular industry–but the situation revealed to me how easy it could be for well-connected people to share too much.

This is a danger of having a sizable platform. You begin to be familiar with so many people that you have to try to steward information well so that it is not shared indiscriminately.  You can also lose the personal touch or meaningful interaction with people. I’ve recently been listening to a podcast that was all about how to become less accessible as your platform grows. I admit it’s great information from a practical standpoint, and quite understandable, but it’s also a little sad.

I don’t intend to stop trying to work with–and on–my platform, and part of my job is to help my clients in managing theirs. But I think I’m going to re-frame my thinking to focus less on “building” platforms and more on “stewarding” them…managing them well.

Because solid is often better than big.


Tips in 10: Making Mistakes, Enjoying Pets and an Email Attachment Tip

If you cannot see the video, you can click this link to get to it.



One Key Quality, One Great Tool

Catch up on our first Facebook Live presentations

A few weeks ago, I started doing a Facebook live once a week, discussing a topic of interest to overwhelmed professionals, and have been pleased to see how many people are viewing these.

I’m also delighted to have discovered a way to embed these into my site. So for this week’s post, I’m including the first three Facebook live presentations so you can catch up. Hereafter, on the weeks I do one, I will post it on the site on Thursdays. Those who subscribe should get the video along with the weekly blog post on Mondays.

To join us live or directly on Facebook, friend or follow me here.  I post an announcement the morning of the day I will do it. The presentation is 10 minutes or shorter (hence, Tips in 10) and often done at lunch time as a lunch and learn. But it’s always available to watch later as well!


From 9/8/16: How to Have a Successful Re-entry After Vacation

From 8/31/16: One of my favorite desk tools

From 8/24/16:  One of the Most Important Qualities of a Professional

For some reason, I cannot embed this one onto the post. But you can click here for it.

Question: What topics would you like to see in future Tips in 10? You can leave a comment by clicking here.