Allow me to reintroduce myself

Hello! When I last spoke to you, I was eulogizing one of my favorite musicians. Six months later, I thought it would be a good time to get back to our regularly scheduled program. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m now blogging under the title It’s On The List. Why It’s On the List? Because at least once a day, regardless of the topic, I’ve uttered this statement. I’ve said it to my Board President, to my mother, and I’m pretty sure I’ve said this to the dog. It’s a reflection of just how much we try to fit into our daily lives.

So what am I going to talk about? Work? Life? Prince? The short answer is yes. I’ll even talk about advocacy from time to time. Advocacy will always be a part of me. However, with my career expanding into executive management, it’s time to broaden my perspective. Explore areas of association management that I tackle on a daily basis. We’ll also talk about life outside of work…to a certain extent :-). Finally, I’ll share some of the tasks on my to-do list.

I look forward to blogging again. I missed it. I hope you will join me on this new adventure. An adventure that may someday include a podcast (!!). Stay tuned and thank for your support.

Current to-do list: Prep for monthly Board meeting. Start reading I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi. Buy dog food.




ASAE12: Are you ready?

As I type this, I’m 2 days away from getting together with 13,000+ psychologists and students in the land of Mickey. My presentations are ready. I’m pretty much packed and my schedule will actually allow me to eat at some point. However, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about my other conference. The one where I’ll be getting together with 5,000+ association professionals in the land of Cowboys.

ASAE12 is less than two weeks away and I’m so excited. It’s the one chance I get every year to see the majority of my association friends outside the DC area. I mean where else can I get to see old coworkers, twitter buddies and my DELPers in one city at the same time? Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, this conference can be a wonderful yet overwhelming experience. So how do you manage?

1. Have a Plan A, and B, and possibly C: By now, you should have a good sense of your conference schedule. However, sessions can be cancelled or not what you expected.  Always have an alternative.

2. Expect the convention center wi-fi to have issues: We all want free wi-fi.  However, we all know what happens when you have a lot of people trying to use the same signal. If you have a mobile hotspot device, use that instead.

3. Learn something new: Yes, there will be sessions geared towards your content area. However, take the time to attend a session about a subject you’re not familiar with. A good association professional is a well-rounded one.

4. Visit the various lounges: ASAE will have lounges for the following constituencies – CAE, CEO Network Center, International, Small Staff, Innovation Exchange Forum, and DELP. Please take advantage of them. For those interested in learning about DELP or meeting DELP scholars, our lounge will be in room D221 of the Dallas convention center.

5. Attend the Awards and Recognition breakfast: I know 7 am is early when you’ve been out networking the night before. However, show your support for your colleagues who have worked so hard to become CAEs, DELPers and Fellows.

6. Be social: If you’ve been waiting for the right time to dive into Twitter or to start blogging, this is it. With so much content over four days, the conversation online is just as robust as it will be in person. I started this blog the day after I returned from ASAE10 in Los Angeles.

7. Have fun, seriously: There’s nothing in the rule book that says you can’t have fun at a conference. You’ll learn better when you’re enjoying the experience. ASAE attendees are a pretty friendly bunch. If you’re not the most forward person, trust me, someone will say hello to you first.

I hope ASAE12 is a great experience for you. Safe travels to everyone attending and I’ll see you in Dallas!

Back to Reality

Yesterday was my first day back in the office after being out for 10 days due to business travel and vacation. In this day and age, being out one day feels like you’ve been gone for a week. And what do we come back to? Endless emails to delete  read, mail to sort through and all of the projects that seem to pop up while you’re out of the office. So how do I manage this? Here are some simple tips that have helped me transition from vacation mode to work mode.

1. Treat my first day back as an off day. Yes, I’m in the office, but don’t expect much from me.  When I sat down in front of my desktop yesterday, I couldn’t remember my network password. Luckily, I have it written down. If it’s going to take me more than five minutes to log into my computer, you have a pretty good sense of how productive I’m going to be for the rest of the day.

2. Deal with email early. My goal for this year is to keep my inbox to under 500 messages. I’ve succeeded more often than failed because I tackled it head on.  When I’m first back in the office, I slash, burn, and archive until I’m down to a reasonable number (between 150 and 200).

3. Get it on the calendar. Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean meetings won’t be planned. Make note of all of your appointments including meetings you promised to have before you left. In my head, if it’s not on my calendar, the meeting didn’t happen.

4. Make a to-do list. Not only will the list help you organize your first few days back in the office, it will also help you remember what was going on before you left.

5. Don’t forget to breathe. Getting back into work mode can be a challenge. Accept it and know that you’ll do better tomorrow.