Day 9- Countdown to Executive Secretary Live – A Confession About Travel

Do you like flying on airplanes? Do you prefer trains? How about long drives to get where you need to go?

My first flight ever was from Boston, Massachusetts to Dallas, Texas and a connecting flight to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I think I was seven years old. The flight was in the evening so I didn’t really get to see anything. I don’t recall much about the flight– I don’t even remember sitting with my mother and sister– and I’m pretty certain we all were together. Back then passengers could smoke on airplanes..and that I do remember because my mother smoked Pall Mall cigarettes.

I’m not a great flier. By that I mean, I feel each and every bump. Take off rattles my nerves..but I can tell you it is SO beautiful to take off from Washington Reagan National Airport– as  you can see almost all of the awesome monuments moments after takeoff. I try not to think about the horrific happenings of 9/11 as the flight banks away from our Pentagon building– the site of one of the attacks that day.

And, I’m also happy to have resources– right at the source.. two friends of mine are pilots for major carriers. I can always message one of them if I am nervous. If they AREN’T flying an aircraft when I message them, they’ll usually text me right back and reassure me.

I travel with 3 vital tools..My Kindle, my iPod and my journal. I find if I stay focused on something else, I’m less likely to be anxious. On my Kindle I will have books, movies and performances from stand-up comics. My favorite is Craig Ferguson! On my iPod I have my meditation music, as well as about a dozen playlists to fit my mood. And my journal.. allows me to get all my ideas, poetry, short stories, blog ideas, thoughts, lists – out of my head.

What do you do to pass time when you’re traveling? Do you sleep? (I’m jealous of you!) How about chatting with your seat mates? (I don’t do this generally.. I prefer quiet travel.)

I do know two things that are VERY important when flying, 1) Drink lots of water! 2) Get up and walk a bit.

It’s all good, I am better these days about getting on planes. I do prefer trains, but that’s not a trans-atlantic option this week. 🙂 Safe travels to all the conference speakers and delegates. And remember the hashtag is #ExecSecLive.

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Yes.. that’s an old-typewriter image and typewriter font on my journal… 🙂


5 Ways To Change Your Workday Groove

My office has a case of the blahs. Winter blahs. Post-holiday,No-vacation-until-June-itis.

It’s easier somedays to wallow in it.

Here are 5 ways I know how to break out of the blahs at work and inevitably improves my workday groove:

  1. Sleep- Not on the job…but as in, are you getting enough? Do you feel refreshed after you wake up or still dragging? Getting enough sleep is undervalued for adults. Some worker bees actually love to brag about how much sleep they DIDN’T get. That’s not good. And it makes for one superbly cranky co-worker around 3pm.
  2. Alternate caffeine intake with water intake –  So I’m a coffee freak. My co-workers, friends and family will tell you I have an unhealthy relationship with coffee. I try not to point fingers at the co-workers that wake up to a diet soda and drink diet soda all day.  The point is to find a healthy balance.  If I drink a large coffee on the way into work, then I can balance it by drinking a 16 oz glass of water or more.  It makes my body feel better.  I don’t have any scientific data to back this up.. and besides..these are suggestions
  3. Ask for the tools you need – This seems to be especially challenging to my admin peers. I remember working in a large hospital system with more than 20 admins on the team, each of us providing admin support to at least 2 VPs or directors at a time.  Maybe eight lines on the phone system? So one day, I asked my boss for a headset so I could leave my hands free to continue work or to be able to search something online while I had one of my supervisors on the phone.  Well.. I never saw such astonishment from my peers– “Where did you get that?” Or, “How did you get that?”  It was as simple as just explaning how I could be more efficient if I had a headset. It isn’t always that simple.  It is important to ask our boss or company for the tools we need to do our work.  They wouldn’t tell a surgeon they couldn’t have a certain type of scalpel (unless it was wicked expensive)… so just ask.
  4. How do you look? I’m not talking beauty-wise. I’m talking work-wise. Do you look business-like or professional?  My neurosis is that I need to be okay with what I’m wearing should there ever be a hidden camera at my office.  I also need to be comfortable.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t worn a pair of shoes that I regret wearing to work. It does mean that I make a concerted effort to look pulled together.  A tiny bit of makeup. Shoes that aren’t raggedy or scuffed up. A suit that fits correctly and is comfortable. I can’t be myself and focus on work if my suitpants are too tight or if I’m wondering if I can use black sharpie to color in my heel (I will do that if I have to at the last minute!).  When I feel good, I look good. (see my three ancient blogposts about this.. I guess I like to revisit stuff.)
  5. MUSIC. MUSIC. MUSIC.  Are you allowed to access your iPod playlist through your work computer? Do you utilize Spotify or iHEARTRadio or Pandora?  I couldn’t make it through my workday without my own music choices.  As a matter of fact, I have a ‘Drive to Work’ playlist, an ‘I need quiet calming music’ playlist and a ‘I just need background noise’ playlist. Nothing helps my mood change faster than music.  You know your own taste in music.  Some music I really love is not appropriate for work– unless I happened to work in a club.. which, I do not. But the right music during the day- can change my mood and focus in a heartbeat.  Just don’t use your ‘I need to sleep’ playlist at work.  Potentially bad career move.

So, these aren’t rocket scientist suggestions. Hopefully a few of them work for you.