Category Archives: Kylie

Magic Monday: Presenteeism

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

Oy, the past few weeks have been murder. Between work craziness, the unexpected death of a friend, and a springtime cold that I am almost over finally, my productivity has been seriously compromised. I am operating at half-caff today, and working from home, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things, and I missed interacting with all of you! Here’s a new Magic Monday for you. I hope you won’t have to use this advice, but here it is just in case.

This week’s video is about presenteeism. I know that nonprofits like ours are often putting in long hours with fewer resources and trying to make magic happen for our constituents. Sometimes we are tempted or feel obligated to show up to work when we are feeling under the weather, either because of our workload or because of our employer’s compensation structure for sick days. There are several reasons that showing up when you are sick is a bad idea. Your capacity to accomplish our work is stunted; we may spend four days at diminished productivity instead of taking a full day to rest and recuperate. You also increase the likelihood that others will be exposed to your illness. And of course, the obvious: You’re not going to get better any faster by expending what little energy you have on doing what amounts to substandard work.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to call in, especially if you’re the type of worker I suspect you are. You’re passionate and dedicated. But you’re also not feeling well. You owe it to yourself to look out for #1.

Is presenteeism a problem in your workplace? Have you gone to work sick in the past? Why or why not?

Magic Monday: Getting Back on Track After a Break

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

outofofficeemail2Well, I wasn’t on vacation this week (hahaha I wish), but there certainly is a lot of great information out there for people who are trying to get back in the work swing of things after some well-deserved time off. (This advice also works if you’ve been away from something for a while, which is very helpful in my case.) Here are some articles on the topic that may interest you:

And before you decide that getting back to work after a vacation seems like a lot of work, and that next time you might not take a vacation, don’t forget that vacation is good for you:

And a bit of a funny: A slightly sarcastic (and rather candid) away message breaks the mold. (I also got the image for this post from this article.)

Hope the rest of your week is happy trails and sunny skies.

Do you feel more productive after a vacation? Have you worked for a company that has an unlimited vacation policy?

The Once-in-a-While Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle postcardSo, wow, I haven’t written anything this week! I’m not going to offer excuses, just apologies. When you set out to write a daily blog and you miss a week, it feels like complete and utter laziness, even if you have just posted 50 posts at a stretch. I feel like Rip Van Winkle, but I promise I haven’t been drinking with the mountain elves.

This week hasn’t been the greatest on many levels, but I am a firm believer that a lack of success or follow-through isn’t usually externally driven. Internally, this past week I didn’t allow myself to elevate The Daily Kylie to the top of my priority list. And it should be there; I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. As strange as it sounds, a blog about work is like play for me, and all work and no play/writing about work makes Kylie a rather unhappy girl.

I want to make it up to all of you who have been following the blog. This week I’ll double up on all of my posts: one will be posted at 8am (starting Monday, that is; tomorrow’s posts will filter in a little later) and one will be posted at 3pm. If you’d like to read them, I’d love you to dive right in. If it’s too much reading for you, feel free to skip over one of them and catch up if you want to later. (Then again, if you don’t want to read any of them, no pressure!)

I promise I’m serious about the Daily thing, and this past week was probably far more painful for me than it was for you. I’ve got some good posts planned for this coming week, so stay tuned!

As ever,

T.D. Kylie

Devil’s Advocate: Give Failure a Hug

You said it, bro.

You said it, bro.

I was reading an interesting article today on Idealist (via Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, hat tip to Ellen!) about embracing failure. I learned from the article that Engineers Without Borders publishes an annual Failure Report about the various things that didn’t work on their project sites and what they learned from those failures.

I sat at my computer for a full minute taking it in. That, I can honestly say, is organizational awesomeness.

Wouldn’t you love to keep reading? Please do.

Happy Anniversary

Should have killed me

Dear Job,

It’s been an exhausting and often rewarding 6 (8? 20?) years. I know we’ve had disagreements, and I’ve gotten mad at you a lot, but here’s to the future and to accomplishing what we hope to accomplish together. I kinda love you, you know.

As ever, Kylie.

So sometime around today is my 6th anniversary at my job. I’d say time flies when you’re having fun, and truth be told, parts of it have been fun. There have also been grueling, discouraging times and growing pains. But I doubt I would trade it for anything.

Wouldn’t you love to keep reading? Please do.

Magic Monday: Stop Multitasking

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

I am the world’s worst multi-tasker. Some days I can’t even walk the 10 feet from my assistant’s office to the time clock without getting distracted. I am very guilty of trying to do too much, in which case everything I am trying to accomplish suffers. Studies have shown that multitasking isn’t worth it for most people. If you have trouble single-tasking, here’s a short video that may help. The difficult part may be focusing on the video without trying to do something else at the same time!

Have any of you largely eliminated multitasking from your work day? Have you noticed a difference?

10 Tips: Dress for Development Success

yellow jacket polka dot skirt

Classy and stylish work outfit. Thanks to thimble be quick for the image. Check out the rest of the outfits on their page (sorry guys, just ladies on this one).

I can remember distinctly the handful of epiphanies that I’ve had in my career that have made a true difference in the way that I do my work and flex my development muscles. At the risk of sounding shallow, one of those was definitely the idea that what you wear, and how you carry yourself, can make you instantly seem more competent and better equipped for success.

People, whether we like it or not, base a lot of their impressions of us on first impressions and appearances. Though it may not actually be the case, donors and colleagues look at a well-put-together development professional as more competent and more talented than their less stylish counterparts. (And yes, I’ve known a lot of super-lazy dandies that don’t fit this description, but, as the proverb says, perception is reality.)

For the arts professionals who read this blog, we’re fortunate in the sense that we have more freedom to assert our personal style in a professional environment than, say, our human services or political counterparts. Our orgs are creative by nature, and creativity is often encouraged amongst staff. Our own employee dress code (which I crafted, not completely disharmoniously, from that of a hair salon), states “All dress will project an image of fashion, professionalism and good taste.” (Today, for example, I am wearing a grey 3/4-sleeve jacket with a white button-down shirt, a long marcasite pendant necklace, and a grey knit muted leopard-print skirt with nude hose and patent snakeskin pumps. Not too over-the-top, but not too conservative either.)

You don’t need to pay a personal stylist or personal shopper to give you advice (though there are many reasonably priced ones out there). Much of what you need to know you can learn from books and websites. All it takes is practice, and a few friends or colleagues that will be honest with you. Enlist their help, and explain what you want to accomplish.

I could write about this topic all day (interview dress, the 10-point system, business casual, etc.), but instead I thought I would offer 10 Tips (and Links) to help you get started on your own professional-dressing odyssey. I’ve tried to provide a mix of guy, girl and unisex tips, but feel free to add your own in the comments section!

Wouldn’t you love to keep reading? Please do.

Funny Friday: Nap Time

So what have we learned today, class? That Kylie can be super great at writing blog posts in advance, but is not so good at scheduling them! So today, as you may have noticed, is a twofer: onefer yesterday and onefer today. Thanks for indulging my crazies.

Maybe it just means that I need a nap. Fortunately, I found a great post on Mashable, originally published at The Jane Dough with a fab infographic (from The Daily Infographic; be still my heart) about the benefits—and trivia—of naps and napping. It also makes a case for businesses offering nap rooms to their employees. (Though, until it is condoned, I wouldn’t jump right into the idea.) Enjoy.

Click here for the super-long infographic!

Getting Your Mojo Back

lucky-mojo-coming-soonNo matter how much you love your job in the nonprofit sector (or any other sector, for that matter), you’re bound to have one of those days/weeks/months that your mama warned you about. From my vantage point, it sometimes feels like development directors carry the weight of a nonprofit on their shoulders like proverbial atlases. No funds = no programs = no service to the community. Oftentimes, that can also = low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, and added stress.

I stopped into the office on Easter Sunday with Art, to feed our resident cat and check on the theater. I sort of sighed inwardly, looking at the empty street and thinking that downtown seems pretty dead when we have nothing going on at the Capitol. On our way there, I had decided that I would take the opportunity to take some progress photos of some work being done in some of our newly-purchased buildings. My mind let out a kind of moan about working on my off hours, not having anyone to delegate photo-taking to, having too much on my plate already, etc. In an attempt to silence the negative voices in my head, I loaded the camera with new batteries, and strolled down front to see how Art was doing in his rounds.

Wouldn’t you love to continue reading? Please do.

Funny Friday: The Fab (Facial Hair) Four

I had the occasion to catch CBS This Morning on a recent trip (yeah, I’m not usually up that early haha). One of their features was on Henry Grossman, who has released a new book of previously unreleased photos that he took during his time with The Beatles. (Interested? It’s got a $400+ price tag). They showed several of his images, and watching the Fab Four grow up and grow facial hair was a lot of fun.

So today’s Funny Friday is a scientific (um, not really) infographic about The Beatles facial hair through the years by artist Mozzarella Poppy. Enjoy!

beatles_facial-hair_mozzerella-poppy