Blog Archives

Blog Series: Organizing and Balancing Your Work

As I start off this five-part series on the blog, it’s my hope that it can help you find ease as you look for ways to improve what you are already doing. Here we go!

Whether you are a solo professional or working in an office, organization and balance are two of the more important things. You may have one, but not the other.

I’m here to say, that it is possible. It doesn’t happen in a day or month. It takes time. Since I became a solo PR pro, I’ve learned that balance is integral to your home and work success. Here is how I’m doing it.

1. Create a comfortable work environment. We’ve all seen that Facebook post or Twitter pic of a messy desk. There’s no way you can be productive with your desk cluttered with papers, yesterday’s snack and the over abundance of photos of your dog. Take a moment to set up a desk that will allow productivity and inspiration. You want to feel as good as possible to work. I have my inbox, inspirational quotes and a notepad on mine.

Work-Life-Balance2. Start your week out by setting goals. I mentioned that notepad… Mid 2012, my wife mentioned that I may be better organized if I had a notepad at my desk. At the beginning of each week, put your clients and the tasks you have for each. Then, look at the tasks that are “must do’s.” This will not only help keep you focused, but on point as well. No more of the “I have nothing to do!”

3. Social shutdown. For those of us that manage social communities, this is a tough one. However, being on social networks can be an amazing distraction. Don’t just be on Twitter or pinning to Pinterest because you have a few minutes. Focus on the task at hand, then move to your social agenda. Community managers have a unique problem here. But, while you step away from time to time, work on reporting what is going on in your social communities.

4. Work is work, home is home. You do need that separation, especially when you are a solo pro. While I enjoy working on some projects after the kids go to bed, your mind needs to reboot. Don’t push the brain too much. Set a time to shut it down for the day and make a note where you need to pick up. You aren’t a robot, so take a break.

5. Invest in a planner. Everything doesn’t need to be on your iPhone. I’ve used a planner in concert with my phone. I like the opportunity to jot down a new meeting or quick idea. Good planners can last years, while your phone is replaceable. Another great think about a planner is that, like the notepad, it is great for focus and keeping track of goals you have set.

Try one or more of these out and let me know how it works for you. What do you do to attain your goals and balance? Let me know in the comments.


You’re out, but it really doesn’t matter.

(Jas’ note: Tony Hayward will be replaced, effective Oct. 1, 2010. This post was written on July 26, prior to the announcement.)

“I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest.”- Tony Hayward

Certainly quotes like the above by Tony Hayward, CEO of British Petroleum (BP), did not help with his public image in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. There have been reports that Hayward is out, while BP says no decision has been made. My ultimate question is whether his presumed ouster will truly matter.

Was this all Hayward’s fault– the spill, the slowness in clean-up response, the delayed capping? No, it wasn’t.


Before you burn me at the stake for taking this position, let me explain.  I am NOT exhonerating what BP did (or did not) do.  Their crisis communications have been horrible and Hayward should know better than to utter the whole having his “life back” thing.  A region is devastated and you are worried about your posh life?

What I AM saying is that regardless if Hayward is booted, the next person still has a monumental mess on his hands.  So, ultimately, why even bother removing him? The environmental damage alone will take decades to fix.  Some things may never return to normal.

This is a “save face” move.  BP appears to be moving on from the Hayward reign and place the keys in the hands of a new leader.  Basically, BP’s board is saying, “Hey look! We are doing something about the spill!” No, you removed your CEO who was a small part of the problem.

Kicking Hayward to the curb is not going to stop the oil from trickling out of the cap or return the Gulf back to its pre-spill conditions.  It will generate headlines and put a childs’s Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

Either way, it appears Tony Hayward is about to get his life back.  But it really doesn’t matter.