How I Emptied My Email Inbox?

In the first part of the this blog post, I discussed the very real and growing problems that are a result of the increasing volume of email.  In this post, I will tell outline the simple process that I use to empty my email box each week.

The important thing to remember is that there is not one method that will work for everyone.  The way you use email for your work is a function of many things including your job function, your colleagues, your managers and customers or clients, therefore, the solution for emptying your email box on a regular basis will vary.

This is how I approach the task. Read more

Reading List: Who Moved My Cheese?

This book tells the story of 4 characters– Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw– and the different ways they interpret and ultimately deal with change in their environment.  This story of adaptability is parable which makes the story fun and easy to read.  The characters in the story include two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two mice-sized people named Hem and Haw with all of the human traits and flaws (human characteristics).  The four characters live in a maze and search for cheese which represents food and happiness– the ultimate prize.

The story is woven around several key lessons about change: Read more

Have you checked your smart phone in the last 5 minutes?

If you did, STOP IT NOW!'Psst!  Buddy  you wanna check your email?' - An Andertoons Cartoon

Each generation of professionals is faced with new technologies as they enter the workforce.  Telex, fax machines and desktop computers were all “new” technologies for earlier generations.  One of the features of these ancient modes of communication is that they were reserved for the office– no one would dream of powering off their fax machine and tucking it into their backpack to bring home for the evening.


Next. . . enter the more mobile devices such as pagers and 1st gen cell phones.  While you could bring these devises home or wear them on your belt, you were not compelled to constantly check these devices– when someone called or paged you, your device would ring, buzz, beep or vibrate.  You wouldn’t dial in to your voice mail box every 5 minutes– you wouldn’t even consider it. What’s more, could imagine what someone would look like if they did do that?  It is not that much different than looking at your smart phone every 5 minutes.

Cell Phone circa 1984

With today’s smart phone, part of the obsessive checking comes from that fact that there might always be an email, text or voice mail waiting.

Does the possibility that someone attempted to communicate with you require this behavior? 

If we were obsessed in the same way with an object other than a smart phone, it is likely that medication would be prescribed.

Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent for wrote a article highlighting some of the recent findings in a study in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. Here is a snapshot of the article:

  • On average, study subjects checked phones 34 times a day out of habit or compulsion
  • Once the brain gets used to positive feedback, reaching for the phone is automatic
  • Urge to check lives in striatum, the brain area that governs habitual actions
  • Habitually checking can also become a way to avoid interacting with people

According to . .

How to know if you’re a habitual checker

1. You check your e-mail more than you need to.
2. You’re annoying other people.
3. The thought of not checking makes you break out in a cold sweat.

How to get rid of your checking habit

1. Acknowledge you have a problem.
2. Have smartphone-free times.
3. Have smartphone-free places.

Are you on LinkedIn?

This is a great NYT article about the power of LinkedIn and the many uses of social media including launching a new business, advancing your career and finding a new job.

Are you on LinkedIn?  You should [must]  be.

How I Landed My First Job

This is a great example of the importance and power of networking for recent graduates looking for their first job. The Hoya Gateway program mentioned in the Gabrielle’s post is an initiative that I launched and developed for the Georgetown University Alumni Association. Hoya Gateway won the 2014 CASE Gold Accolades Award for Best Practices in Alumni Relations. You can learn more here:

How many millions are in a trillion?

Do you know how many millions are in a trillion? According to (Employment Policies Institute), only 21% of the people in a national poll answered the question correctly. That’s not good. You definitely want to know the answer to this question and here’s why. . .


Read more

Don’t Forget the “Why” on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for building and maintaining your professional network. I’ve blogged about LinkedIn often.  Check out Getting Started on LinkedIn for College Students and LinkedIn Maps to Visualize Your Network.

I currently have 500+ people in my LinkedIn network. I did not add these people randomly, but instead chose to add them to my network. For the LinkedIn requests I receive, I use my own LinkedIn protocol to determine with whom I will connect. My guidelines are not complicated, are infinitely flexible and work for me very well.

For everyone on LinkedIn considering a “Connect” request, the most important question is: Read more

Teamwork – There is no “I”

In November of 2012, I wrote a blog post about the culture associated with Tough Mudder– the obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie (see A Muddy Corporate Culture). I also discussed the need to understand the culture of your organization.

This past November, I participated in my first GORUCK Light. Fellow Georgetown alumnus, Jason McCarthy is a Special Forces veteran and launched GORUCK events to prove the quality and durability of the rucksacks he was selling. The story of how Jason built this company is very interesting, especially for entrepreneurs (or entrepreneur-in-training). Read more

Keys to Career Advancement

Kaplan University and LinkedIn recently published the results of a survey of 1,000 individuals about their views on career development. The headline is:

Nearly eight-in-ten survey respondents agree they need to obtain new skills to advance their careers

This is Career-ology’s core belief.  Career advancement is based on continuing skills training and development. Don’t wait for your company to provide the training you want– find it and complete the training on your own. YOU are responsible for building YOUR skills set.

Here is a brief summary of the survey’s key findings:

  • 78% respondents agree or strongly agree that they need to obtain new skills to advance their careers.
  • 64% agree or strongly agree that continuing their education will play an important role in their career advancement.
  • 53% agree or strongly agree that they need a more systematic process for planning and tracking their career journey.
  • 68% respondents indicate that they would like a better method for finding opportunities to be mentored or to serve as mentors for others.

It doesn’t take a survey to tell you what you already know.  The question is . . . what will you do about it?  You can read the full press release at Kaplan University’s website.

Gratitude in the Office – An Experiment

This is a great experiment by SoulPancake showing the personal benefits of expressing gratitude. Gratitude is not only for your family and friends. . . tell you colleagues, peers, boss and customers what it is about them that you appreciate.

Who in your career has been influential? Who did something really amazing for your career? Remember professional relationships are the key to your success. By expressing your gratitude, you’ll improve the quality of those important relationships and feel good yourself. Everybody wins! Check out this 7 minute video.