Do You Schedule Your Time and Work in a Way that is ‘Natural’ for YOU?

In business, and in life, in general, timing is everything. I came across this blog post this morning: A Resting Revolution: Insight from Martha. croppedsunriseWhile Martha Beck, a popular life coach, author and motivational speaker, wrote this post in 2012, I believe I discovered and read the blog post at just the right time for me.

Right now, I needed to be reminded that “we should follow our own impulses rather than adhering to rigid external rules…” I believe this advice applies to just about everything in life. But, in this instance, Martha is referring to our schedules: when we work, and when we rest and sleep. In the article, Martha also quotes “brain rules” developed by Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist who studies the human brain. His “brain rule #7” is “Sleep well. Think well.” (I know that when I’m tired, it takes me a lot longer to get my work done.)

Our schedules can get crazy these days, with so many distractions, plus the demands of outside influences in our business and personal lives (school schedules, meeting times, sports schedules, travel requirements, etc.) Martha brings up a good point: Our school and work schedules today are based on timing and concepts developed during different times – and the world has changed A LOT since the Industrial Revolution. She says, “There is no reason to continue scheduling our activities based on a model from the 19th century,” and I agree.

Whether you’re naturally a “night owl” or an “early bird,” you’re most effective when you time your work – and your rest – to match your own natural rhythm. Good luck – and let’s get some rest! :)

In business, it’s okay to change your mind (and follow your heart)

TheWriteWay’s pick for February 9, 2015:

“Change is good.” I’ve always believed this statement, and it’s refreshing and reassuring when you see people embracing change in their lives. heartBut the same “change is good” concept can (and should) be applied when we change our minds, especially when we’re following our hearts. Sisters and business partners Becca Nelson and Ellie Brown changed their minds and decided to keep their business, after Mark Cuban offered to buy it for $200,000 on TV’s “Shark Tank.” This article from NewsObserver.com shares their story, and it offers some validation that it’s okay to change your mind in business, and to do what “feels right” to you. Best of luck, Becca and Ellie – and keep following your hearts! :)

P.S. In keeping with the “change is good” theme of this post, I’ve opted to change these weekly blog posts… I’ll be posting one article at a time (rather than two or three), so that each selection can get the focused attention it deserves. (And you may be seeing more than one post per week… Stay tuned!)

Change It Up!…Or Start A New Business — TheWriteWay picks for week of February 2

Is it Time to ‘Change It Up’ in Business and Your Personal Life?

If you work for yourself (like I do), your business and personal life often “merge” or, at least, impact each other – A LOT. (It’s similar when you work for others, but maybe not as extreme?…) How do we manage this “merger” of our business and personal lives? @ChrisGuillebeau says we should take the time to think about our goals, both personal and business, each day. He says we should ask ourselves a simple question at the end of each day: “Did today matter?” How you answer this question can offer some guidance and perspective. Chris says, “Did today matter? If so, great. Do more things like it tomorrow. Can’t remember anything in particular that made a difference? Well, better change it up…” Read his post, 7 Alternative Ways to Evaluate Your Life Every Day, for some more guidance and motivation: http://bit.ly/1EoKHqd

Are You Dreaming of Starting a New Business in 2015?…

What type of business will you start? Each year, people starting new businesses search among sample business plans on the Bplans.com website, and the owners of the site track which searches are most popular. Then they publish and share a “Top 10” list. In her article on Inc.com, @MindaZetlin writes about the list, and she says, “It’s a fascinating look into the types of businesses most of us dream of starting, and how those dreams have changed over time.” Read Minda’s article, The 10 Most Popular New Businesses for People to Start, for more insight and the list of “Top 10 Business Plan Searches for 2014”: http://bit.ly/1LBmr6u

Marketing and Twitter… TheWriteWay Picks – Week of January 26, 2015

How Will the ‘Less-Is-More’ Movement Affect Marketing?

The “less-is-more” movement seems to be picking up traction lately. 31077_SMJPG_20150126092730284If you’re involved in marketing any type of product or service, you should be prepared. Society seems to be shifting away from a “materialism mentality,” and this could have big implications for the future of marketing and advertising – and the way we communicate and persuade people to buy products and services. Here are some interesting thoughts from Steve Taylor (@SMTaylorauthor) via @PsychToday: http://bit.ly/1Csdyrt

‘Communicate Less & Tweet More Links…’ and Other Good Tips for Using Twitter

I’ve said this before: @Twitter is my personal favorite social media platform, and I love learning all I can about using it for effective communications. Here are some helpful tips from @timsoulo via @SMExaminer for improving results if you’re using Twitter for marketing purposes: http://bit.ly/1ylWEES

 

WriteOn! – Week of January 5th, 2015 – This Week’s Picks:

Let’s start the year being positive about business — and everything!

Happy New Year! Let’s start the year being positive about business – and life, in general! Here are some valuable lessons from Richard Newton (@richnewton) via the @Virgin blog:  http://bit.ly/1wPNDTU

How do YOU define PR?

Does anyone really know what “public relations” is…?! How do you define #PR? I found this piece from John D. Wagner in the New York Times, and John’s honesty is very refreshing: “Learning a Foreign Language Called Public Relations” – http://nyti.ms/145ZRRB

 

Rebuilding. So, Please Stay Tuned…

The sounds of the constant hammering going on around the corner from me this morning as neighbors build a new home has reminded me that I needed to share the news that this blog will no longer be silent, as it has been for the past eight months. construction2We’re rebuilding and fine-tuning a few things here at The Write Way — including this blog.

September — the start of the fall semester at Rider University — is the perfect time for a fresh start, don’t you think? Please stay tuned. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing information about communication media, creating and writing blogs, careers in the communication professions, and thoughts and ideas about the writing process, in general. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you again in September! :)

 

Inspiration From Everyone, Everywhere

Inspiration is a funny thing: You never know where it’s going to come from, or when it’s going to happen.

The last few weeks have been challenging for everyone impacted by a storm named Sandy, with its wild winds and overwhelming surge. My family was very fortunate. Yes, we were displaced for a few weeks, but that’s nothing compared to what was experienced by the people whose homes were flooded or washed away. I can only imagine how they’re feeling. Over the past few weeks, as I’ve driven by giant mounds of debris on the roads around me, and I’ve watched the news reports on TV, I’ve been inspired by the strength and bravery of people, in general. I’m inspired by their ability to look ahead to the future, their capacity to hold onto dreams. Everyone seems to have the determination to push forward and rebuild, despite the challenges they’re facing.

I’ve also been inspired by my students this semester. This week, they presented their final projects: “Zen-like” presentations of their plans for the future. Together, we looked ahead to 2022 and talked about our hopes and dreams. (I’m smiling as I’m writing this, remembering the wide variety of scenarios they envision… Most predictions are very positive and happy, except for the “zombie apocalypse” outlined by one student! :) )

This semester was also the first semester where I asked my students to create their own WordPress blogs. (See my previous blog post.) Yes, I was truly inspired by the way many of my students dedicated so much time and effort in creating and writing their blogs. But, I was also inspired by their overall enthusiasm for the project and the messages they conveyed. I’m inspired by their plans and dreams — and their determination to make these dreams come true.

So, on that note, I’m linking you to Crissy Glasser’s blog (with her permission). Listen to the song Crissy shares at the end of her post: “Dream Catcher” by the band Set It Off. I’m inspired by the messages in the song’s lyrics… I hope you’re inspired by the song’s messages too! “Cast your net… cast it out…”

Until next time, as Set It Off says, “Please believe you’ll be a dream catcher!” :)

Photo credit: Jack Newton – jdn – via Flickr/Creative Commons

Digital Natives (My Students) Are Natural Bloggers!

There’s a lot of talk these days about “digital natives” (a.k.a. “Generation Y” — people born between 1982 and 2002). Some of the talk is negative, but, I have a lot of great things to say about digital natives from my experience teaching in the college classroom. Overall, they’re friendly, playful and competitive — and they definitely love the gamification elements I include in some of my classes. But, this semester, I’ve learned something new about digital natives: They’re natural bloggers!

I’m teaching writing classes (no gamification this semester), and, for the first time, I asked each of my students to create/write a blog about anything they want to write about. They’re using WordPress (like I do) to publish to their posts. So far, I’ve graded the first of four blog post assignments due this semester, and I’ve been WOWED by the results!

I’m really not surprised by my students’ blogging talent… I guess growing up with digital technology in your hands (literally) makes you more at ease hitting that “publish” button when you blog/write?! Digital natives are totally at ease communicating through digital technology.

My students are natural bloggers, and I’ve got proof! :) I’ve included a few links below to show you some of their blogs. (The links are shared with my students’ permission, of course.) After you read their blogs, let me know if you agree with me. Do you think digital natives are natural bloggers too? Please tell us by commenting here or by tweeting me @kathymagrino. Thanks!

Different ways we get ready to write (and writing is a creative process)

This week, my writing classes are exploring the different ways we get ready to write. I’ve written my thoughts about this in previous blog posts, including this blog post from earlier this year: Getting Ready to Write (in 2012). But, I’d like to reinforce this additional message: Whatever you’re writing, whether it’s an advertising campaign, poem, fiction, research paper, blog post, etc., writing is a CREATIVE PROCESS. Business writing and creative writing both require the “creative juices” in our bodies to be flowing in abundance. So, whenever we’re getting ready to write, it’s important to stir up our creativity!

One way to do this is through mind mapping. Here’s an infographic I found on Pinterest that shows how mind mapping can work:

 

Have you tried mind mapping? Or maybe you prefer other ways to get your creative juices flowing and to get ready to write? Please share the ways you get ready to write by commenting on this post. Thanks for reading and sharing! — KM

Playing and Learning Always Work Well Together

Last night, my Mass Media class at Rider U. played the “I Love Mass Media” game — a version of “charades” that I first used in the classroom last year. Once again this year, we had a great time acting out key mass communication terms and the names of movies, books, newspapers, magazines and people in the news. :)

Congratulations to “Team Purple” for winning the entire challenge! And “Team Yellow’s” endurance throughout the initial and final rounds was admirable, so “congrats” go out to you, too!

Actually, through my eyes, everyone in our class was a “winner” last night — and I thank you for helping to make the learning process fun! ;)

Image courtesy of Jetske19 via Flickr/Creative Commons