Asking For a Friend | Chapter 37
Advice from Babe to Babe
Trying to hone some attention to detail, or try a few productivity hacks? In this week of Asking For a Friend, the advice gurus have all the answers and insight. Read up, and don’t forget to submit your own workplace questions!
I’ve been there! I think what’s helped me most is actually managing and reviewing other people’s work and, in turn, imagining what others would catch when reviewing my work too. Managing someone else, you learn what edits are necessary (typos, message shifts, etc.) versus just your personal style. It’ll take time to get to know all of your managers and the way they review, but make sure to take a step back and try and put yourself in their shoes before hitting “send.” And remember—if someone takes the time to share edits back with you, you should take the time to learn from them. They’re investing in you, so consider it a compliment.
Try out a few learning styles to see if they improve your work. For example, if you’re a visual or kinetic learner, try printing your work onto actual paper and making edits on a hard copy. Keep a written calendar instead of a digital one. If you’re an auditory learner, read things aloud or listen to a playlist that encourages focus (I recommend “Deep Focus” on Spotify). Some of the things you come up with might be counterintuitive to efficient processes (for example, keeping a written calendar when you have a perfectly good one on Outlook), but these little changes can make a big difference to individuals. I learned a long time ago that if I don’t write it physically with a pen, I’m not going to remember.
–SANDY RUSSO, CONTRIBUTOR
I’ve so been there. I keep a running checklist of details I frequently miss in my day-to-day, such as adding end dates to certain procedures or adding labor hours to a work order. This is good if you find yourself missing similar details. For odd jobs, I recommend going through it backwards. Similar to how you read a paper backwards to find any typos or mistakes, working from finish to start can help you catch some details you may otherwise miss.
–THAIS LAGE, BABE #151
This very situation is one I’ll be in soon. I’m not in it quite yet, but I’ve been thinking about it and have decided I will set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) goals. For example, I will apply for “X” amount of jobs and write “X” amount of cover letters per week, I will practice with mock interviews “X” times per week, etc. Try to be consistent with your schedule, too. This will help deter any last minute changes because [insert distraction here] comes up. Visualizing helps tremendously. Whether that’s creating a vision board, writing the goals down in your journal, drafting the goals and schedule out in a calendar, setting alarms on your phone, etc.—whatever helps you see the big picture, do that. I recommend (and plan to do so myself) setting up coffee dates or lunches with others in the industry you’re working towards. Or, if they’re not in your industry, people who are knowledgeable about career shifts. This will help you keep your momentum going, gain new perspectives, stay motivated to keep going and obtain insights on lessons learned. Lastly, write down the reasons you’re pursuing this new goal and what you think you’ll gain from it, tape it to your mirror, read it every morning and own the uncertainty!
–INA MEZINI, BWH ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
A couple of things come to mind for me: First, make a vision board! Put together a vision of what you are hoping your life will look like once you’re in your new career path. It's a fun, creative activity and it's something that'll make you smile when you look at it every day. Additionally, set up small goals or milestones and find a way to celebrate a little bit once you've hit them. Whether that's going out for a drink or just allowing yourself a two-hour nap, reward yourself with the things that make you happy.
–KATE PIERSON, CONTRIBUTOR
1. Time to block all the energy-sucking people.
2. Put in your calendar and make it fun. Have to work on your website? Go to your favorite coffee shop.
3. Be easy with yourself. Rome was not built in a day, and the same goes for portfolios.
–AIDEE CHAVEZ FRESCAS, CONTRIBUTOR
Keep your eye on the prize. Cheesy and cliché, but it’s so true. Remind yourself that this time period is about the journey and not the destination. It’s so inspiring that you are brave enough to realize you need a big change and to go for it.
–JODY JOYNT, BABE #41
Productivity tools can be found here.
Keyboard shortcuts can be found here.
Everyone knows how to copy and paste, but I love to blow people’s minds with this highly secretive and never-ending list of Apple keyboard shortcuts. I made a habit of picking one per week and forcing it into my daily computer practice. Now, I have 10 to 15 that are second-nature to my keystrokes.
As someone who always has an absurd amount of tabs open, my favorite and most-used is the tab switcher. Another gem is Spotlight, which searches everything in your whole computer—including messages, emails, documents, applications and calendars—for terms or extensions. As someone who can never remember if I sent that message in Slack, Chat, Hangouts, iMessage, or who knows where else, this can eliminate a lot of search frustration.
–ALISSA MCSHANE, CONTRIBUTOR
Until Next Week,
—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS
Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!