Week Six Picks: Being organized; that’s having it all!

I was interviewing a chief executive for a feature about female CEOs. During our conversation, she brought up the idea of “having it all”.

 It’s all boiled down to flexibility.

The woman, who owns a waste management firm, said it is up to the individual to know what “all” is. She also narrowed it down to organization. That got me thinking about my own memes of “having it all” and achieving general success.
Being organized is essential in my line of work. I wouldn’t know how to manage if I wasn’t in order. I’m at the point where I treat it as a game. I have an app to manage my time for certain projects. It’s a race to get as much done in a small lot of time. Add the obsessive urge of me making lists and folders, it’s enough to keep me motivated and efficient.
But not every day’s the same. There are roadblocks and detours to get around. Organization is a daily mission, a mission of flexibility that exposes whether we have a Plan A, B, C and beyond. It’s a skill.
One of my most influential bosses, whom the majority are women, have taught me the whole theory of organization and how to move on the fly. At the time, I thought it was a waste of time. One of my superiors had me make a list for every job responsibility bestowed upon me. Then, write a line-by-line description of every move . It was grueling as much as it was mundane.
The motto was, “write it as if a 12-year-old boy could read the instructions and do your job”. Not that my job was so pathetic that a pre-teen could do it (it wasn’t, it was awesome) but in short, the plan was to keep it simple.
I was doing it so much that before long I looked forward to chronicling my work. The decrease of stress and worry was immediate when I dove into work projects. I was engaged and wanting to improve. It lead to raises, more responsibility and job security. When my boss wanted to know what I did, all I needed was a chart or folder to put on her desk.
The ability to navigate my mission of flexibility has been one of my admiring professional qualities. I still have all the charts and folders I made along with other plots and procedure manual I’ve authored since then. It’s still helping me to find work and staying on top of workday.

What is your idea of “having it all”?

COMMENT BELOW, PRETTY PLEASE

WEEK 6

Last Week: 11-4
Season: 41-35

“I’m back in the saddle, again… I’M BACK!!”
PICKS ARE IN BOLD.
(BYES: KANSAS CITY, NEW ORLEANS)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12
CHICAGO BEARS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 1:00 p.m.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 1:00 p.m.
DETROIT LIONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m.
DENVER BRONCOS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 1:00 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT OAKLAND RAIDERS — 4:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:25 p.m.
DALLAS COWBOYS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.
N.Y. GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES * — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 13
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 8:30 p.m.

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Week Three Picks: Our friend Amygdala

The Amygdala (ah-mig-da-la) is a son of a bitch. But it’s your friend… your almond-shaped friend. It’s only looking out for you just like a protective mother. But like her, the amygdala can take protecting to another level.

The Amygdala

Referred to as the lizard brain, the amygdala is responsible your flight or fight responses, but mainly flight. Its main function is to control your emotions and motivations. The amygdala keeps a tally on your fear, anger and negativity for the most part. It’s literarily the voice inside your head telling you to “don’t do it,” “think about it,” or “what will (so-and-so) say/think about this?”.

One trick the amygdala performs is the art of combining your memories with your certain response to those events (i.e. how you felt when the bully punched you in the stomach on your way to Drama class or when Suzie Shakespeare said no when you asked her to prom).

It compartmentalizes every emotion and stores them in the appropriate areas of your brain for later use (i.e. “Hey Michael, you remember when “that” happen, WE WON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN!!!).

The amygdala is also why we can figure out what we were doing/smelling/eating/listening to when we heard two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, when O.J. was acquitted or when you crashed into that fire hydrant.

The downside is that too much of the amygdala thinking can lead to some bad habits such as obsessing over trivial matters, becoming too critical and just making excuses for yourself.

Whether it’s exercising or trying to figure out a project at home or work, there is always some seed of doubt waiting to grow (“I can’t do this,” “This is way too hard,” “What did I get myself into?”). The amygdala, out of concern and safety, whispers these lines consistently. With every setback, it grows louder and louder until your brain goes back to reference any minor or major failure to make you feel it’s okay to quit or delay things for a while.

That, my friend, is procrastination and it keeps you from succeeding. But there’s good news. It works the other way. A string of little successes can reinforce all of the mental triggers for future references when challenged in a similar situation (i.e. you don’t put your hand over the fire because you’ll get burned or the healthy feeling you’ll have when you decide not to pick up that cigarette).

I guess I’m simplifying, but that’s the short and skinny of our maternal friend, Amygdala. You can find a more technical analysis here.

Plus, here’s a nifty video about the lizard brain and ways to conquer it.


What are some of the ways that you conquer your lizard brain? Comment below! 

WEEK 3 PICKS

Last Week: 7-9
Season: 18-14
“Back to Life, Back to Reality…”

PICKS ARE IN BOLD.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.

TENNESSEE TITANS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS– 1:00 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 1:00 p.m.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — 1:00 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 1:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — 1:00 p.m.

DALLAS COWBOYS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 1:00 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:05 p.m.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 4:25 p.m.

DENVER BRONCOS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

CHICAGO BEARS AT N.Y. JETS — 8:30 p.m.


Week Two Picks: My first Uber morning drive

The names and locations are fictional, the directions are in bold but the car is mine and stories are true, sort of.

AudreyHepburn

“And I say… What about? Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Thursday morning…
There are old houses and trendy eateries with gluten-free selections littered across this storied neighborhood with the original bricks paved onto the roads. It’s bumpy every time I’m here.
My first ride, Michelle cascaded toward the car. I wanted to take a picture to pique any paparazzi interest she might have while in her driveway. Sliding inside, she raised her finger to adjust her sunglasses then proceeded to do her best Audrey Hepburn.

“I want to pick up my friend. She is right around the corner when you get to Literary.” You look much different with a mustache, Michael.

I remembered then by doing this line of work, they’ll know what I look like as well as my car. I almost felt like a celebrity, too.
This is what I got it in for, other than the extra cash: Serving people. Driving is exciting. Communicating with others is what I do for a salary. Combining the two is a dream job, I guess.
Everybody is thankful for my presence. The drunker, the more grateful they become. But today, I figured I could help a damsel in distress who needs to get to work.
Coming off the left turn from Literary Street, Michelle and I discussed the remaining time of summer and cookouts that were rained out. She had an impromptu party to plan and needed a cleaner for her home.
She was in luck. Her friend, Rachel, a petite flower with a charming nose ring and calming voice, had a cousin who was a housekeeper. Her prices were cheap too.

Anne Hathaway. As cute as she wants to be.

Anne Hathaway. As cute as she wants to be.

We stopped outside Rachel’s home as she flowed off her front porch as Michelle did minus the pageant wave. She nestled into my front seat and lean into a solid Anne Hathaway pose.

“It’s best to get on Harmony, it’s a one-way, then left on Morrison Ave.”

Accountants at a boutique store on the far West side, the ladies described their work through the wrath of their manager who doesn’t listen effectively enough for Rachel’s tastes.

I told her when I was hired, I’m going to China for a month, then a weeding in Chicago. So, I needed September and some of October off. She just looked at me and said, “Okay”. She is just there because someone owed her a favor. Uggghh. She is so difficult.

Using her iPhone as a mirror to review her brushstrokes, Michelle nodded in agreement and explained to Rachel that life was easier during their days as baristas. The nose ring slightly tilted as Rachel chuckled then turned to me to drop some knowledge.

You know… you can tell a lot about a person when they order coffee.

With a few blocks from our destination, she grabbed my attention.

Black women always want extra caramel. No matter what, never fails! Old school people like black coffee and are to the point with you. But if there’s a guy who wants anything and everything with decaf, they’re either gay or an asshole.

After I called her out on her generalizations, she offered proof of her findings.

Oh! I tested my theory. There was this guy who went crazy with demands for decaf. He asked for my number and we went out on a date. He was a big time prick.

“You’ll want to make a left here…”
I thought I’d give him another shot. That time, I was drunk when he picked me up. We went to a bowling alley, drank some more and he still was an asshole.
“Pull into this driveway…”

Valid, I said. An asshole is an asshole. The ladies granted me sincere salutations and were on their way. Maybe the next time I enter a Starbucks, I’ll order black coffee with extra caramel.

caramel-coffee-ctr

What does coffee say about you? Leave a comment!

WEEK 2
Last Week: 11-5
Season: 11-5

Best start ever. In history. Yay me!

Picks are in bold

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.

DETROIT LIONS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 1:00 p.m.

ATLANTA FALCONS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m.

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 1:00 p.m.

DALLAS COWBOYS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS — 1:00 p.m.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS — 4:05 p.m

ST. LOUIS RAMS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 4:05 p.m.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS — 4:25 p.m.

N.Y. JETS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS — 4:25 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT OAKLAND RAIDERS — 4:25 p.m.

CHICAGO BEARS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS — 8:30 p.m.