It’s time to hit our Career Refresh Buttons!
Blog Post by Monica Biggerstaff

Our WICT chapter had the fortunate opportunity to meet at Smithsonian Channel’s office for an amazing discussion on enhancing our work/life productivity. Christine Olsen, Lisa Tisdale and Julia Zangwill moderated lively discussions in each of the three  Let’s Talk Tuesdays: Prioritize Your Productivity groups.

Our participants were diverse, including professionals from a variety of races, cultures, ages and career levels – entry level to Senior Vice Presidents – which fostered a candid conversation on the issues we face in balancing all our work/life priorities.

We’re plugged in 24/7; these examples quickly echoed through the room email/voicemail/video conferencing/webinars/alerts/cell phones/text/social media. A common thread that flowed through our conversation was that we’re all faced with the challenge of mastering the art of achieving our personal best at both work and home.

Check out these discussion topics and decide how you can apply them in your daily routine:

  • Challenge: How do you make meetings efficient? Research has shown that between 40%-50% of the time meetings are inefficient.
  • Tip: Shirish Deodhar* suggests 8 ways to make meetings efficient:
  1. Avoid unnecessary meetings, make a call or email whenever possible.
  2. Don’t sit, keeps meeting short & productive.
  3. Set an agenda.
  4. Stick to the agenda.
  5. Determine how you will address all items on the agenda & delegate the responsibility among the group members.
  6. Start on time & keep meetings to 30 minutes.
  7. Only invite group members that need to attend.
  8. Ban laptops & cellphones as they are distractions.



  • Challenge: Several tasks are due at the same time.
  • Tips: Remember all tasks are not created equal. Take a moment to evaluate your tasks & determine the level of perfection & time you will apply to each. In his article** “Time Management Skills” Ramy Saad sites the 4 Quadrant System that was used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to prioritize time. This system categorizes tasks into 4 buckets:
  • “Quadrant 1 – Emergencies & Crises: Urgent and Important”
  • “Quadrant 2 –“Long-Term Goals: Not Urgent but Important”
  • “Quadrant 3 – Interruptions: Urgent but Not Important”
  • “Quadrant 4 – Distractions: Not Urgent and Not Important”

This system suggests that you spend most of your time focused on your long-term goals and limit your focus on distractions


  • Challenge: Feeling low energy or overwhelmed
  • Tips: Find your center to energize yourself. Focus on your wellness, make “me time”, take a class in something you enjoy, take a day at the spa, apply the “5 Hour Rule:”*** many successful leaders follow this rule by setting aside 5 hours per week focused on learning a new skill, improving their current skillsets, coming up with new ideas, and reflecting inwards.


Look out for our upcoming Let’s Talk Tuesdays events, join our LinkedIn group or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Let us know what topics you would like us to discuss, share icebreaker activities you us to include during our discussions or offer any ideas you may have!