– By Kristina Lee
One of the great things about LinkedIn is the direct news feed – updates that I can get on my iPhone, anytime, anywhere. These feeds are tailored to my online profile. Most tend to be hits or misses. I really think LinkedIn needs a better way of filtering based on profile keywords. I’m noticing way too many self-help articles that tell me how to be a good sales and marketer blah blah blah…but I’m happy to report that most of the time, a good article catches my eye.
A recent LinkedIn editor, Francesca Levy , has just published a series of “Things I Carry” articles, all based on interviews of entrepreneurs and great influencers of the world who divulge their professional “carry,” essentials or “secret weapons,” that help them sharpen their routine and achieve success. Some claim to never leave the house without their notebooks, while others carry family habits (Sir Richard Branson claims he can’t do without his assistant). The anecdotes are quick and fun to read.
The articles appeal to me, especially, because I’m finding that at my workplace there are tons of tasks to juggle at the same time, and even sometimes at the speed of light. Without my own go-to list of essentials, I would be a complete mess, and I don’t have to be an entrepreneur or a famous influencer to feel some of these pains. Having the right resources at hand to support a multitude of things that are thrown at me helps make sure my head doesn’t explode or suffer a brain hemorrhage (or contract problems with my thyroid) before I turn 30.
Post-its. Post-its have been one of my essentials for jotting down everything from important to-do’s to a colleague writing some inspirational quotes for me. These include different colors for each task and different shapes for how I’m feeling. There’s something colorful, fast and incredibly easy about writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper that you nimbly stick to your notebook, computer, phone and even forehead so that you can keep it top of mind. Sticking it where it counts is the fun part, including writing a memo to brighten someone’s day after they get out of a long meeting to let them know you’re taking them out for a “just because,” lunch.
iPhone. Like many but not all, I’ve drank the Apple “kool-aid.” I don’t go anywhere without my iPhone. I sleep with it, eat next to it, work with it, and depend on it to keep me connected to my family. It comes full circle with me because it’s the tool that helps me stay connected to my “trinity of happiness”-hobbies, family, work (yes, I admit I have a Bible app). Why am I so brand specific? Because I’m not the nerdy, techy user; nor am I the tech-illiterate bookworm or librarian. Before the Android takeover, the iPhone was the most practical device with an easier learning curve. It was a phone that made me feel the most modern and sophisticated. Working in an industry that is all about building and maintaining brand integrity, I can appreciate Apple’s sleek, lightweight and rounded corner feel which has been maintained ever since they launched their phone. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like a bubbly feel? My phone is my lifeline. What else can help me wake up in the morning with 20+ alarms scheduled at 10 minute intervals, keep track of all my appointments, allow me to work diligently by the poolside or at the desk (to music when I want), and has my family on speed dial, just to say I love them?
Tact. This one is tricky to explain because it’s more figurative. I’ve learned that no matter what situation I’m in, being tactful and maintaining a certain level of thoughtfulness can help make me a smarter and wiser businesswoman. Staying on the calmer side of things and being sensitive helps me attune my thoughts, suggestions and observations to the matter at hand – especially helpful when I’m collaborating with my team and my clients. Working in the PR industry and building relationships in finance and clean technology, B2B sectors conventionally (and arguably) require you to be thick skinned, easy-going and extroverted. I would agree for the most part, but would have to add that being tactful with every conversation and carrying it through to the relationships that we build is not only essential, but powerful. A little diplomacy goes a long way, and something that I like to take so definitely dish out.
I have to squeeze one more literal one in: Vaseline. It’s the elixir to chapped lips and skin. It’s also the best multi-faceted lotion. Try using it on your eye-lids to give an extra shine to brighten your eyes, or even use it to gel down your hair. Trust me, I carry it everywhere.