Tech & Your Daily Routine

I think we can all admit that (computer) technology can be both a blessing and a curse. As professional women we use tech to help us get just one more thing crammed into our day. Calendars. Texts. Alerts. Reminders. Emails. Facetime / video chat. Oh, and actual phone calls too. I don't know exactly how it happened, but we are somehow expected to respond 24/7 to anything that comes to our phones or tablets. Respond to text messages within 30 minutes. Emails within an hour.

Right now I'm sitting pretty (not really) with almost 2,000 unread messages across all my accounts. That's stressful. I'm sure I look to be non-responsive but in reality it would take me all day, every day to deal with messages alone. I have been pretty good at separating myself from my devices during the times I do not wish to be tethered to them. My husband gets twitchy when he sees I get an alert on my phone (usually a Twitter @ or DM) and I don't JUMP up to read and respond to it. Too bad so sad! Dinner time is dinner time. I know a lot of women people may try to cling on to this illusion of dealing with everything all the time and coming out ahead, but I know I work, function, and think better when I can single-task my efforts.

So, ready to think about all the time you spend with your cell phone or tablet in your hand?

1. Check your phone / tablet before you get out of bed?
This one is easy, don't keep your devices next to your bed. If someone calls or messages me late at night it can (yes it can!) wait until the next morning. Besides, I have a handset of my home phone in my bedroom. If someone calls me at 2am on my house phone – someone has either died or wound up in jail. NO ONE calls a house line that late at night without a reason, but plenty of people will call a cell line that late (drunk / butt dialing anyone?)

2. Check your phone / tablet during your commute to work?
Let's hope you take the train). Not to mention how dangerous this can be it's highly unlikely you will be able to type coherent responses to emails or messages during your drive. Part of the requirements for the car I bought last year was that it had built-in Bluetooth for my phone for hands free talking. Those ear pieces just never worked for me. Sadly taking business calls in my car with my kids is hard because they can hear the entire convo – and my caller can hear my kids. Hindsight is 20/20.

3. Check your phone / tablet during a meeting?
Stack 'em if you've got 'em! I highly recommend suggesting to the entire meeting that they place their phones and tablets on the table during a meeting. Fun twists – the first person to take their phone brings coffee for the next meeting. When I've done this meetings go quicker and stay on target because twitch people really twitch want their devices back quickly.

4. Check your phone / tablet while on another phone call?
I'm guilty myself of being on a Skype / land line call and fiddling with my cell phone. Heck, I can even put a cell call on speaker or use Bluetooth and surf ON my cell phone. Don't. Confession time – I've accidentally hung up on someone and conferenced in another number. 

5. Pretended to GET a call / text to get out of a situation?
Yes and YES. Thinking back, this tactic would have been amazing in 'boring date' situations when I was younger, but cell phones (or at least ones you didn't have to bolt into your car) didn't exist yet. While I haven't used the idea, I've thought about it during discovery / sales meetings where it was clear I needed an 'out'. 

6. Pretended to MAKE a call / text to get out of a situation?
Professionally I've postponed 'catch up' phone calls to continue a great meeting I happened to be in at the moment. The reverse also holds true – feigning a scheduled phone call is an excellent way to keep meetings or other calls on time and on track. Having a 'hard stop' time keeps things from dragging on too long. Most times I really DO have a hard stop time and really dislike being late. Besides, it just ripples down the line and makes me late for everything. I set audible reminders and alarms on my phone to keep me an honest lady. Also, pretending to call Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy is funny as hell. Sadly my mom thought of this first so apparently my kids think only she has Santa on speed dial.

I know I've left the house with my cell phone and not my wallet. I know I've answered calls or messages when I should have been paying attention to my kids at dinner or a person on the other end of the call. 

I love technology just as much as the next person, probably more, but learning to juggle and drop it into my life when needed has made me much more productive, focused and happy.

You??

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What benefits are there to having more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering…

What benefits are there to having more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields?

Sometimes I wonder at the 'battle' to get more girls and women involved in STEM fields and keep us there. Devil's advocate here (not necessarily my opinion or feelings) — WHY do we need to gender balance these fields?

Off the top of my head I'm going to guess that nursing is a gender-heavy field for women. I don't really see a push to include more men or recruit them from high school. My guess is that boys are more likely to be encouraged to become doctors

Women have traditionally been seen as 'nurturers.' Men are seen as 'fixers.' To me they are actually the same thing… fixing problems is a way to take care of people and nurturing is a form of assistance.

Are we fighting for something we don't even want or need?

Some quotes from the article:

It is believed that women are more drawn toward professions that can improve society and individuals’ lives.

Young women often comment that they want a career where they can help make things better; this being the case, then engineering should be the ideal career choice.

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Attempted gender balance in engineering – The Manitoban
The U of M engineering faculty still sees disappointing numbers in female enrollment, despite numerous efforts to even the gender balance. Only one in every six engineering student is a woman. At a sc…

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Women Solve Problems Differently & Purchase Differently

We argue differently than men. We solve issues different than men. We make decisions different than men. It goes to reason we also make purchases different than men. As a woman, I look at this a common sense, but now there is a bit of scientific proof.

From the She-conomy article by +Stephanie Holland:

Women have larger areas of their frontal lobe, responsible for problem-solving  and decision-making. They are indeed  planning ahead, visualizing multiple solutions and using that female brain processing to put more time and effort into a decision or problem solving process. (aka, taking a long time).

We also see that the limbic cortex, responsible for regulating emotion, is larger in women. Women have more connections to the emotional centers of their brain. They tap into that emotional center when making decisions (aka, leading with their emotions).

I think this not only helps marketers take a different approach to selling to women, it explains a lot within husband/wife marriages on why it is a difficult process to make certain household purchases (like the home itself or possibly a car). Knowing this, why on Earth would a marketer choose to communicate generically across the board?

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She-conomy » Men & Women Solve Problems Differently. Therefore, They Shop & Buy Differently
We love how you solve problems. The rabbi describes the way his wife tackles obstacles as full of drama: She rages, she cries, she internalizes everything. Her system of problem-solving takes a long t…

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Do you invest in the industry you work in?

While the article starts out a bit crass, I completely agree with the author's ideas that women should be helping women fund and start their companies. Why whine to men that they need to help us? We are quite capable of working and helping ourselves thank-you-very-much.

Something I like to remind people of is that your time is worth something – so investing that to a startup that needs talent, help and guidance could actually be better than cash. Sometimes…

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Women in Tech: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. | TechCrunch
Apologies in advance to everyone I’m going to offend with this post, men and women included. If I appear to be moronic, self-centered, or sexist… it’s only because I am (I’m a guy). Still I believe …

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10 Life Lessons from 10 Incredible Women

While these lessons – and women – are amazing (even if we don't agree with them all) … what's the life lesson you would share?

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10 Life Lessons from 10 Incredible Women
It can take a village to make sense of your sometimes messy life. So we’ve compiled this brain trust of ten life lessons gleaned from the personal stories of women we admire for the way they live —

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