11 To Dos for Monday

by Dawn Stanyon on December 3, 2012

This post originally appeared on Dawn Stanyon’s professional fashion and personal branding blog Professionality. Her images, content and advice will be cross-posted here occasionally, enjoy!

11 To Dos for Monday Get up and move your body for 30 minutes. Think about how impressed with yourself you will be in retrospect. Wear something that makes you feel bright and vibrant. Forgo looks that are primarily black, gray or beige. Get to work! Sit down and immediately finish two “to dos” from Friday. Drink at least two cups of coffee, tea, or whatever beverage makes you happy (Um, I don’t mean Vodka). Laugh with a co-worker - not at another co-worker but at something silly, stupid, funny. Make five calls/move five to dos forward/Initiate five sales. Check in on your brand attributes. What are your five greatest strengths? Are you using them? Tell someone you appreciate them. Get home and make something half decent of dinner. Read a book - It can be trash. That’s ok. Get in your comfy PJs and get back into bed. Did you wash your sheets on Sunday? If so…ahhhhh!

11 To Dos for Monday

  1. Get up and move your body for 30 minutes. Think about how impressed with yourself you will be in retrospect.
  2. Wear something that makes you feel bright and vibrant. Forgo looks that are primarily black, gray or beige.
  3. Get to work! Sit down and immediately finish two “to dos” from Friday.
  4. Drink at least two cups of coffee, tea, or whatever beverage makes you happy (Um, I don’t mean Vodka).
  5. Laugh with a co-worker – not at another co-worker but at something silly, stupid, funny.
  6. Make five calls/move five to dos forward/Initiate five sales.
  7. Check in on your brand attributes. What are your five greatest strengths? Are you using them?
  8. Tell someone you appreciate them.
  9. Get home and make something half decent of dinner.
  10. Read a book – It can be trash. That’s ok.
  11. Get in your comfy PJs and get back into bed. Did you wash your sheets on Sunday? If so…ahhhhh!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Clara December 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I don’t see an open thread for today, December 3, so I guess I will just post my experience here. Last night I met my cousin for dinner at a pizzeria restaurant. When we met around 5:15pm, it was pretty quiet (the place is fairly large). We ordered pastas and ate and talked and were still sipping our sodas and catching up around 6pm. The place was much more busy and a woman stood at the end of the booths waiting for a booth to open up. This means she just stood 2 feet from our table staring at us. There were other tables available, but because she wanted a booth she just stood there. It was soo uncomfortable. My cousin was telling a story and I could tell it wasn’t going to end soon, so I said “excuse me cousin, I’m going to go and get some slices to take out for my boyfriend” and I kind of gestured my eyes toward the stalking table woman, so my cousin would understand. I asked for one slice to stay so that it would look like we were still eating, just so we could wrap things up on our terms, and not the customer hovering over our table. Should we have gotten up as soon as the woman planted herself near us just because we had finished eating?

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Jerry December 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

No. You should have ignored her.

But, if she were so intrusive that you couldn’t ignore her, you might have asked “Can I help you?” If she said “no,” your appropriate response would have been “I would appreciate you not hovering over our table.” If she said words to the effect of “yes, it looks like you’re about done and I really want a booth,” your appropriate response would be “we’re enjoying our conversation and will be here indefinitely. It looks like there are other open tables here, and you might be more comfortable at one of them.”

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Jody December 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I agree with Jerry’s response. I would add that if the woman refused to move it would be time to take the situation to the manager. The manager could see that you’re paying customers and not overstaying your welcome; if the woman really wanted a booth he could make her wait in another area of the restaurant.

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Nina December 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Friends,

I guess I’ll ask my question here too! I’ve had a couple email conversations that puzzled me in a similar way, and I don’t know how to react. What do you think?

I’ll email and say, “Let’s schedule our meeting for sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday. What works for you?”

And my correspondent will email back and say, “I absolutely cannot meet on Tuesday mornings. I can’t rearrange my schedule to accommodate you, so I guess we won’t be able to meet.”

This has happened to me several times, and I never know how to respond. I never know whether they have something against Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday that they aren’t mentioning, or didn’t read the email properly. Emailing back and saying, “As I said in my previous email…” seems passive aggressive, but just mentioning them again when I’ve already been rejected can get a negative response too.

Sometimes this happens with social meetings, and I assume that the person was just looking for an excuse not to get together and I say, “Oh, nevermind then.” But some of these are professional meetings that I actually need to complete!

I know the obvious answer would be to pick up the phone, but I am the junior person by far in most of these professional relationships, and I’m pretty intimidated to do that!

Any insights you may have would be appreciated!
Best,
Nina

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Elizabeth December 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Nina, in the professional context, I think you have to ‘overlook’ the fact that the person has clearly read your email quickly and missed half of it, and just go ahead and respond with, “How’s Tuesday afternoon or anytime Wednesday, then?” No need to point out that you offered those times previously. For social situations, I think you are handling things well. I would respond with, “Ok, another time then.” instead of “nevermind.”

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Jerry December 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Dear Nina:

Sounds like you’re dealing with at least one [slang word for the anus] here. There are a few ways you can handle it. First, as you mentioned, you can respond “as I mentioned in my previous e-mail I offered to meet at times X, Y, and Z. You are not available at time X. Are you available at time Y or Z. Alternatively, please suggest another time when we might meet as I need to talk with you about project P.” This is not passive aggressive — it is active assertive. (Some people may see this as confrontational — someone who responds to only one “I cannot rearrange my schedule to meet with you, I guess we won’t be able to meet . . .” deserves to be pushed a little.)

If that fails, send an e-mail to your supervisor (the person assigning you to meet with whomever), stating that you offered to meet with person A at times X, Y, and Z, and that person refuses to meet with me. Do you have any advice as to how I can complete my assignment without talking to person A? I was led to believe that he had information critical to the mission. The idea is to create a record that you are doing your job but the person with whom you need to meet is not a team player.

Elizabeth: It’s not so “clear” that the person has read Nina’s e-mail and missed half of it. It seems to me that many people — particularly people in middle management — have so little real power that they need to try to create artificial roadblocks in other people’s lives.

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Alicia December 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Professional situations: In order to deliver priority X we need to meet by Friday for 30 minutes to discuss Y. If Tuesday morning is bad, let’s plan on Thursday at 9:30am. I’ll reserve the conference room.
If that is not good let me know what time Wednesday or Thursday works for you. (Basically explain why you need to meet and how it related to the priorities in one sentence and then pick a exact time and date it is harder to say no to a specific request then a vague well sometime when very busy. Do not say nevermind it makes it seem like you do not really need them or care but you did actually need to meet.
Personal: Same basic idea reschedule if it matters to you and pick an exact event.

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Jodi Blackwood December 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Hi Nina,
Try adding more focus to your email, using words like

“To follow up on ____” or “In regards to ______”, I am available to meet as follows: (then list a few specific dates and times)
* Tuesday, 12.4 3:00 to 5:00
* Thursday, 12.6 9:00 to Noon
* Friday, 12.7 10:30 to 11:00
Please let me know which of these dates and times work for you. If none are convenient for your schedule, why don’t you send me several dates and times that are and we can go from there. ”

This typically makes the person choose a date and time, or respond to you with one, at which point you can then rearrange your schedule to make it work. By bullet pointing the dates/times, they stand out and are difficult to miss. It’s assertive, but not pushy, and usually helps to get the job done. Often times people don’t want to go to the trouble/effort of arranging things, even a meeting date and time, but will choose what is presented to them.

I hope this helps!

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Dawn Stanyon December 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hello everyone! When there’s a breakdown in e-mail communication, the solution I always take is to pick up the phone – or walk down the hall (if that’s applicable). When people receive a positive email, they interpret it as neutral. A neutral – i.e. factual – email? They interpret as negative! Go figure. So if you feel there is any sort of communication breakdown in email, call them, maybe.

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