What 2016 Taught Me

Another year has been logged in the book of life. I miss the days of being a child when 20 minutes seemed like eternity. Now I blink and I lose 20 minutes. However, in those fleeting minutes I acquired knowledge and have three takeaways from the year.
Work-Work-Life Balance
Yeah, I just made that term up, but it fits my life perfectly.
Work = my job.
Work = blogging and podcasting for rAVe Publications.
Life = everything else that I do, including beer drinking and yoga, but never combining the two as that is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen (despite what the Internet will have you believe).
2016 brought me the challenge of balancing my daily work responsibilities with my extracurricular activities of being a voice for the AV industry and then having fun on top of that. I’d say I succeeded in balancing it all. Sure, there were days that work deadlines made me feel anxious and my balance was off, but I was able to balance it out with plenty of non-work activities.
Remote Working
I’ve previously blogged about the joys of telecommuting and I have to say that I really am getting the hang of this. In the past 10 months, I’ve spent one week in Pivot’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. The rest of my time has been spent in my home office. The initial intrigue of working from home dipped slightly at the two to three month mark as I realized there is no one, except my assistant Phinneas, to talk to in person. Now don’t get me wrong, I talk to my coworkers daily via instant messages, audio and video calls. The downside was all in my head as I am a very social person. So not having the ability to walk to another department to have a conversation with someone has been something I got used to. And no, I am not walking to Salt Lake City; I wouldn’t get any work done that way!
Phinneas_Break

My assistant Phinneas on break.

I’ve learned that I prefer video calls to audio calls; perhaps because I get to see the people I talk to. I feel like I concentrate more on the discussion when I see the person I am talking to instead of just listening to them.
I’ve learned how to structure my day to tackle specific projects. If I need quiet, I work on those projects in the morning. If I know that I will need to collaborate as I work on a project, I will work on it in the later morning or afternoon so that I can interact with coworkers as I work.
Wearables
2016 was the year I became fascinated with wearables and how they can help me to be more productive. I started with a Fitbit Flex and after that died on me at ISE 2016, I decided to get a Fitbit Charge. I flirted with the D8 Smart Bracelet for a bit, but I should have just set my money on fire. I blogged about my experience with those wearables here. I then found the love of my life with the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio watch. Or, at least I did until I tore my ACL and needed surgery, making my need for a kick-ass GPS athletic watch a very low priority.
So while I still have the TomTom watch for specific athletic needs (i.e., I don’t need to have my phone on my person to clock my route), I now am a proud owner of a Fitbit Blaze. So far, this awesome wearable does everything I need it to — track my movements, track my heart rate, and notify me if I receive a text or phone call.
FitbitBlaze

Showcasing my Fitbit Blaze…I need to walk more steps!

All in all, 2016 was an exciting year for me. If you are interested to know what else I learned in 2016, listen to this episode of Tech Chaos. I am looking forward to see what 2017 brings my way!