The Plug Walk

The Technology Takeover

Well look at where we have come with the disturbance of technology. Technology is meant to make the human experience better, correct? I mean I can’t wait until my car operates like Kit (the 80’s super car). I already talk to my watch LOL. Google it if you don’t know about Kit.

Let’s take inventory, shall we? I have a television in my kitchen, a smart television in my living room and bedroom. Echo and an Echo Dot (Alexa runs my life). My window air conditioner (I live in a very old house) is connected to Wifi and I have an app on my phone to control it. I have two cell phones (one for work and one for personal – work/life balance). I have a personal laptop and a tablet for work. Two Kindles (one for reading and a tablet). Last I have a smartwatch, we are not going to discuss my kitchen gadgets. Truthfully, I’m not sure if my life has gotten easier having all of these THINGS but I am afraid not to have them. What does that say about me, I capitalized things for a reason…..

Self Reflection

The other day while getting dressed for work, I heard a reporter discussing the theory of disconnecting or unplugging from technology in order to give your brain some downtime. I thought to myself, “Why would I need downtime from technology?”. Come to find out humans spend more time consuming (listening to music, playing videos games “crushing the candy”, or streaming movies) and less time being creative or exploring. Even when we go to a new restaurant we take time to “check in”, snap pictures of the menu, the beverages are ordered and more pictures are taken, appetizers hit the table – wait another picture, then the main course – more pictures, and we can’t leave out dessert. Now don’t get me wrong I have to show the world that my meal was amazing! But think of all the time I took away from communicating and connecting with my meal partner. Let’s not even talk about how the waitress/er has to be a great photographer or the whole review is going to be awful. Please don’t pretend that you don’t know what review I am speaking of #socialmedia.


Have we moved away from face-to-face interaction? Take inventory of all the times you actually looked someone in their eyes while communicating. Just think how many times you have read a message and misinterpreted the tone due to your own feelings. Do you go to meetings or conferences with your device in your hand and then pick it up to check emails or messages? Have you ever stopped to think about how the person who is speaking or presenting feels? Human connection (face-to-face) is becoming a lost art. I am still a believer of meeting someone and having a conversation. I am now becoming more aware of how many times I am having a conversation and stop to check one of my many THINGS.

Multi-Tasking or Adult A.D.D*

Okay let’s be clear on one subject, we all believe we are the best at multi-tasking. I can listen to voice messages, answer emails, and organize my calendar at the same time. But can I??? Studies show that multi-tasking is a sign that a person isn’t able to concentrate on one project at a time. Think about it, you have to literally stop doing one thing to do another we are not actually doing them at the same time. Next time you are interacting with someone either in a meeting, a speaker at a conference, or a meal try concentrating solely on the conversation. No phones or technology just some good ole’ fashion listening.

1st Step is Admitting the Issue

Some say we have all become addicted to technology. You are probably thinking “I’m not addicted, I don’t need my phone at all times.”. Well try leaving your phone at home when you leave the house. You cannot fully realize your level of addiction until the item is removed. Are you having an ah-ha moment? I surely did while researching this topic.

Hello my name is Nicole and I cannot live without my phone.

Take a moment to see how strong of a pull your phone has on you when you walk away from it. Do you begin to go through withdrawals, are you beginning to sweat even thinking about it? Now think about stepping away from social media. Should I call 9-1-1??

What Can We Do?

There are a few tips that I found while reading about this topic. I am going to try a few and wanted to share them with you as well.

  • Commit to not checking social media, email, or messages the first hour you wake-up. Try mentally preparing for your day.
  • Schedule downtime each day. I am trying after work one hour of no technology just me time or face-to-face interaction only.
  • Take breaks from time wasters (apps). I had a friend take a 30-day break from social media and at the end she learned so much about herself. I am going to try day by day and hopefully get to an extended period of time.
  • Try using your phone for phone calls only (no texting, no emails, no apps) just the actual phone.

This has been a journey of revelation for me. I thought I had technology under control and I found that technology has me under control. I am going to try a few of these tips and hope that you will too. Remember, subscribe, share, and post your thoughts on this topic. Until next week.

*I take mental health serious and I hope this title does not offend anyone.

All Alone You Get Off on Your Own Girl

There are several occasions during a businesswoman’s life where she will find herself traveling alone. When traveling alone there are different skills and tips needed as a woman. Especially with all of the brutal stories floating around. Modern-day slavery, rape, international ransoms, it’s a wonder that women even attempt to travel by themselves. I have had (and continue to have) the pleasure of traveling many places across the US and have learned a few lessons, some harder than others. Like when I lost my car in an airport parking structure because I didn’t take a picture of my location due to rushing to get to the terminal because of course I was running late. I digress. But the panic button is not always your friend in a parking structure the acoustics are horrible and your left feeling like a gerbil on a hamster wheel. Anyway, I would like to share some tips that I have learned through all of my travels and hope that they come in handy.


Well where should I begin…. I tend to over pack as if I am preparing for Armageddon. But a good rule of thumb is to pack using a case or bag that you can handle with ease. For instance, ask yourself if you can speed walk while pulling or carrying the bag? Can you lift the bag on your own? I ask these questions because someone can use this against you to try and take advantage. “Excuse me miss do you need help?” and next thing you know your pockets are picked or your purse is stolen.

There are several items out there that can assist you with your packing. My favorite are the Nextour packing cubes set of 6.

I of course found them on Amazon. Makes packing easy and you can fit a lot into each cube. Don’t get me started on how organized you look at TSA, did you see the picture.

Think out your days and put together complete outfits before packing them. I need to stress COMPLETE, don’t forget your under garments and accessories. Now tuck and roll!! No I’m not talking about a fire drill. When packing, roll your items to make them smaller, packing cubes will make this super easy. Again, you will look super organized at TSA.

Trip Preparation

If you are truly traveling alone possibly going to meetings with clients and/or a conference, call your hotel and ask if they have a car service or a shuttle. If not, an option (other than a taxi or UBER) is Super Shuttle. Most large airports have this as an option for transportation to and from the airport. You can schedule your pick up and drop off on the app. I have found that there is usually a designated pick up spot at the airport. Some airports have actual kiosks with representatives to assist. Which makes life easier.

If you are traveling to attend a conference, ask the conference host for the attendee list. Take the list and check to see if any familiar names are on it and then use the buddy system. This works great if you see someone from your town and/or state. Funny thing is, the person you connect with may be experiencing the same anxiety and will welcome the company. Depending upon your travel options you may be able to connect at the destination airport and share a ride to the host hotel. Believe me ride sharing could be another blog topic especially on safety. I mean goodness, did you hear about the UBER driver that went on the killing spree or the guy who pretended to be a ride-sharing driver?

The Hotel

Okay back on track, wait let me go back to packing for one second. Pack a portable charger. Okay a few tips on checking in at your hotel. Inform the attendant at the registration desk that you are traveling alone. The attendant will now know that no one should be given a key to your room or request a key. Also, no one should be given access and/or entry into your room. Another thing, do not give out or announce your room number.

When going to your room in the evening be aware of your surroundings when getting off the elevator and opening your room door. Now just to be clear, you don’t have to break out the CSI kit or run from everyone that approaches you, just be aware. Last tip on hotels and check-in, request a non-joining room.

Free Time

Now you have finished your day and have time to go out and explore. Utilize the hotel staff to find the cool places to go and places to eat. They should be able to explain which parts of town are safe and which parts you should stay away from. This is also a good way to check on discounts and transportation options. Again some hotels have a car service with little to no fee, especially if the driver is bored.

Try your best not to look like a tourist. Use earbuds and GPS to get directions when walking. Using the earbuds will keep passerby’s from knowing you are not a local and potentially lost. Oh and don’t hold your phone up to get a signal (that’s not how it works).

Eating alone does not have to be a bad thing. Download a movie, book, or podcast and belly up to the bar. This is a good tip because, while sitting at the bar people usually don’t think you are alone. They assume you are waiting on your party, a date, or possibly you are friends with the bartender. When you go to the bar, you won’t have to encounter that depressing phrase, “party for one”.

Safe Travels

There are several reasons why you find yourself traveling by yourself. As a woman I am offering some simple tips to keep us safe and out of harms way. The most important tip in this entire post is be aware of your surroundings. Safe travels and remember to subscribe, share your thoughts, and share the article. Have a good one!

What Type of Leader are You?

Leaders are sometimes born to lead. Take a minute to think about that friend who always has a vision and a plan to achieve and execute all the while they are able to articulate and demonstrate their achievements and growth to others. You find that everyone wants to follow the steps that this friend took to accomplish their goals. When other people decide to follow the same plan, it works for them as well! They just seemed to always have it together #imahater.

Those are the types that I am going to call “born leaders”. They take the time to evaluate situations by learning from mistakes and adjusting course when needed. They are confident to share their mistakes because they have learned from them and have the ability to bounce back from them. Humble, confident, and compassionate are words that I think of when I evaluate my leader’s characteristics. Remember this is a blog post and my personal opinion.

Now let’s think about the leaders that are requested, nominated, or promoted to lead. Some are equipped with the tools to lead and the rest learn as they go. Hopefully they have a good support system to learn from and know the importance of having a mentor. I do not want to give the impression that this type of leader is not as good as the “born leader”, they just possess a different mindset. This leader that I will label “promoted leader” will need to listen more and speak less, evaluate past methods, evaluate past mistakes and establish a plan.

When establishing a plan, there is a difference in how the two leaders approach this task. I have found that the promoted leader will engage their team and peers to formulate the structure of the plan prior to working on implementation. I find that the born leader usually comes in with a plan and engages the team and peers to evaluate how to implement the plan and will course correct before implementation. Promoted leaders need to concentrate on establishing trust with their team because the team members may not share the same vision as the individual(s) that promoted the new leader. Some team members may believe that they were more qualified to lead the team and begin to work against the promoted leader. These are things that the promoted leader will need to keep in the back of their mind and pay attention to these queues when they arise.

Being in a leadership role a person will need multiple characteristics to be successful. First and foremost, confidence, confidence should not be confused with arrogance. People will follow and support a confident leader that believes in their vision. People tend to shy away from an insecure leader because they know this leader is afraid and do not believe or understand the vision of the organization and unclear of their role. Leaders should listen to opinions even if they differ and take these opinions into consideration. Not to be confused with implementation, sometimes opinions are just that (an opinion). What‘s that saying…everyone has an opinion like everyone has a butt hole and I am showing my butt hole in this article. These are all of my opinions remember LOL. Okay going down a rabbit hole.

Back on track, leaders should not reduce the significance of negative behavioral indicators. For instance, delegating work unequally, being indecisive about decisions, or panicking about deadlines rather than planning. These are all indicators that will destroy the morale of a team and good leaders pick up on these queues and adjust accordingly, especially if someone brings it to their attention. Humility is very important as a characteristic. Leaders should not lead by using an “I am better than” attitude or “my way or nothing”. Great leaders are very humble and they listen to their teams. Have you ever told your supervisor how you feel about a situation and they try to tell you otherwise? Great leaders will not tell someone how to feel, they will listen and provide guidance. Possibly share a different side of the situation but never tell someone how they should or should not feel.

The last characteristic I want to discuss in regards to leaders is compassion. Yes this is work but we are all human and have lives outside of work. Great leaders listen, advise, and plan even for things that may happen outside of the work life. I would always say, “If someone starts a sentence with I feel at work, I am turning off my ears. This is work and we don’t have feelings.” Well there are times when someone should be able to tell their feelings because we spend the majority of our lives at work and deal with a lot of emotions and personalities.

What leader do you want to become? Think about the characteristics that you see in the great leaders in your life. Write those characteristics down, research them, and implement. Good luck future leaders! Share your thoughts below. Have a good one!

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