Friday, October 31, 2014

Highlights from the HighEdWeb 2014 Conference - Daphne's Perspective

Oh, I miss thee. Your gigantic trees, your rolling hills and towering mountains, your soft never-ending rain. Oh - and the 700+ congregation of higher ed web professionals!

Morgan and I had the opportunity to attend this year's HighEdWeb conference in Portland, Oregon which was just last week. This is one of the best conferences in the country for those in our profession. Savvy speakers, seven different tracks, networking and collaboration sessions/events, workshops, and a WHOLE lot of enthusiasm.

HighEdWeb session with standing-room only
Popular session at #heweb14 (#mpd3) with Morgan and Daphne sitting on the floor! Courtesy +Lougan Bishop
Morgan and I split up for many of the sessions and I attended quite a few management and professional development ones in addition to some in marketing, accessibility/usability, and development/architecture. I have to say, some of the most interesting sessions were in the management/professional development track.

The best of conference winner is Dave Cameron's HUMAN at work presentation about how to deal with "all the things" at work, including tasks, people, stress, and information overload.

Give yourself the gift of fewer decisions. Free up the cognitive space to encourage creativity & productivity. - Danielle Stapleon
His five goals for being a productive human being are so simple yet brilliant.
  1. Be honest - with yourself and others, subjectively and objectively. Pay attention to your internalized priorities, be real with yourself when interpreting your own performance levels, and don't live in denial. But also measure and capture data, develop reports and analyze your progress - facts speak volumes. Admit to your mistakes with others and give the feedback you would want to hear yourself.

  2. Be unafraid - mistakes are just a part of life. Have confidence, and don't be intimidated by those rock stars! Let go of those irrational fears like change and gossip. And don't be overwhelmed by complexity - take it one step at a time.

  3. Be mindful and focused. Tools to help your workday are AWESOME but don't let them rule your life. We can easily get overwhelmed by email, tasks, calendars and meetings. Use email just for communicating to groups, documenting info, and sending files - don't let it be the boss of you. Turn your email push notifications off and commit to checking your email just twice a day. Review your outstanding tasks daily and prioritize, place them in a project management system like Asana (that is what Web Services uses!) Use your calendar to schedule work tasks and breaks, and consider things like "no-meeting Mondays." Speaking of meetings, don't sit on your phone during them and be sure to take notes and report/share with your team.

  4. Be active - walk and get up periodically. Build a work-out routine. Staying active helps your focus and energy throughout the day. Start your day with a "focus" activity such as a card game, puzzle, or drawing to get your brain going. Keep your workspace clean and organized and consider a more ergonomic desk set-up such as a standing desk. Listen to music with headphones while you are trying to concentrate.

  5. Be nice to your fellow humans! Be a proud member of your team. Support your co-workers, be social, take ownership of your role, and give them a heads-up when you can. Show up to work with a positive attitude - if you are having a bad day, just put on a smile and bear it. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
 Love the idea of No-Meeting Mondas & Fix-It Fridays. I need to be better w/developing dedicated work blocks in my schedule. -Nicole Lentine
    So in summary we have:
    Honest, Unafraid, Mindful, Active, Nice
    Graphic extracted from Dave Cameron's slide deck.

    Isn't that a nifty acronym?

    To view the whole slide deck, check out Dave Cameron's Tumblr. To view related tweets, look up #heweb14 and #mpd9 on Twitter.