How I Work - Lisa Rosendahl Edition

When I attend a well-coordinated conference or observe a successful program launch, I want to know what happened behind the scenes and what the organizers did to deliver. The journey is much more interesting to me than the destination. 

Badge by Lizzie (@lizonomics)

Badge by Lizzie (@lizonomics)

I also love hearing how people work. So when I saw Sharlyn Lauby, author of HR Bartender, post recently about how she works, I clicked through and read along as she shared a little about her work. 

Sharlyn encouraged others to follow suit, so I did. Enjoy! 

Location: Central Minnesota

Current Gig: Human Resources Director for the St. Cloud VA Health Care System.

Current mobile device: iPhone 5, iPad

Current computer: DELL Inspirion 660 at home and another DELL of some type at the office. Loving the Windows upgrade or could it be that I disliked Vista so much?

One word that describes how you work: Focused.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?  Anything that lets me read on the go. With the demise of Google Reader I am running NewsBlur and Feedly side by side on my iPad and have a smattering of other reading apps I check into now and then. 

What’s your best time-saving trick? None, because I never seem to have enough time? One thing that works for me is taking 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to organize the most urgent projects for the next day and put them front and center to greet me when I walk in the door. It saves precious start up time in the morning.

What’s your workspace like? It's rather functional. Give me a computer, access and a few pics of the family and I can work from anywhere. Throw in a latte and something sweet and I'm better than good.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Outlook to keep my comings and goings organized and pen and paper (regular not legal size and white not yellow) for everything else.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? My Mophie because my iPhone5 does not hold a charge and my hotspot because I refuse to purchase data plans for my iPad and the kid's iPod and iPad mini.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Keeping a clean desk. I can't work with clutter. 

What do you listen to while you work? Nothing more than the hum of the office.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert – no question about it.

What’s your sleep routine like? Most nights, I’m in bed by 9:00p and up by 4:30a (with an alarm).

Fill in the blank. I’d like to see ____________ answer these same questions.  I’d love to see YOU take the challenge and link back in the comments below.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Don't overthink. Just do.

What are you working on right now? Let me pull out my paper task list . . . besides the day to day activity of running an HR department in transition I am working on addressing organizational succession plan challenges and building HRIS capability to  translate data into insight.

Tag, you're it!

Handling What Life Throws Your Way: A Day in the Life Sunday

They say life doesn't give you more than you can handle.  I don't know who "they" are but they obviously are not the dual-income parents of a 'tween.



I have been steadily losing ground to a sinus infection for over a month. Between the daily inner-battle of going to work versus staying home, there was that deer-Honda-insurance incident to address. This week, 'tween angst was on the agenda when a routine morning drop off was foiled by uncontrollable tears for a friend facing a personal challenge. The same afternoon brought a new development and we ended our day skipping swimming practice and reading The Period Blog. Calgon, take me away.

Overwhelmed and keenly aware I had not worked a full day yet that week, I quelled the doubts and did what needed to be done. And you can too.

When confronted with a multitude work-life challenges:

  1. Reach out to others. Be it a trusted teacher, a respected educator or a resourceful family friend, there are people with experiences, perspectives and a desire to help. Ask and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you receive.
  2. Let the work go.  You tell your staff that the work can wait, now show them. You hired the best so let them to do their jobs. People hear your words, but they remember your actions. What do your actions say about your values?
  3. Always chose the kid. There are touch points in a child's life that requires the love and attention of their parents. They are not predictable or planned and, when they occur, nothing can replace the family.

Finally, if you haven't done so lately, let the husband know that his girls are strengthened by his presence and support. He doesn't even have to say a word.

What do you do to keep an over-zealous life from getting the best of you?