The Best Posts of 2015

The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family. We reflect on the year just ended and look forward with eager anticipation to the blank canvas that is the year ahead.

To that end, this week’s post is six posts, but they’re all posts you’ve seen before. Or maybe you missed them. They’re the most-viewed, most-shared, and most-loved posts of 2015.

So grab a warm beverage, ask Siri to play some Christmas piano music, curl up under a warm blanket, and enjoy.

See original posts for photo credits.

41 Things to Do at Work Before You Go On Vacation

How to Leave Work at Work, Enjoy Your Time Off, and Come Back Fresh

No matter how much you love your job, it’s always nice to take a break.

You may have just a three-day weekend ahead, a week off, or a month-long sabatical. However long you’re taking off, it’s just not the same when work follows you along.

We’re so connected now, it’s hard to leave work at work. Emails, phone calls, texts. There’s unfinished projects, and a backlog of work waiting for you. How do you disconnect? How do you make sure that you aren’t thinking about work the entire time? How do you come back to a clean slate, so you can get off on the right foot when you get back?

Here are forty-one things things you should do before you leave the office for vacation.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / Matthias Stolt

How Much Pie Do You See?

Make every interaction you have a collaboration, not a competition.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the pies. So many of them. And it’s the one time of year we make a point of topping the pie with actual whipped cream.

My parents had a simple rule to guarantee equitable slicing: whoever cut the pie got the last pick. It solved any squabbles my sisters and I had about the person with the knife cutting themselves a larger slice.

It also illustrated how we saw the pie—as a fixed quantity. It’s not surprising: we were kids, and we could see only so much pie sitting there.

We didn’t understand just how much pie there is in the world.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock/Brent Hofacker

The biggest lesson I have learned is the stupendous importance of what we think. If I knew what you think, I would know what you are, for your thoughts make you what you are; by changing our thoughts, we can change our lives.

Dale Carnegie

Capturing Life with a Daily Record

Nothing is too Small to Capture

Your task list and calendar are critical tools. They represent how you plan to spend your day.

Some days, our plans hold up. Some days require us to be flexible. At the end of the day, your plan probably doesn’t reflect what you actually did.

This is where your daily record comes in. It’s the third leg of the stool for your daily plan. It’s a chance for you to take notes on your day.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock/thodonal

Start a Five-Year Plan Now

One Easy Step to Make Your Dreams Happen

Learning how to manage your time—your attention, energy, and decisions—is a good thing. It’s how you get more done in less time with less stress. You have more time, attention, and energy to direct towards the things that matter most to you.

Daily productivity is only one side of the coin, though. You need to spend time thinking about the direction you want to take things. Without a long-term plan, you’ll make good time, but are you going to be happy with wherever you happen to end up?

A personal mission statement helps you define the man you want to be. That statement can be something you spend a lifetime working towards, refining yourself. It’s very long-term, and can represent a very large, very intimidating amount of change. You need something to connect where you are now with where you want to be eventually.

You need a five-year plan.

Photo courtesy of @Adobe Stock/LoloStock