I Love My Organizing Peeps!

8 Apr

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Wow! Where did the last month go?!? The last thing I remember I was planning and packing for the 2012 NAPO Annual Conference in Baltimore and March is gone.  It was my seventh conference in a row {Boston, MA was my first} and I love being with my peeps! I would love to include a shout out to all my friends but in my sleep-deprived state, I fear that I will omit and offend. {sending my love. you know who you are *wink*}

It was definitely a challenge to leave the little bug for seven days (as I am also on the Board of Directors and participated in the pre-conference board meeting and leadership forums) but I was leaving him in good hands.  It was my first time being away from him for even one night but he had three competent adults {dad & in-laws) looking out for him and he would be just fine {had to keep telling myself that}. And, I did decide that if I was going to leave to attend conference, I was going to make it worthwhile.  And it was!

Though, he developed a cold while I was away :( and upon my return, I developed a sinus infection like no other I have experienced before. So, the past 2 weeks have been spent trying to ride the wave of tortuously short naps, cranky baby {and mommy} and dueling hacking coughs…but it looks like we are out of the woods.  Ahhh, sleep. I actually got 4 whole hours in a row last night- glorious!!

While I never quite get to spend as much one on one time with my friends and colleagues as I’d like, I did get to re-connect with some old friends and make some new ones.  Since my life has had some major shifts {move to NC, new baby}, I went to conference with a clear goal to be open to ways my business was going to make the shift as well. I’m really excited about the clarity I gained personally, professionally and in my role as a NAPO volunteer.  I always say that I wish I could bottle the excitement, energy and inspiration that comes from attending conference and the impactful interactions with peers.

In an attempt to do so, I’ve already had a phone call with an organizing colleague and mentor and have identified actionable steps for creating the shift in my business post-baby/move. Yay! Here are three additional baby steps I’m taking to maximize my conference investment.

  1. Listen to the conference recordings- all of them . Even for those sessions I attended. It is always worth my time investment {ok, there are maybe 3 that really don’t apply to me and where I am}.  Plus, it’s a way to perpetuate the energy from conference.
  2. Connect with old and new friends. Touch base with those I chatted with in-depth and those I didn’t get a chance to {there were about 850 in attendance}.
  3. Research and acknowledge our Conference Expo guests. These product and service vendors spent their time, energy and money to be with us. {Though we missed 2 biggies this year: The Container Store & Ikea}  While my approach to using organizing products is deliberate and often conservative, I believe our Corporate Associate Members and Expo vendors help us lead the way and make lives more productive.

What are some things you do to maximize your educational investment? How do you hold yourself accountable? Any creative ideas for collaborating post-event?

Ciao for now!

Lauren

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