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A collection of thoughts through
personal stories, experiences and shared content.

Excel Tip: Navigation Shortcuts

excel jonathon l Mar 30, 2020

A quick look at shortcuts, navigating through your data and other quick copy functions.


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Excel Tip: IF Statement with XLookup and VLookup

excel jonathon l Mar 27, 2020

A look at the IF statement, as well as using the "not exact" matching type for VLookup and the XLookup.


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Excel Tip: XLookup

excel jonathon l Mar 26, 2020

The new XLookup function and the difference between this new function and the now legacy VLookup (or the more unpopular HLookup).


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Overwhelmed is a Choice

Lots of talk about taking a break from our news-feed, creating a mindfulness practice or simply pushing back from our work, hey? I like this post from Seth Godin.

Over-flowing amounts of information are common-place now. It's been that way for a long time, but collectively, we've all been thrown off-balance recently.

Godin's objective look at the experience of being overwhelmed was refreshing. He also offers simple, somewhat clinical solutions. He suggests we "intentionally make ourselves unaware."


*If you liked this blog, you may also enjoy the iQU Podcast 'Power of Choice' by Derek Pang

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Focus: 20 Minutes at a Time

With such uncertain times around us, it’s easy to find ourselves paralyzed, like a deer in headlights by the changes, the adjustment and the new routines we need to establish. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be mindful. Instead of wandering down a rabbit hole of Slack channel conversations, catch yourself and ask “is this what I need to be doing right now.”

Instead of jumping from screen to screen, set a 20 minute timer and write on a sticky note what you are going to get done in the next 20 minutes. Put the sticky note on your monitor and do the thing. Each time you find your attention wanders, catch yourself, don’t be harsh about it, just chuckle at the auto-pilot response our brains slip in to with such chaos and move your attention back to that goal.

A simple check in to slow things down, focus on a single outcome for a short-period of time can move a swirling world into baby steps of little accomplishments. The outcome? A feel good day.


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Co-Existing with "New Co-Workers"

Adjusting to working from home has its own set of challenges, but I think the list gets even longer when more “co-workers” are added to the list. I don’t mean the new hires that are unfortunately starting out a new job in these unprecedented circumstances. I mean the other adults, kids and/or pets also “working” in your space!

There are challenges that we can find the humour in that are spreading all through social media with #newcoworker. There are some great ones out there! If humour (or cute pet photos!) are helping you cope with these uncertain times, give it a go.

But, getting serious for a moment, there are also “new co-worker” challenges that will likely test us. I found this article about Working at Home with Your Partner or Spouse a quick read with some practical advice. Even though it’s specifically intended as tips for our “new adult co-workers,” I think it can also somewhat apply to our “new underage...

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Increasing Mindfulness

The words come out before your brain has a chance to kick in and the momentum of that reactive energy takes hold.

In times of uncertainty, our amygdalas are already on high alert making us more sensitive to triggering events.

There is no better time to check in to your own experience, practice some reflection and increase self-awareness.

I really loved this article on Fear and Uncertainty - it simplifies the concepts from dozens of books on emotional and social intelligence into a perspective that can be easily implemented with increased mindfulness.

The approach I have taught as a communications and emotional intelligence coach:

  • Awareness - What is that feeling in my body? Practice frequent body scans to become aware of where tension is living.
  • Acceptance - When you find tension, don't fight it or try to pretend it's not there. Sit with it and give it space. Be curious about what it's trying to tell you.
  • Pause - Take 4 slow, deep breaths to force the nervous system to slow down....
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Collaborating Remotely

In these uncertain times, we're discovering new ways to collaborate and create value for our teams and our organization. At iQmetrix, we've built a pretty good foundation of remote collaboration tools, namely our use of Slack, Zoom and a host of other shared online tools for keeping information flowing.

Even with that experience, we're discovering a new level of Being Remote. There's no water-cooler. There's no "quick chat in the breakout room."

Slack has a helpful guide for us to more intentionally examine how we meet and collaborate remotely.


Did you know iQU has coaches dedicated to helping you and your team be at your most productive? They're available to help you organize and facilitate your next meeting as we figure out how to adapt. https://iqu.iqmetrix.com/coaching


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Tips for Working From Home

photo cred: @AlexanderJ

As many of us get earnest about working from home, we can learn from the experience of those who have been doing it for years.

Our own @MarcusC shared this article with WFH tips from the experienced folks at StackOverflow


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Able to Deliver

This article, A brutal yet fruitful account of crossing the line originally came to my attention when Andrew K. shared it in an iQmetrix Slack channel about #agilewayoflife.
It's an extreme example (within an advertising agency) of the pressures product development face - trade-offs between the intense demand to Deliver and the necessary time to step back and improve Ability to Deliver. An extreme example, perhaps, but the story resonates with product developers everywhere.
To be honest, you could save yourself some time and skip the first half of the story. You already know the first half. Unobtainable expectations, unsustainable practices and a trail of embarrassing deliveries all point to the need for change. You can pick it up at Moving to Scrum... to see the insights and results.
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