Goals, Momentum, Positivity: Advice from the Pinney Team for 2022
For our last post of 2021, we want to end the year on a high note: with tips to make 2022 even better!

We pooled our best tips and bits of advice on setting goals, making priorities, and keeping a healthy work/life balance. All these things are more important than ever for 2022. As we look for a new normal after the turbulence of the past two years, questions of work/life balance are crucial. So are big-picture questions about the future of our industry and emerging technology. As we wrap up 2021, take a few minutes to evaluate how far you’ve come since early 2020…and think about where you want to be at the end of 2022. We hope our team’s tips can help you get there.

Organization, Positivity & Motivation

How do you stay positive when work and life are full of challenges?

Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist Setting several smaller goals - I want to make X calls by the end of the hour. Accomplishing even tiny goals helps me feel productive.
Katie Cumalat, VP Sales I listen to a podcast "How to Be Awesome at Your Job" every day when walking my dog in the morning.
Candi Brundage, App Division Manager I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe that when we serve others, our own problems don't seem quite as bad as we once thought they were.
Tracy Meier, VP Operations I have a daily gratitude practice that helps me focus on all the positive. By writing down everything I am grateful for from the previous day each morning, it causes me to look for things to be grateful for throughout the day.
Tiffany Press, Application Specialist This can be a daily struggle in some of our lives. What I find that has helped me tremendously is having a SOLID MORNING ROUTINE. You don’t have to like mornings to get the day started on the right foot. Whether it’s jogging, cooking a 3-course breakfast, taking a warm shower, or listening to your favorite podcast. Whatever puts you in a good mood, do THAT every morning. Also, try cutting out checking your phone as soon as you wake up. Reduce the negative and replace it with some positive.

Also, TAKE BREAKS - I can’t believe how many people I’ve known throughout my life (including myself) that refuse to take breaks and the excuse is always “Because there is so much that needs to be done.” That’s the thing – and it’s a good thing, actually. Work will ALWAYS be there. It will survive without you so that you can go treat your body and mind to a quick break. Whether it’s a 15 minute break at work, a day break from a work out, or a break from the family so that you can enjoy some alone time and relax in silence. Whatever it is you are doing, take care of yourself and take a break.

How do you stay organized?

Tracy Meier, VP Operations I use a digital calendar, app, and an old-school notepad. I may take hand written notes during a call or meeting - but they pretty quickly make their way to my calendar or notes app. I rely heavily on my digital calendar - it has events and reminders on it. I look it over every morning to set intentions of the day.
Victoria Tuttle, Agency Coordinator / Happiness Advocate Something that keeps me organized is my Microsoft One Note. You can create any notes on a digital notepad and it’s really helpful when you have a lot of information to remember!
Paulette Wolfe, Internal Wholesaler I like to find a place for everything. I use email folders or computer folders to organize items so I always know where to find them. I use a digital calendar as well, to help remind me of items of importance.
Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist I take all my notes on lined paper on a clipboard. Important notes get moved to a file cabinet in my desk.
Katie Cumalat, VP Sales I use my Outlook calendar for almost everything. I add reminders, tasks, projects, and meetings all to my calendar. I also flag any emails in my inbox that still need to be completed.
Candi Brundage, App Division Manager I use a digital calendar with reminders.
Jenni Wiltz, Copywriter I save a simple text file to my desktop and re-open it every morning. At the very top, I put my clock-out time. Under that go today’s tasks, which get deleted when they’re done. Below today’s tasks, I have sections for “upcoming,” “later,” and “real life” – in case I have to remember to pay a bill or make a call that day. It works really well...except for the fact that I'm completely useless as soon as I turn my computer off.

What do you do when your to-do list seems overwhelming?

Lauren Densley, Case Manager I focus on one task at a time, turn on some good music, and caffeinate.
Paulette Wolfe, Internal Wholesaler I take a deep breath and then work on one item at a time. I try to focus on the item I am working on and not be tempted to multi-task. I find this is the most effective way to work through a list of things to do quickly.
Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist Stand up from my desk and yell. In school, a professor had us do this before every exam. It always helped hype me up when I felt stressed or overwhelmed. Any time I have to hop on a call and am nervous, it’s beat the chest and yell time.
Katie Cumalat, VP Sales Focus on getting the biggest tasks done first.
Candi Brundage, App Division Manager I love checking things off a list. I believe in just tackling each task one at a time and checking it off the list. Before you know it, your list is done. I also like to tackle the most difficult tasks early in the day when I’m fresh.
Tracy Meier, VP Operations Determine which ones need to be done first, block out time on my calendar to get them done, and delegate when necessary!
Kim Sewell, Senior Case Manager I just made up my mind to work in date order while tasks seemed overwhelming. This seems to work well for me when emails and follow-ups are out of control.

Work/Life Balance

Do you have any mindfulness/meditation routines? 

Ryan Pinney, President If you need to clear your mind, take a minute to write down all the things you're worried about. Then cross out all the things you can't control and only work on the things you can control.
Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist I stretch nightly – it’s a good time to sit and reflect.
Tracy Meier, VP Operations Being out in nature whenever possible is my form of meditation.

How do you set boundaries to keep a good work/life balance?

Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist A what?
Candi Brundage, App Division Manager I believe in utilizing my PTO and getting away to recharge. My work area is separate from living area and I RARELY go into my office once I clock out for the day.
Jenni Wiltz, Copywriter I take 15-minute planning breaks before and after work. In the break before work, I put away whatever personal projects I was working on, get a fresh cup of tea, and put my mind in work mode. If it's cold, I'll do some jumping jacks or push-ups to get the blood pumping. When I'm done with work, I take another 15-minute break to close all my work files, update my to-do list, and plot out what I'm going to do first the next day. When those 15 minutes are up, I feel good leaving work behind because I already have a plan for the next day.

Emerging Technology

What new/emerging technology are you excited about? 

Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist The ever expanding IOT. Either everything is connected into one efficient super system – or skynet. Either way...I am here for it.
Jenni Wiltz, Copywriter I’m excited about the future of AI in content production and marketing. From outlining blog posts to creating ad text and images to voice duplication for automated narration, it’s amazing what technology can help us do.

Business Mindset & Growing Your Business

How do you know which projects or priorities are worth pursuing? 

Joshua Herrington, Application Specialist I try to ask myself what the impact will be in 6 days, 6 months, and 6 years from now when making decisions on where I focus my time.
Tracy Meier, VP Operations ROI- from a leadership perspective, we ask which ones will have the highest return of interest or help the agency grow/be more successful.

How do you prioritize between (a) tasks that keep your business running and (b) tasks that take more time, but have the potential to really grow that business?

Tracy Meier, VP Operations You have got to create a good support network with your team so that KTBR doesn’t require your attention on a regular basis. It is almost impossible to be responsible for both on an ongoing basis.

How do you stay current with what’s going on in the industry?

Michael Berenis, PPC/Leads Manager YouTube is a great resource of information for many things because everyone is competing to provide the best information. This creates a plethora of resources for a multitude of topics. That being said, not everyone is correct about everything. Some of the topics are very complex and even the best YouTubers will still convey erroneous information from time to time. I find it’s best to watch as many of the videos as you can from multiple creators and then look to the big picture for your answer in order to decipher the truth from opinion.
Katie Cumalat, VP Sales Attend almost every webinar I receive an invite for. Read carrier emails. Attend conferences.
Tracy Meier, VP Sales Participating in industry newsletters, conferences, committees, etc.
Jenni Wiltz, Copywriter Read a lot of blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. Listen to podcasts - some of the best information I get on marketing tactics and up-and-coming technologies comes from podcast interviews with people in different industries.

We hope these tips help give you some perspective, ideas, and motivation heading into 2022. Feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments!