Lessons for Women in Leadership from ‘Hamilton’ the Musical

I finally had the opportunity to see Hamilton the musical a this spring at the amazing Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City. After all of the hype, I was worried that I would be let down….but the show didn’t disappoint. From the opening scene, where the characters were introduced through the opening song “Alexander Hamilton,” to the closing scene where Eliza Hamilton sang about telling her husband’s story in “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?,” I was captivated.

Since seeing the show, we have listened the songs on repeat with our children, and have had many a discussion about what it means to “not throw away your shot” at something, and why the King of England sings funny songs about coming back to him. But, more than that, what I have reflected on within the music are the lessons that are present for women in leadership. On this July 4th, I thought it only fitting to “tell my story.”

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

This theme (and song lyrics) are present throughout the story. Early in the show, Hamilton commits to not throw away his shot through one of my favorite songs of the show. His commitment is to make a difference and to shape the future of our country. This motivates him to make the decisions that ultimately lead to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

The lesson for women in leadership (or for everyone in leadership) is to take the shot. As I work with up-and-coming people within my team, I often see women who are highly skilled not raise their hand for new opportunities, whether it be new projects or promotions. I also coach managers about how to have the conversations that they are having with both their male and female talent about opportunities. They need to sound different. Research from Bain & Company and LinkedIn in early 2017 shows, via a survey of 8,400 professionals, that “women are less likely than men to seek out an opportunity if they knows their supervisor might not be fully supportive.” In other words, women aren’t willing to take the risk at the new opportunity for fear of failure or upsetting the apple cart.

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg

This is particularly important early in life/career. Jack Zenger, an inspiring author and researcher, and CEO of Zenger Folkman (who I happened to meet via a board where we were both helping advance women in leadership), comments that this confidence gap early in a career is particularly stark between men and women, and thus early opportunities for growth may be missed by women not “taking their shot.”

Credit: ZFCO research

Hamilton would advise differently to women in their careers. His advice would be to take your shot when you have it. He stayed true to his advice through the entire musical except at the very end where his shot (literally) could have saved his life.

Talk Less, Smile More

In the song “Aaron Burr, Sir”, Aaron Burr gives Hamilton the advice “to talk less, smile more.” He proceeds to say “don’t let them know what you are against or what you are for.” Hamilton won’t have it. This perspective couldn’t be more opposite of his belief to take a stand. As their relationship continues, Burr’s philosophy ultimately drives Hamilton to support Jefferson for President (despite their disagreements) versus supporting Burr, who he believes stands for nothing.

Although smiling (and listening more) is a good lesson especially as it enables you to gain perspective from others, I am with Hamilton here. It is critical to take a stand for what you believe in. More often than not, I see women in business struggling to bring their unique perspective to the table. I have particularly seen this as I have moved up in my career. Women, myself included, see role models for success in business around us (mostly men). Although learning from others’ successes and failures is important, it is critical to maintain your unique perspective and approach. This is a fine line, learn from others, but be yourself.

Diversity of perspective is critical in decision making. In order for organizations to make the best decisions, differing perspectives need to be valued and encouraged. If I could write the lesson in leadership, it would be “talk less, listen more, but take a stand.”

There is Room for All

Aaron Burr sings in “The World Was Wide Enough” about his duel with Hamilton. The song begins with an emotion-fueled countdown to the shot, and Burr closes with a somber ballad about how he “should’ve known the world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me.” In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s visionary scene, you feel the emotion in Burr’s voice. Fear first, regret second.

As I think about becoming an executive leader, I remember moments long ago in my career where I felt like it was either me getting the opportunity or someone else, and I found myself thinking of it competitively. Often this created internal storytelling, me thinking about it as “her/him” OR “me”. This competitive energy, although good when it comes to business challenges, is ineffective when directed towards people. The storytelling got particularly bad when it was two women vying for the same opportunity. I had a feeling that only one of us would be allowed at the table, as our styles and perspective were so different from what was “valued.” I have learned over time how ridiculous this was, as it not only hurt my effectiveness, but also limited bringing diverse perspective to the table in so many teams.

There is so much room. Instead of being competitive, my job is to support and help strong, confident, smart, resilient women (and men) up the ladder with me. No fear, no regrets.

Thank you Alexander Hamilton, and Lin-Manuel Miranda for these leadership lessons. Happy birthday America.

To All The Mothers on Mother’s Day

Thank you to all the mothers out there (especially mine!). Your tireless and constant commitment to caring for, loving, praising, teaching and supporting your kids is what makes this world a better place.  I only hope that I can give to my kids what I see so many of you giving.

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I was lucky enough today to spend the day with my mom (and of course my lovely kiddos and Jon),  I consider myself the fortunate beneficiary of her love over all of these years.  Thanks Mom!

 

Get Off The Sidelines

I haven’t been posting for quite some time with the excuse that life (work and family) has gotten in my way. What I realized after some reflection this week is that I miss writing about things that matter to me. This blog has been an outlet to make that happen, so here we go again. No promises of my frequency, but you will know, if I am writing here I am probably a bit more balanced than if I am not as it means I am creating the time to reflect (and write). So, I am getting off the sidelines and back in the game.

Over the last week, I have had the fortunate opportunity to attend two separate events that are motivating me to get off the sidelines in a number of ways. The first event was the first ever Utah Wonder Women Summit. The Utah Wonder Women is a group of influential women leaders in Utah working to help each other succeed. The day long summit was an opportunity to convene with a focus on building the visibility of female leadership in Utah. This event was followed by SUREFIRE girls, an event for teenage girls in Utah to help them see the magnitude of opportunities available to them. A big shout out to Jacki Zehner, the original Utah Wonder Women, for her relentless dedication, drive and initiative to make these two events happen.

So much inspiration at these events. This photo is a picture of the SUREFIRE ambassadors, ranging from junior high through seniors in high school, on stage talking about what they are hoping to learn from the SUREFIRE event. I was struck how powerful it was for these teenagers to see a room of 100+ female leaders in the audience focused on helping each other, developing our skills, aspiring to help Utah be a better place for female leadership tomorrow than it is today. But, what made me even more amazed was the energy that I took from these ladies reminding me of my role to get of the sidelines and dedicate even more time and energy to making the community, the state, our business environment and the country a better place for these ladies than it is today.

In case I wasn’t inspired enough leaving the UWW Summit, I headed this week to FORTUNE magazine’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation conference. It was an honor to be able to attend this. I guess you can call it part two of a reinforcement to get off the sidelines. With all of the stories recently about sexual harassment and assault, much of the event had a theme of being vocal. Stories of both a pursuit for gender and race equality as well as the recent #MeToo social movement came from all sides of the room. Business leaders, athletes and entertainers spoke of their own experiences with a call to action to be vocal and through our voices ensure that equality and respect are what we expect. Hope Solo, former goalie of the US Women’s National Soccer team, spoke candidly of her pursuit for pay equality in US Soccer, and her own personal experience with harassment. She also shared her clear belief that she was fired for being vocal.

One of my favorite speakers across these two events was Pat Mitchell. Pat is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. She has used her position of influence and leadership as a force for social change. Among other great accomplishments, she is the host and curator of the global TEDWomen conference. Her talk was on power, and how we need to own it and use it to lead and drive change. Her eloquent speech was calm, reassuring and enabled me to center myself. We often perceive power to be masculine, but it isn’t. The definition of power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Nothing masculine about that. One of the quotes she shared was from Bella Abzug, a lawyer, member of the US House of Representatives, and social activist and leader of the Women’s movement.

“Women will change the nature of power, rather than power changing the nature of women.” – Bella Abzug

Both of these events came at a great time for me. I have been working very hard lately and am probably off balance with how I am spending my time. I am still home for my family in the evenings at a reasonable time, working out a few times a week and trying my best to be a great spouse. So, it isn’t about work-life balance. That said, I am relentlessly moving when I am gone, pushing myself to always keep taking a step forward on the issues that matter every day in my work. There is a lot of good in this (especially for our business).

What I recognized after this week is that by dedicating so much energy here, I may be missing some of the things that I need to be doing to fulfill my purpose. I need to get off the sidelines, but not in a way that drives more “movement” at the office, or more stress. Instead, getting off the sidelines is about choosing to channel my “movement” to more effectively influence positive change for women in business, media and policy. So, thanks Pat for the advice. I am planning on owning my power and using it to drive change.

Being a Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  I hope that this day finds you relaxing and taking a few moments for yourself.  My morning has started out wonderfully – sleeping in as much as possible (almost made 8am!), coffee in bed, time to write and my cute littles helping Jon with breakfast.  

I became a mom in 2009 when Katharine came into this world.  It seemed like a long time coming with a miscarriage along the way.  My mind was blown away by this little package of joy (and tears) that we had created.  Jon and I lived in Phoenix and brought this little bundle home to our small apartment, not knowing what we had gotten into.


Today, we are blessed with a caring, intelligent, strong, opinioned little 7 1/2 year old who is out to take on the world.  She makes me smile every day.  Posed below helping with Mother’s Day brunch preparation.  


Two years and 4 months later, our family became complete when Matthew was born.  By this time, we had settled back into Park City and I thought I had this mom thing down.  1 + 1 definitely equaled way more than 2.  Matthew was a calm little one, just rolling with it when his two year old sister gave him aggressive hugs and tried to “help.”

Matthew just turned five years old, and has fully lived up to his nickname (#shifty), so pictures of him not moving are hard to find.  He is one of the most kind, earnest kids I have ever met.  He loves life and makes us laugh daily.  I have never met a five year old who builds Legos like he can, and he still snuggles me every morning.  Posed below at his first ever t-ball game.  


Being a mother is more than I ever imagined.  It has challenged me to slow down and take it in, with the knowledge that these days won’t last forever.  Here are a few things that I have learned in the last seven years that in reflection have helped me to become a better person.  

  • Being a mom means being comfortable with constant change.  Early in Katharine’s life I remember thinking, I have finally figured this thing out (happened to be relative to her sleeping).  The next day maybe even the next hour, things changed.  Before kids, I thought I had life figured out.  I had a plan, and overall things seemed to go according to the plan.  Now, that just doesn’t work (it probably wasn’t working before either).  Having kids makes it incredibly obvious that you have to be flexible.  
  • Being a mom has helped me enjoy the journey so much more.  Often times before kids, I would set a goal and celebrate when I reached it.  Not a bad thing, but what I missed in that process was enjoying the actual journey.  With my kids, the journey is the fun.  Matthew is learning t-ball right now, and last week I went to his game and just giggled the whole time as they ran all over the field doing about everything but playing t-ball.  
  • Being a mom means you have to understand your values.  The clearer that I have been on what matters to me, what I value, the better I am for my kids.  One of the strongest examples of this for me has been with working out.  I have had an on and off love affair with fitness my entire life.  The last four years I have refocused myself on being strong and fit in order to live the healthiest life I can.  I value this and now so do my kids.
  • Being a mom means little eyes are always watching.  I want to role model for Katharine and Matthew that you can be a confident, smart, caring mom and worker at the same time.  I hope that this helps them to know that anything is possible. 
  • Being a mom is about helping my kids make their own dreams come true.  We talk about this a lot with together.  We can’t do it for them, it is about them identifying what their dreams are, working hard to make them happen and enjoying their own journey.  

I am humbled by how lucky I feel on this Mother’s Day.  Being a mom is the best.

The Future of Healthcare

I had the privilege of attending Fortune Brainstorm Health last week, an innovation conference working to bring together the best minds in Healthcare, Technology and Business to make a difference in healthcare.  The theme of this years conference was “Accelerating the Health Revolution.”  The topics were broad and thought provoking.  I found myself at the event wondering how I could do more on a day to day business to help.  Since the conference the question has only gotten louder in my mind.   In reflection, I think that the starting point is to write down my top observations after review of my notes.  Maybe this exercise will lead my somewhere…

  • There are amazing people who work in healthcare:  scientists, physicians, innovators and investors.  I met people brave enough to tackle life or death situations with a gusto every day that most of us don’t muster at our best moments.  People with an insatiable quest for learning.  These people provide me a great deal of hope for the future despite the rhetoric of politics.  
  • This conference reinforced my belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right.  You can often get lost in the public debate over healthcare finance, which is what most of the political conversations center around.  The media doesn’t help, covering the politics of healthcare, and grabbing on to often non-core issues.  This conference allowed me time to simplify it for myself.  All people deserve access to care.  In order to afford this as a country, investment must shift from treatment to prevention.  This will ultimately bend the cost curve.  That said, the reason to have health care for all isn’t economic, it is ethical.  
  • Despite what I said above, costs are a major problem.  As a nation, we over invest in late stage healthcare and under invest in prevention.  Dr. Sandro Galea, physician and currently Professor and Dean, School of Public Health at Boston University, made a compelling case for the investment in creating health versus treatment illness as our priority.  When ranked versus 17 peer countries, the US mortality rates are ranked #15 – 17 for all age groups under age 60 and we quickly rise to the lowest mortality rates in the world for over age 80.  We invest a large portion of our healthcare dollars into this treatment and it is what is incentivized by our healthcare payment system.  The alarming thing is that it doesn’t increase longevity.  
  • Healthcare is about so much more than clinical care.  We were joined at the conference by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna.  He shared that  “Only 10% of life expectancy is driven by clinical care – 30% by genetic code, 20% by the social determinants of health, and 40% by lifestyle choices.”  Dr. Galea, who I mentioned above, spoke of this as well.  In follow up to his talk, I read a great piece he wrote last fall.  Within this article, you can also find the chart to support the mortality rate information I shared above.  Improving the health of our nation is as much about investments in our social infrastructure (e.g. education, clean water, public transportation, a living wage) as it is investment in medical advancements.  I feel incredibly lucky for the good fortune that my family has had.  
  • One of the best comments from the audience at the event was about hospitals and their role at the center of healthcare improvement. The quote was something like…”Isn’t it ironic that our healthcare system is hospital-centric? Particularly given that a trip to the hospital is the failure of care.” Prevention, prevention, prevention. Our role must be to influence behavior so that people do not reach the point of needing the hospital.  
  • Corporations have a critical role in improving healthcare.  It is the right thing to do to focus on employee health and wellness.  If moral responsibility doesn’t convince you, employees that are well – getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly – are more productive. The power of top-down leadership to drive a culture of wellbeing for our employees will be the pressure our healthcare system needs to evolve. On a side note, I crossed paths again with a former leader of mine, Chip Bergh, who is now the CEO of Levi Strauss. I remember his dedication to well being 20 years ago, and it was amazing to see his continued commitment to wellness as a driver of employee engagement and productivity. 
  • Fertility issues are a health crisis. The awareness of the breadth of fertility issues is low, and there is still a stigma to discussing these challenges.  A world-renowned fertility physician, Dr. John Zhang spoke about a controversial procedure (the three-parent baby) that he led last year.  It was a fascinating discussion, which prompted me to talk with him on a break.  We had a great conversation about this awareness issue.  His point…there is a Breast Cancer Awareness month, an MS walk, a Lymphoma/Leukemia organization all of which are doing great work to raise awareness of their disease, and funds to help reach a cure.  Yet, fertility issues are still taboo, unfunded, and impact over 6 million women in the US alone.  Fertility issues are reported to be as stressful as dealing with cancer for a family. Solutions are expensive, and the path to the solution is complex. Long-term this is decreasing wellbeing, and increasing costs within our healthcare system.  
  • Our company (CHG Healthcare) has a critical role in helping physicians to perform at their best.  With all of the challenges in healthcare, physicians are working harder, showing signs of stress and burnout and more focused on administrative tasks than ever (less time on patient care).  I sat next to a surgeon who said that given all of the electronic charting that she has to do, she sees about 40% less patients per day now than she used to.  Helping physicians to be successful and delivering to their maximum contributions well help save lives. 
  • Technology and data will be a propelling force for change.  Amazing people are investing in amazing things.  We got two live demonstrations that were particularly impressive.  The first, a matchstick size device that slides under the skin currently in development from Intarcia.  This device, combined with chemical innovation that allows medicine to stay good at 104 degrees for up to three years, enables medicine to be dispensed into the body automatically for up to a year post implementation.  Imagine chronic disease treatment improvements via increased drug compliance if this could be installed once a year in a less than a one minute procedure.  The second was a partnership between Tricog Health and GE Healthcare to provide EKG support to rural Indian clinics via a connection to the cloud for immediate diagnosis.  Both of these were amazing innovations, but just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what could be.  
  • Genomics.  All I can say is wow.  This field is moving through years of progress in weeks and months.  To envision its role in the future is for people smarter than me.  Refer to the first point above. 
  • Finally, there are people in this world who are way braver than me. Two physicians, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia and Dr. Raj Panjabi discussed the Ebola breakout in 2014. They were both on the front lines of the disease in Africa.  Dr. Bhadelia spoke of the impact of global security decisions on their work on the ground. As a country, we were began acting with an “abundance of caution” and airlines stopping flying into this part of the world.  Although well intentioned, this created immediate supply issues for healthcare workers on the ground. At one point, she and her team were out of personal protective equipment and had to make the decision to either use tarps to cover themselves and go back to work, or to let more people die.  They went in with tarps.  The bravery that this requires is something that I cannot fathom. I leave this week with an even further appreciation of the difference healthcare providers make for patients every day.  

An amazing, thought-provoking event to say the least.  What do I do with it?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that we all have a role in the Future of Healthcare.  Whether as a consumer of care, the owner of our own personal health or as an activist for a cause, we are all leaders in this challenge.  That said, senior corporate executives have a unique role given their influence.  I will paraphrase (and adjust) a quote from Mark Bertolini:

“The role of a CEO (substitute any senior executive leader in my point of view) is the power to convene, and the power to set the agenda.”   – Mark Bertolini, Aetna

The Busy and The Quiet


There are very few times in my life that I am alone any more.  Especially, times where I am alone and not connected to someone or something via my phone.  This is one of those times (don’t be bothered by the being connected to my blog….that is a part of the relief).  The kids are off to a movie with Jon and I am due to a friends house in about an hour.  But, for these 45 minutes, I am alone.  No sounds around me in the house other than my fingers typing, and the hum of our house as the dishwasher runs and the laundry is in action.  

I realize in this moment how I have almost forgotten how to sit silently.  The things I should be doing race through my mind:  should I prep the food for dinner; is the laundry ready to fold; maybe I should squeeze a quick workout in; I haven’t called my best friends from high school/college in a long time and should take this minute to make that happen; I have been meaning to get back to the book I got half way through on vacation and now is the time; what could I start on to make this week go more smoothly.  So, I force myself to keep writing as a way to not relinquish this time to the constant to do list in my mind.  

When did this happen?  Was it the onset of kids that took all my quiet moments and turned them into times filled with things?  Was it my job progressing to the point where I don’t have time during the day to take a deep breath?  Did this set the precedent for “no deep breaths, ever”?  Maybe it is because our world is on at all times (email, text, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.).  Maybe it is because Jon and I are productive people….and don’t want to let a minute not help us to progress something forward.  

In reflection, it is a choice.  I like to squeeze a lot into my life.  I enjoy the things with my family, and my job, and socializing as a part of our community.  I enjoy my friends, and the outdoors where we live and staying connected to friends from prior times in my life via phone, text, email.  I enjoy the busy.  

But, I also like the quiet.  The slight dripping I hear from the kitchen sink, the idea of a nap, being bored.  A weekend with no plans, the time to take a spur of the moment road trip.  The ability to answer my phone when my mom calls versus texting her I am in the middle of something.  The free brain space to dream about things that make me happy, without making a plan about them….simply imagining what could be.  

To live my life to the fullest, it takes the ability to do both of these things.  Not letting either the busy or the quiet dominate my time.  Being comfortable telling myself to redirect if I get too heavy on one side of the scale.  This is one of those moments.  I have been running too hard the last few months.  Not enough quiet, not enough writing, not enough open space.  It shows up in my health (sitting here with a cold), my kids (they show me my stress as if they are a mirror) and my temperament.  Time to redirect.  

Through the Eyes of a Child

What a great day.  One that helps me to envision what the next ten years may feel like (knock on wood our kids still like us for ten years).  We went to our first Broadway musical as a family.  It was a big kid thing, with Matthew turning five in a few weeks.

My loves got all dressed up, and we took off for an outing as a family date.  An awesome show, great company, and a day to reflect on how lucky that I am.  The most memorable part of the day was Matthew on my lap at the theater, clapping in earnest, yelling “Bravo” at the end of the first act.

Art through the eyes of a child.  He was in awe of the performance, and in reflection, I am in awe of him.  Sometimes you forget how amazing the things are that you get to live, until you see them through the eyes of a child.

Thank You Hillary…#ImWithHer

I find myself at a loss of words after this monumental week.

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Katharine was beyond excited to stay up to watch Hillary Clinton accept the presidential nomination.  As was I.  I found myself moved almost to tears by Chelsea’s introduction (however not comfortable Chelsea looked), by Hilary’s deliberate recognition of the power of the moment, by her humble acknowledgement of both her strengths (work horse) and her weaknesses (show horse), but most notably by Katharine’s excitement about the evening.

For her it was just about the experience, about learning and understanding how this election thing works, about being able to stay up late, about seeing daughter introduce her mother for something exciting, and about the fascination with the role of our President.  And, it was of course cool that it was a girl.  She asked me if I was ever going to have her introduce me for something like that.  She wondered if the whole world was like America.

For me it was about making history, about hard work, about perseverance, about striving for something despite all odds, and about creating opportunity for all of the little girls that  were watching.  And, it was of course because it was a girl.  I had hoped for this day for a long time.  It made me proud of America.

I know that my politics haven’t always lined up with Hillary, and I am certain that I don’t agree with everything that she is advocating for, but #ImWithHer because of the lesson that she can teach America and the world.  She is showing us that hard work, perseverance, dedication to a cause, and belief in equality can change the world.  She is helping all of the little girls see what they can be.

There Should Be More Girls

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Tonight when putting Katharine (6 1/2) to bed and talking about her day, she asked me an important and hard to answer question.  “Mom, why aren’t there more girls in my mountain biking camp?”  First of all, mountain biking camp!  I know, only in Park City does a 6 1/2 year old have a bike nicer than I did at age 25, and get to go to a camp to learn to ride trails that I only got brave enough to take on 15 years ago.

She proceeded to say, “Having more girls would be more fun.  Plus mom, we can do anything that boys can do.”  Proud mommy moment.  After a few minutes, I realized that I had never answered her question.  Why aren’t there more girls?  I proceeded to tell her that at my work, I often times am the only girl so I know how she feels.  I shared with her that it would be more fun if there were more of us (not stated to her…and more productive, and more diverse in opinions, and better for business).  I told her that the good news is that I work with a ton of girls.  In fact, at my company, there are more girls than boys (we are over 60% female).  She gave me a bright-eyed smile.  I told her that in my office there are actually about 600 girls.  She proceeded to ask me if there were only a few boys because that would be “cool”, to which I said nope, about 500.  She was pretty jazzed that at my work the girls outnumbered the boys.  We talked about it more and I told her that it was actually really great that there were all kinds of people at my work…boys, girls, young people, old people, white people, black people (I know in Utah!).  She thought that it would be “better if in her mountain biking class there could be all kinds of people too.”

But, I never answered her question.  Why aren’t there more girls?  I want to protect her from some of the truths that are probably behind that question.  Maybe more parents believe their boys should be mountain bikers than girls?  Maybe society teaches little girls to choose ballet camp instead (trust me Katharine wants to do that too, and Matthew has never asked).  I avoided the question, hoped to teach her that girls can do anything boys can do, and vice versa, and hoped that what she remembers is that having all kinds of people in all things makes everything better.

How to disconnect?

How do I find time to disconnect?  In todays  busy world of two kids, two jobs in our family, a fair amount of work travel, and  building and now moving into our new house this seems to be the thing I have the hardest time with.  There is the literal disconnecting, from either work or technology.  I have gotten better at the work physicial disconnect over time.  I am there at 8:30 and I leave by 5:30 almost without fail.  The mental and technology disconnects have been much harder for me.  In fact, the more I have time to think at work, the more time my brain stays engaged outside of my desk hours.  And technology, ugh, no good at this.

My technology diconnect used to be via reading a book headed to bed. Lately that hasn’t worked.  My book is on my iPad which is the source of most of my connections in the world (my work calendar, my email, the internet, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and this blog).  I find myself instead of taking  30 minutes to read my book that I get started reading and then remember the ten things that I had meant to do that day and I begin to tackle a few on the spot.  Is it just that the device is associated with productivity?  Anyone else have this problem?

I am considering starting to read real books again.  Honest-to-god printed books.  So, 2000’s of me.  My other solution is banning the iPad from my bedroom.  That seems not practical though.  It serves as my music, my alarm, my source of book, and a way to catch up on the news.  Maybe I am rationalizing, but this doesn’t seem practical.

The only solution that I have had recently is the gym.  Being there has helped to mentally disconnect. I go there and I am only focused on the physicial activity.  This is giving me at least one hour, three days a week of separation from my to-do list.  Not enough, but a start.

Please give me some advice if you are reading this.  All of us have this challenge in some way, especially with technology, and I am wondering how you all are tackling it out there.