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Katharine Zaleski's Blog

My 2018 Liberation List

New Year's Resolutions don't work for me. I need to drop too much stuff that drags me down first.

I've been inspired by Ellen Pao and Cate Huston who published "Liberation Lists" instead of New Year's resolutions. The goal of these lists is to let go of all the things in 2018 that can drag you down. So here are mine (I'm sure I'm missing a ton, but I'll keep adding to this list).

1. Say "no" to free talks that won't grow PowerToFly (notice the caveat in there since I have to consider some talks as biz dev opportunities). My time is valuable and it affects the livelihood of all the people on the PowerToFly team. If I'm giving away free time then I'm not focused on building PowerToFly's mission. Hat tip to Chevon Drew who made me realize this in 2017 after I asked her to be on a panel, and balked, when she simply asked whether she could be compensated for her time. I've since then apologized to her and she's set me straight on why it's important for women to always ask to be remunerated in some form - travel, straight payment, etc.

2. Stay off Instagram. It's an envy machine that only makes me question why I'm not on the beach donning a caftan in March. (Full disclosure, my most recent Instagram photos are beach shots.... but those were taken in 2017).

3. Stop going to so many meetings. I won't attend work meetings where I'm not required to be there as a decision maker.

4. Give up being the only public speaker at PowerToFly. We do a lot of public events with the companies we partner with and I'm often the host. That means I need to be in San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and a million other places. We can't scale the company that way. Happy to say that already we have four events in 2018 that others at PowerToFly will be speaking at instead of me.

5. Don't beat around the bush with people. Feedback is a gift and I need give it to people more often so they can improve. I also need to do it in the moment where I see something that they can tweak.

6. Stop checking my phone in front of my family. What's the point of being with my family if I'm not mentally there? If someone really needs me, they know to call and I'll pick up.

7. Archive all emails that don't matter (archive just in case some might matter one day). I've actually become good at clearing out my inbox each day, but I could be better.

8. Don't read news that only gets you riled up and scared. That means no more terrible crime stories about kidnappings or shootings at family parties.

9. Don't pick up unknown numbers. I started doing this in the Fall and I think it has saved me hours of time. If someone really needs to reach me, they can leave a message.

Want to share anything you want to liberate yourself from in 2018? Tweet at me here - @kzaleski.

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