Category Archives: A Week In the Life

How To Be More Productive at Work During the Holiday Season

do more motivational quote on a TV

Shopping lists, capturing the perfect holiday card photo, putting up the decorations, last minute Q4 projects and ending the year with a fiscal bang. The fourth quarter can be a chaotic time of year, making it difficult to stay focused on work and negatively impacting productivity.

Thanks to my Emergenetics Profile I’ve discovered that my personality type gravitates towards structure. So what’s a structure lover supposed to do in the ever-changing Q4 climate? Based on my experience balancing multiple clients and projects, here are four tips that have dramatically increased my ability to stay focused regardless of the season. I hope they ho-ho-help you stay more productive during this holiday season too!

1. Write a To Do List and Revisit it Throughout the Day

You’ve probably heard that at the end of each day you should write a to-do list for the next day — this is 100 percent true! But the key is to revisit that to-do list first thing in your day. Don’t check Slack. Don’t check your email. Check in with your to-do list. This will help you set the intention for your day and act as the North Star that keeps you on track.

2. Eat the Frog First

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, more commonly known as Mark Twain, brilliantly authored 28 separate book releases. (Side note: I’m pretty sure we would have been besties if we had been born in the same era). During his writing career, he learned a thing or two about staying productive. His recommendation?  

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

When you’re creating that to-do list, identify which 1-3 items are your “frogs.” What do you have to complete today? Tackle the toughest one first thing in your day to avoid the “I don’t know how to start this project blues.” This will give you the momentum to stay productive for the rest of the day!

3. Practice the OHIO Method

OHIO which stands for Only Handle It Once is the most recent productivity method I’ve been practicing, thanks to Shine. The idea is to tackle and complete those smaller one-off projects as they come up. Instead of overthinking that email response or sending a delayed text message, complete them in the moment. This method has taught me a few things: most things don’t take as long as I tell myself they will and mental to-dos haunt you. The things that aren’t “big enough” to put on the to-do list are the things that take up the most mental space. By completing them in the moment, I have more energy to dedicate to my “frogs.”

4. Tell Time With Tomatoes

For those bigger projects, the ones that take more than 30 minutes, I highly recommend using the Pomodoro (Italian for “tomato”) Technique to help stay focused.

The idea is to dedicate 25 minutes of undivided attention to a project (e.g. creating a digital advertising strategy for a client). At the end of the 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. After the break jump back into 25 minutes of dedicated project work, then take another 5-minute break. Continue this cycle three to four times. At the end of the fourth cycle, take a 15-minute break, instead of a 5-minute break. Repeat this time management technique as needed until the project is finished. My personal favorite Pomodoro timer is Tomato Timers. Their graphics are cute and the timer sounds like happy rainfall.     

How do you stay focused during the holiday season? Do you have a productivity method that you love? Please share it with us in the comments!

Olivia Ward is a Director of Digital Strategy at CenterTable, where she creates digital marketing strategies that make client dreams come true. She has more than 10 years of experience helping brands find and target their audience IRL and digitally.

4 Ways to Optimize Working In-House with Clients

Tennyson Center for Children

GFM’s Amanda Brannum spent time working in-house with our clients at Tennyson Center for Children.

At GFM, we occasionally have the opportunity to work in-house with our clients – perhaps helping out during a maternity or paternity leave or filling in during a staffing transition. I’ve had semi-long-term (several months) onsite assignments with a handful of PR clients over the years, most recently last fall when I spent four months in-house at a local private school. Whatever the reason for the in-house assignment, it’s always a really interesting learning experience from a number of perspectives. Four top takeaways from my in-house time with companies in three different industries follows:

Read more after the jump…

A Week in the Life: Alexis Anderson’s Week in Photos

Alexis Anderson is a senior director of communications and digital startegy at GroundFloor Media. She and her husband took a recent trip to D.C. and took in all of the sites the District has to offer. You can also read about her impression of the Newseum.

Read more after the jump…

A Week in the Life: Jim Licko’s Week in Photos

Jim Licko is a senior director of social media & digital strategy at GFM. Born in Iowa, Jim is now a proud Coloradan, loves photography, is a self-proclaimed beer aficionado and is passionate about the outdoors.

First time in Idaho, fly fishing the Big Wood River.

Piper: A pretty good roommate to come home to.

From Idaho straight to Cheley Colorado Camps. This is a friend’s son Charlie showing off his marksmanship.

Stopped to see our Oskar Blues client on the way up to Cheley Camp…and they were brewing their seasonal Ten FIDY. Hello, ski season!

View from my morning walk with Piper, and the benefactor of most of my paycheck.

Started a Wilderness Trekking Class this week, via that Colorado Mountain Club.

A Week in the Life: Lauren Cook’s Week in Photos

Lauren Cook is a senior director of social media & digital strategy at GFM. She also holds the title of tallest woman in the office.

One of my favorite things in the world – my puppy’s cold, wet nose.

Client photo shoots are fun!

This is what I call a Case of the Mondays!

My parent’s new eight week old puppy, Mozart.

Beer can chicken. His name was Gus.


A Week in the Life: Kimmie Greene’s Week in Photos

Kimmie Greene is a senior director of communications at GFM and recently retured to the office after a three-month maternity leave.

Playing hide and seek with mom and dad – wonder when they’ll find me?

Friends since puppy class – on a hike in Skunk Canyon by Chautauqua

Hanging with out with our K-9 pup

It’s good to be along for the ride

Bath time is one of the best times of day

Playing fetch is often more like keep away with our puppy

~ Kimmie

A Week in the Life: Carissa McCabe’s Week in Photos

Carissa McCabe, senior director of communications/digital strategist at GFM.

Garden cornucopia! Photo of vegetables picked from my garden and eaten for dinner last night.

When I was grocery shopping this weekend, I noticed how deliciously colorful my reusable grocery bags are! I should have bought some rainbow sherbet inspired by the bags.

One of my favorite gifts is the small replica of the Blue Bear I received from some friends at Denver Theaters and Arenas in thanks for some things I helped them with. I can’t even remember what I did to help – but I will never forget their special gift!

In another effort to be more “green,” I love using my clothes line in the summer. Not only is it good for the environment, but the laundry smells amazing!

Any parent of a little boy will understand the dinosaur photo. They are like little members of the family nowadays!

~ Carissa

A Week in the Life: Amanda Brannum’s Week in Photos

Amanda Brannum is a senior director of communications at GFM and resident art aficionado. Her week in photos takes us along on her Colorado Staycation and also celebrates some big milestones for her family.


A trip to the Denver Art Museum while on staycation (“Big Sweep” – Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen).

An afternoon walk with the pup and the wee one.

Celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary!

Enjoying Evergreen’s Summerfest Arts Festival.

Fun at the swimming pool.


~ Amanda

A Week in the Life: Carrie Odberg’s Week in Photos

Carrie Odberg, director of first impressions at GFM.


Enjoying the creativity at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.


I love cooking new receipes and this is one of my favorites,
Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous.


Book club or wine club? Either way the company is always amazing.


Dylan resting up for his afternoon walk.


My partner in crime. 


Love fresh vegetables from the framers market.

~ Carrie