We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties, shopping, hosting, planning, traveling, family AND work, there’s a good chance you will lose focus at the office.

Here are 10 ways to stay focused and maintain high productivity during the chaotic holiday season:

  1. Take a few days off. If you have a few vacation days available, take the time to do a little shopping or enjoy a day with your loved ones. This will give you a chance to refresh and recharge during the busy holiday season.
  2. Clear your mind. Get your tasks and projects, both personal and professional, onto paper and out of your head. Once you see all your commitments and want-to-do’s, decide which to drop and which could wait until the new year.
  3. Avoid multitasking. Try to avoid working on personal and work-related tasks at the same time. Shopping online while listening in on a conference call could be disastrous.
  4. Start working on year-end projects and personal tasks early. The holidays don’t creep up on us! Start your holiday shopping earlier than you have in the past, and get a head start on any upcoming projects at work. This way, when you’re busy with office parties and planning family gatherings later this month, you’ll have fewer to-do items on your plate.
  5. Don’t take your work home. We all have family obligations during the holiday season. When at the office try to set clear and reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish and commit to a hard stop time. Use your motivation for getting out the door on time as a way to fight off those tempting distractions.
  6. Watch out for distractions. While at the office, don’t try to cram in shopping at lunch or buy gifts online. At work, focus on work. You can take on the holiday chores during your personal time. It will also free you up from trying to do too many things at once.
  7. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise more, not less, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Sleep more, not less, just thirty minutes more a night can make a big difference. And watch what you eat and drink - the increase in sugary foods and alcoholic beverages will impact you the next day at work, both mentally and physically!
  8. Don’t over-commit. With all the office parties, client events, and secret Santa exchanges it can be tough to stay focused on work. Be sure to prioritize and balance your holiday activities with your work obligations. Don’t feel like you have to go to every department lunch gathering or office party you get invited to. Keeping focused and maintaining a good work-life balance sometimes means saying no.
  9. Remind yourself to stay focused at work. The trick is to forget about “seasons” and focus on “today.” Is today a holiday? If not, behave as you would in September. Follow that procedure every day you work. On actual holidays or vacation days, forget about work and have fun. It’s that simple.
  10. Remember what the holidays are all about. Keep in mind the holiday season is for celebration. This should be a joyful time of the year. A chaotic holiday season is a choice, not a given.
    By: Tonya O'Dell


By now we have all heard about or seen the footage of yesterday's successful attempt at landing on a comet, but there are some important lessons we can all learn from this feat of accomplishment, scientist or not.


    By: Tonya O'Dell

 If there’s one valuable thing we can all agree on having learned from  our formal education it is-“working smarter, not harder” is both useful and employable advice in the ‘real world’. That is not to say that hard work doesn’t pay off, it usually does, but often falls short in satisfying long-term fulfillment. Being smarter seems to be in the limelight lately, albeit deservedly so. Nerds are trending and TED is everyone’s friend.  The United States of America is the most innovative country on the globe, some exceptionally genius individuals are wholly responsible for this esteemed designation.  As a result the faces of our new American hero’s include a wide range of ages and education levels including; Zuckerberg, Page, Gates, Tesla, Musk, Tyson, Greene, Sheldon Cooper (the last one was added just to see if you read them all).  Armed with formal degrees and dropouts these inspiring innovators have strong opinions about the role and rewards of education and a traditional university tract into a career. Despite these differences of opinion on the usefulness or utility of a degree, both sides passionately agree changes are overdue in response to and adapting to our changing workforce and emerging generational needs.


    By: Tonya O'Dell

Now is your chance for a mid-week getaway to Rio at ROC, if you have not had a chance to attend a TED talk yet, now is your chance to attend the TED Global LIVE Stream from Rio right from the comfortable convenience of ROC Newport/Airport this Wednesday (October 8th) from 12pm (noon) until 2pm, and it’s completely free!

This Wednesday in Rio, TED Global will be featuring an elite and eclectic panel of speakers  (6 during this session) who will be focusing their discussion(s) on the topic of “Empowering Tech”. Streaming live from ROC in Newport this new segment is your chance to taste test the platter of mental nourishment curated by the renowned TED organization at no cost (personal day passes to attend a LIVE stream normally cost $200).

This very limited offer to attend the live stream of TED Global from ROC in Newport will only be available to the first fifty (50) registrants for this midweek motivational colloquium, therefore we encourage to reserve your space immediately. If you are interested in learning  more information about the TED organization, TEDx and TED Global, ROC covered the basics of this subject in a recent post entitled “The Garden of TED”, which is a great place to become more familiar with the TED platform and what the organization is about.

TED Global celebrates human ingenuity by exploring ideas, innovation and creativity from all around the world.”

Guest speakers scheduled for the upcoming TED Global in Rio on Wednesday include the following smorgasbord of technical talents;

Rodrigo Baggio-Digital Inclusionist

Bruno Torturra-Livestreaming Activist

Steve Song-Telecommunications Activist

Syed Karim-Internet Datacaster

Ana Tijoux-Singer/Songwriter

Miguel Nicolelis-Neuroscientist

The full line-up of speakers and detailed event schedule for TED Global 2014 "South" in Rio at none other than the Copacabana Palace Hotel is listed on the TED Global "South" is linked here and on the official event site. 

Feature image By Cafezinho (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. 

View of Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay from Corcovado Mountain.
    By: Tonya O'Dell

Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global computing, data storage, database, applications, analytics and various deployment services that enable organizations to move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications.

·         Trade capital expense for variable expense.

·         Benefit from massive economies of scale.

·         Stop guessing the total capacity.

·         Increase the speed, agility and performance.

·         Go global in minutes with ease and simplicity.

In simplest and broadest terminology Amazon Web Services provides a simple way to access, manage (and much more) storage(s) of information, databases and data, and offer a broad set of application services via the Internet.