Off the Wall

3 Things I Hope Happen for you next year

Every year, the year turns and people that are far more motivated than me plot their courses of action.  Some celebrate past achievements.  Maybe I just lack something fundamental, but I typically duck out this time of year.  I’ll call it being buried under a pile of snow or just being busy with snowball fights.  Or, passed out from hot chocolate.

Since many people review their Tableau budgets and implementations around this time, here’s what I hope for you next year.  (BTW, I’m not sticking a date on this, so I hope this post remains evergreen – that way I can stay in my snowsuit while you tough it out in a business suit.)

Time for play

I hope you get time to really practice your craft.  Organizations crushed under the pressures to ‘get it done’ spend all their time doing fast work and so little time doing investment work.  I hope you, Tableau analyst, get the time this year, not for internal reports or dashboards, but time to play.

In many places throughout the world, we’ve locked in on whatever it is we can benchmark.  We razor ourselves into such a small space we can hardly move.  Sure, the lines are precise, but what does it matter if you can’t stretch?

Play is essential.  It’s that freedom to explore, to wonder, and to color outside the lines a bit.  It’s a chance to try on someone’s else shoes for a bit and walk around the world like a different version of you.  And, different versions of you are essential.

So, push to get time to do Viz for Social GoodMakeover Monday, Workout Wednesday, or whatever other non-work dashboards you want.  Moreover, I hope your work recognizes that this time is essential for your ability to do your job and counts it as part of your workday.  I know, the sugar and snow’s probably gone to my brain, but I can sure hope, right?

Pause for others

The world has convinced us that work is a race, that we all can’t ‘win’ so we have to beat out someone else to the top.  Maybe that’s true in interviews.  I hope that your office can see everything else can be a team sport and we don’t all need to be MVPs.  Sure, it feels good to be singled out, but it also feels good to lift someone else up.

So, Tableau analyst, I hope you take a break to listen, to hear others, whether it’s your stakeholder or that intern who has a good idea.  I hope you take a breath before you rush towards ‘no’ and consider instead the possibilities.

I hope you get a moment to stand back and take in the moment, to see the joy of others.  There’s always the thrill of riding, but there’s also the wonder of seeing.  I hope you see something beautiful.


We get so locked in on our deadlines, our need to get it all done and right, and all the things we’re not getting done.  It’s stressful and it does harm to your mind and body.  No, really, long term cortisol exposure does the gamut of harden arteries, strain hearts (and DNA, for that matter) and even changes the brain.  So, how do you dump this cortisol?

Meditation is one way.  But, you can also laugh.  Find something hilarious and get a good belly laugh going.  Is it loud?  Awesome, keep going!  Are you nearly in tears from chuckling?  You’re well on your way.

And, if it’s it’s downright hilarious, send it this way.  I’ll need it to go with my hot chocolate.

All images from Death to Stock, a Columbus, OH company that lets you use these.  Happy New Year.  #SupportLocal even when someone from afar points them out.

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