Rita Lopes

2015 in review: words and numbers

Last year, I published a post on our Christmas Extravaganza day about how 2014 had looked like in words and numbers. Many people enjoyed it, and it seems to me like it was a useful and fun way to summarise a whole year of posts without (hopefully) boring anyone to death. When this post goes live, we’ll be once more celebrating Christmas in the most MetaBroadcast way possible, and so a tradition is born 🙂

how the numbers have changed

what 2014 2015
words 13609 17263
characters, no spaces 62860 79131
characters, with spaces 76104 96461
sentences 630 819
words per sentence (average) 22 22
characters per sentence (average) 121 118
paragraphs 270 521
unique words N/A 2829
aprox. reading time (total) N/A 63 min

2015’s top 10 words used throughout my posts

Let’s keep in mind that, once again, I’m not including the pursuit of metappiness, top of the weekly wishlist, or release notes. This adds up to over 20 posts spanning January through to December 2015 on a variety of topics that matter to us at MetaBroadcast and, hopefully, to you, too.

This year I’ll present our top 10 slightly differently, and I’ll start from the 10th to the 1st place. Helps keep the suspense going for a little longer 🙂

10. means – 27 times (2014: sleep, 23)

This year’s top 10 was closed off by a word that didn’t make it in last year: “means“.

Over the past year I’ve writen a few posts about how we do things, and how to identify certain situations—and generally turn that to our advantage. It’s no surprise that within those posts there was use of the word “means“, not only as an explanation (“this means that …”), but also as a way of doing something (“in order to do this you need access to these means…”).

From what to do when you’re blocked to mindfulness and its impact in your daily life, there was a lot of ground covered this year. In fact, the latter was a big investment for us this year. There was a lot of effort put into helping the team come to terms with being more mindful, ways to improve this, and what it actually means. We had demos done in Happy Hour about it as well as chats around both how to do it and the benefits it brings. Most of us felt the improvements very quickly!

9. day – 27 times (2014: need, 24)

This word has gone down one position from 2014!

Some of the benefits I just mentioned were accomplished by introducing small changes to our days, including having a different outlook on them! There are many things you can do to make your days brighter and better.

Sometimes, something as simple as taking a break at the right moment is the difference between a pretty awesome day, and a rubbish one. You matter. Your happiness shouldn’t be left in the back burner permanently. If your days aren’t mostly happy, then there are things you can (and should) do about that—sometimes a new approach is all it takes 🙂

8. happy – 29 times (2014: day, 24)

Regardless of what it is, being happy really is key. Happier people tend to accomplish better things (and, bonus, are happy while doing it!).

Happiness can take many shapes and forms. Sometimes it’s a funny Christmas tree, others it’s the ability of remaining calm under pressure. Whatever it is that gets your spirits up, you should do more of it. Yes, even when that is allowing a pink hippo to snuggle up on your head! No judging…

7. influence – 34 times (2014: urgent, 29)

Depending on how you go about your life, you may or may not be good (and happy to) exercise your influence to accomplish great things. The topic of how to use and improve influence was a request from the team. It’s something people generally recognise the benefits of being able to handle, but don’t always know or understand how to. With that in mind, not only did I write a first post about influence styles, linked above, as well as one about what ineffective influence looked like, and how to change it.

Crucially, it was good to establish the difference between using influence and being manipulative (often associated with negative contexts). The ability to influence a decision, or the approach to take in a project you’re part of, is immensely important and shouldn’t be disregarded. This topic is hardly fully covered though, so it is possible more posts on marginally related topics may spawn here in the future 🙂

6. team – 35 times (2014: making, 33)

This is a new entry, straight to number 6!

Although I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that team was one of the words I used most in my posts throughout 2015, the truth is it didn’t make last year’s top 10—it’s pretty interesting to notice that.

A good example of the importance of your team (in your daily happiness, for example!) is to understand that asking is always better than suffering alone. Being a good team member doesn’t mean to unload all of your pains onto them. Instead, it means to do your best, rack your brain trying to figure it out, and don’t give up. Your last step should always, always, be to ask for help. Knowing your team is there for you is critical. And at MetaBroadcast we take talking to each other very seriously.

5. need – 40 times (2014: good, 36)

This was number 9 in 2014, so it’s up 4 positions!

Unsurprisingly, what you need varies: over time, with context, with preference, etc. Needs are very personal, and that’s right. You’ll often find us improving and iterating on our processes and ways about things, like Happy Hour. It may strike some as strange at first, but yes, there are several reasons why we do it. One of the foremost reasons is getting everyone what they need in the most contained fashion possible. If you need to discuss something that involves a few team members: add a happy hour chat. If you would like to know more about a topic: you can probably find someone to demo said topic in happy hour. You want a brief view of where we’re at on something: happy hour. Who is the best person to help with something: happy hour. You see where I’m going with this 🙂

Unrelated, but still on needs… Who didn’t need to know about Portuguese TV habits over Christmas?!

4. good – 42 times (2014: work, 37)

Another new entry, directly to number 4!

#MetaBeers is one of the good things we do around here. Monthly, we gather at a pub and have talks, quiz, food and drinks! Most of us do at least a few each year, and I was one of those people. For example, back in June following having done a talk about Meo Kanal, I wrote about it. It was both strange, due to its uniqueness (as far as I could find), but that was also why it was so interesting.

Another talk I did at one point involved bits of clips I filmed while spending a day at the US Open in September (I was so happy!), and there have been so many wonderful talks by others that it’s hard to even think about selecting a favourite. But it is good we keep these good things up 🙂

Now, steady yourself… Here’s the top 3!

3. people – 52 times (2014: people, 39)

In third place, same as last year, we’ve got the word “people”. And just like as last year no one is really surprised by this fact, right? I mean, I am the happiness officer!

We continue to think people matter and are the fabric that makes up any worthy endeavours. We had more metaversaries than last year, we had away days and random goodness.

2015 also marked the time when I ramped up chats with the team. All of MetaBroadcast’s people got a bit more of me this year than in previous years, and I plan to continue this trend well into the coming year. And for those who just joined and haven’t had many opportunities, we will, soon. There’s always much to improve, so there isn’t a lack of topics we can focus on.

And now, drum-roll please! 2015’s second most used word was…

2. work – 71 times (2014: important, 48)

A direct entry to number 2! The word is “work”. Ok, ok, it may not seem all that exciting at first. But do think about it…

People spend so much time at work, that in order for me to help anyone get better and be happier, I can’t possibly ignore that fact (or even minimise it). Indeed, there was a lot of work done… on many fronts. This year I dedicated a few of my posts to specific things we do around here and I started the series “talking to each other” to that effect.

In order to help everyone understand how we do things (and documenting was a welcomed side effect), I wanted to make sure it was clear enough what we mean by “talking to each other” as our development process.

This does imply a lot of work. It doesn’t really allow wiggle room for any cat to be checked out as each person is expected to contribute, not only to plan their own iterations, but to help if anyone else is struggling. Y’know… being helpful. Always a good thing to do, for life in general.

1. time – 76 times (2014: time, 60)

And unchanged from last year, our most precious resource is still our number 1! Time 🙂

Carrying on from what I was just saying about our development process, it is challenging and demanding, but we do keep in mind any and all ways to save ourselves time. This includes planning ahead and removing any potential sources of additional headaches (aka, any unknowns tasks), by doing spikes if and as necessary.

Understanding the underlying causes (and mechanisms) to things such as procrastination will prove useful as well. The moment you identify your problem is the moment you’re able to start tackling it. Before you do, you’re just grasping—you may hit a lucky one, or not. It’s always best to focus on the origin, the cause, for your wasted time and squash that, instead of attempting random things which will, ironically, be wasting your time.

more next year

Just as last year, I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings. This was an exciting and very busy year, so I’m hoping the coming one is at least twice as great! I’m sure next year will continue to include things such as being mindful, better ways to work, and how each of us can make our own lives better on all levels. And I couldn’t be happier with that.

If you enjoyed the read, drop us a comment below or share the article, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our #MetaBeers newsletter. Before you go, grab a PDF of the article, and let us know if it’s time we worked together.

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