by Chasity Kuttrus
How many of you have “get in shape” on your New Year’s resolutions list? How about “spend more time with family” or “read more books?”
We most often focus our resolutions on things we want to change in our personal lives, but what about resolutions to make some adjustments in our professional lives?
More often than not, if we can make some changes to our work lives, a lot of our wishes for our personal lives fall into place. Better work-life balance, for example, goes a long way in helping you get to the gym, not have to work as late and have extra time for your family and hobbies. See? I have it all figured out for you.
But, truthfully, our personal resolutions are often stymied by a simple lack of time and by the fact that we always put ourselves last – after our jobs, our families and our communities. Sigh.
Here are 7 resolutions to make in your professional life that will impact your health, happiness and well-being at the office….and most importantly, at home.
Make a Career Plan – We plan everything else, why do so many of us fail to create a plan for our career, one of the biggest parts of our lives? Sit down and consider what you want to be doing this year, next year, in five years, maybe even in 10. Then, make a list of short and long-term action items to get you there. Those short-term goals will likely become your professional New Year’s resolutions!
Delegate More – Once you have your plan in place and your required action items, you need to shift things around so you can focus on those things. Delegate the stuff you don’t need to be doing! Yes, it’s hard to let go of some things but once you begin handing things off to a trusted resource, you’ll become addicted to delegating. It’s freeing. And leaves you much more time for the important things only you can do.
Pay it Forward – Consciously take time to help others, both your superiors and your subordinates. Do it when you can so that when you do have to say “no” you don’t feel bad about it. And, pssst…delegating more will enable you to lend your time and talents more freely.
Say No – Learn to say no. Say “yes” when you can but if the request keeps you from working on your own goals, say no to it. I’m not saying only do things that will further your career. I’m just saying when you’re pressed for time, you need to prioritize. Your advancement is your priority, not doing things because you just can’t say no to requests.
Stay Out of Office Politics – You will never win. Ever. But you know who does win? The person who shows enough self confidence to rise above the fray and focus on getting things done. Gossip, backstabbing and plotting revenge are major time and emotional well being suckers and keep you from important work.
Be Visible – As important as it is to keep your nose to the grindstone, so is showing your face. Go to networking events. Participate in meetings. Have lunch with colleagues. Don’t just hide in your office. Whether that office is a cubicle or the big fancy corner digs, you need to get out, see and be seen.
Keep Normal Hours – Create an environment where your team members understand boundaries – yours and those of your colleagues. If you are sending emails at Midnight, you set a precedent for your employees, or your boss, that you’re open for business at all hours. Leave the office at a decent time each day. If you have to secretly work more at home (and hopefully you won’t) then do it on the sly. You don’t get medals for working 24/7. In fact, you don’t necessarily get promoted either because it can sometimes show that you aren’t smart with your time.
Above all, practice, practice, practice these activities. Habits aren’t easy to change and the important thing is to keep working on them so they do become part of your work life. Over time, you’ll find adhering to these practices will help make you happier and more well-balanced in the workplace – and in all areas of your life.
Happy New Year!