Sadly, more often than not New Year resolutions turn into a ‘to do’ list for the first week of January. However, if approached with a serious plan and a pinch of motivation, setting professional goals at the beginning of the New Year can really make a difference in your workplace. Here are just a few ideas that can make your work life a little bit brighter by increasing productivity and eliminating bad habits that hinder professional success.
1. Turn Complaints into Improvement Ideas – Enough already. Walk into the New Year with a challenge: go 21 days without complaining. You can recognize when something isn’t optimum and take positive action, but complaining isn’t allowed. Reason? Mere complaining does nothing else but spreads negativity. Often times people are willing to whine, but refuse to step up and contribute to making a change. As a manager you can engage the complainer and get them to take some reasonability to improving the situation, or even make a rule that your employees can come to you with a complaint only when they have a suggestion and are willing to take an action. For instance, your employees should talk to their coworker about an issue and try to settle it, before complaining about him or her to you. If they complain about a procedure, they should be willing to participate in an event or training to improve the process. Whenever we face something that we don’t like or we know can be improved, we can aimlessly complain about or we can try to change it. Make the right choice this year around.
2. Reduce Stress – True, easier said than done. Although it comes as no surprise that overstressing has a negative impact on both personal and professional life, with the prevailing tough economy, workplace related stress is on the rise and it is impossible to completely eliminate it from our work lives. Nevertheless, we should look for ways to reduce stress to a moderate amount when it can actually motivate us to do better and work harder, instead of making us literally physically sick. Some good ways to control the workplace stress level is to eliminate things pulling down our productivity, like obsessively checking our email or putting too many items on our to-do list. It is also essential to prioritize tasks and, if possible, taking one thing at a time. Focus in on what matters and you’ll see your productivity increase and stress decrease this year.
3. Embrace Life Long Learning – weather it’s learning another language, taking extra classes in graphic design, or getting certification in an industry-related field – expanding your skills set will make you a more valuable asset for the company and a more attractive candidate in the job market. The Internet offers so many alternatives to traditional education. Utilize such wonderful tools as Lynda.com or skillshare.com
4. Eliminate Gossiping – Make it a resolution to stay away from the office drama. Gossping doesn’t serve a purpose, significantly decreases work productivity, and leads to unnecessary quarrels. The next time a colleague tries to engage you in the office drama of the day, offer a one-word response, like “interesting”, and follow it with, “I’ve got to go. See you later.” Repeat as necessary
5. Be More Organized – Last but not least – keep that desk neat! As Ilya Pozin stated in his article for Parade: “it’s hard to be productive or taken seriously as a professional when your desk looks like a Hoarders intervention waiting to happen”. Naturally, a clean desk is only prelude to organizational improvements. Utilizing Google apps or other tools like Evernote and Expensive can help you to keep track of deadlines, to do lists,a nd meetings.
Good luck in the New Year from