New Year’s resolutions really aren’t my thing - I’m not into the idea of the new year being a fresh start - or at least not any more so than any other day. So while you won’t catch me making resolutions, you may notice a couple changes here and there in my processes and the way I work. I like to think I’m always improving my work and getting more strategic about my execution; if anyone should get credit, it should be me, not the change in calendars. If you have a process or style of work that hasn’t been ‘reviewed’ in a while, now is the time to take a look at what you could improve.
Identify Your Weakness
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to work currently? Do you have a hard time prioritizing? Do you tend to get a bit disorganized? Or maybe you don’t work well in the new team you’ve been placed in. Honestly everyone’s answer for this question will vary and it should. If we were all the same how would anything get done? Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean you should accept your weaknesses, especially if it is interfering with your work life. One thing that I struggle with is my lack of design knowledge. Lucky for me we have a few people here at Dominion who are pretty fluent in design and can make up for what I lack, but someday when they move on, or when I move on, I may need that knowledge. Cue my effort to begin reading every Adobe ever published about InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator - or I could YouTube it, right? The point is to identify your struggles and make an honest effort to improve them. It could be the difference between your current pay rate and a raise.
Implement Something New
Think about your daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. What could be improved upon? It doesn’t have to be something huge - it can be anything really. Maybe you’re the IT person and you’re constantly running around the office helping colleagues with their computer issues. After a while it gets pretty frustrating to constantly get pulled in different directions when you’re in the middle of something yourself. Instead of allowing this disorganization to continue to happen, implement a new, more structured method. For example, our IT guy, Jay, is the go-to when the printer breaks, or someone can’t seem to remember their computer login. For a while the poor guy was constantly running here and there trying to help everyone at once. Then suddenly we had a new protocol in place (because I’m sure he didn’t appreciate us IMing him and calling his name 24/7). Now when we need the help of IT we send an email to a specified address and Jay has the ability to prioritize and help colleagues as they need without wanting to tear his hair out. It’s a win-win really.
Give Yourself a Break
You probably weren’t expecting this kind of ending, but really, allow yourself to disconnect from work. Even if you love your job (and I hope you do, because you’re there A LOT), you should be taking time off every so often to relax. According to Forbes, Americans waste 429 million paid vacation days every year. Why is it that we’re afraid to take vacation? Taking time off allows you to relax, recharge, and come back refreshed. I enjoy what I do, but believe me, I take my vacation days and I use them to do the things I enjoy outside of work. Just the other week I took a day off to crochet. I told my manager I was taking an impromptu day off to Christmas shop, crochet, and enjoy some ‘me time’, and you know what? He was totally cool with it; when I came back to work he even asked me how my day off was. Your time off is there for a reason, so take it. You’ll feel better once you do.
As I mentioned before, I’m not into resolutions, but I do think growth is a necessary part of your life and your career, and my goal is to continue to grow on a daily basis. I hope you’ll challenge yourself to grow, too and truly lead by example.