Well, it’s a new year and according to the news the most common resolution is “I want to lose weight.” As a personal goal, that’s great. But what about at work? What’s a good resolution to have if you’re a manager? Here’s my suggestions:
Communicate more effectively. I’ve written a lot on this blog over the past months on the value of communication. Some people are good at it, others are not – but everyone can do better. What we communicate and how we do it is something all of us can work on to make our lives at work more productive.
Be realistic about what you plan to accomplish. Setting goals is great, but you have to be able to attain them. Too often we take on projects that are simply too big or too complicated. Learn to cut projects down to manageable size, and be very clear about what exactly it is you’d like to accomplish before committing. Find your balance and don’t over-commit yourself or you team to vague or nebulous project goals.
Expand your horizons, and think about joining an industry group. This gives you networking opportunities, but it also gives you something even more important – perspective. If you slog along every day at your job without any outside input, it’s easy to start thinking what you’re doing is unique. Joining an industry group of some kind will give you the perspective of knowing that others are facing the same issues, problems, and challenges that you are, and it gives you the chance to hear how they are dealing with them. You can learn best practices for things you didn’t even know were problems! I’ve had great results working with HDI in the technical support arena, and ASQ in the quality/process improvement world. There are others, the important thing is to get that outside perspective!
And the very best resolution is this: Make time for yourself. Use your time away from work to reduce the pressure and stress you are under at the office. Americans are known for not taking enough vacation time, so don’t contribute to that statistic and get away occasionally. It doesn’t have to be a whole week at a time, it can be as simple as a half day or a long weekend. The point is, if you’re due the time, use it wisely and take a load off!
Here’s to having a productive new year!