As an HR Professional I hurriedly finish up my year end commitments and projects, working with Managers on setting up new plans and incentives for 2011 and begin to prepare working on my own set of objectives and commitments for the year ahead.
As I sit back and reflect on the upcoming year I ask myself “am I ready”? Am I ready for my best year ever? My answer is a resounding “YES”!
So how can I organize myself and re-prioritize so I can ensure I’m working efficiently and performing at my best? I did a little research and came across an interesting top ten list from a website called Zenhabbits that I thought I would comment on.
They suggest the following:
Make a short list
Take a small piece of paper or an index card and make a short list of the 4-5 most important things in your life. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life both professionally and personally? Simplifying starts with these priorities.
Drop 1 commitment
Think about all the things in your life that you’re committed to doing, and try to find one that you dread the most. Now take action today to drop that one commitment that is not value add. This small step will provide you with instant relief and eventually you may want to drop all the commitments that don’t contribute to your short list (from Item #1).
Purge a drawer
Or a shelf, or a countertop, or a corner of a room. Start by emptying the drawer and only pick out the most important things that you use and love. Get rid of the rest!
Set limits for the things you do regularly: email, tasks, meetings, everyday items in your life, etc. And try to stick with those limits. Today, all you have to do is set the limits. Tomorrow, try to stick with them.
Simplify your to-do list
Take a look at your to-do list. If it’s more than 10 items long, you can probably simplify it a bit. Try to find at least a few items that can be eliminated or even better delegated. Shorten the list. This is a good habit to do once a week.
Free up time
Simplifying your life in general is a way to free up time to do the stuff you want to do. Free up at least 30 minutes a day for thinking about simplifying. Just a few ideas: wake earlier, watch less TV, take a walk for lunch, disconnect from the Internet for a period of time, do 1 less thing each day.
Clear your desk
It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet most of us dread doing it. Some tips include; clearing everything off your desk and putting it in a pile. Process the pile from top to bottom, one item at a time. Do not put off any decisions and deal with them immediately and quickly. For each item, either file it, route it to someone else, trash it, or note it on your to-do list.
Clear out your email inbox
This has the same psychological effect as a clear desk. Is your email inbox always full of read and unread messages? That’s because you’re delaying decisions on your emails. If you have 50, let’s say, or fewer emails in your inbox, you can process them all today. If you have hundreds, you should put them in a temporary folder and get to them one chunk at a time (do 20 per day or something).
Simplify your life by doing less and doing them more slowly. Eat slower, drive slower, walk slower, shower slower, work slower. Be more deliberate. Be present and in the moment. This isn’t something you’re going to master today, but you can start practicing today.
Instead of multi-tasking, do one thing at a time. Remove all distractions, resist any urge to check email or do some other habitual task like that while you’re doing the task at hand. Stick to that one task, until you’re done. It’ll make a huge difference in both your stress level and your productivity.
As I previously indicated, my desire for 2011 is to have my best year yet! I want to be more efficient, be a better leader and commit to achieving all the goals I set forth.
So I challenge you…take a look at the above 10 steps and see how they can apply to you. Get ready and prepare for your best year yet!