Keep the Momentum In 2013
Every year at this time I write my advice for the new-year column. I chose to release it in February because it sets it apart from the noise of the first few weeks back from vacation. This is a time when many people with good intentions realize that they have already missed the mark on their new years resolutions, and many have told me year after year that the timing is perfect, so here goes:
1) Stop relying on electronic calendars exclusively. Even more so if you are a mobile worker rather than one who has a permanent desk, but even then consider that meeting time away from your desk as mobile time. You need more than a calendar that tells you where you are supposed to be right now. You need a portable planner that lets you see where you are going. Something that will assist you in plotting your course. (I’ll share mine with you next month)
2) Use progress metrics for yourself, and those that you manage. My first fitness goal was to simply show up at the gym as planned in my schedule, even if I did very little while I was there. My second goal after I achieved that one consistently was not to leave until the end of a fitness routine.
3) Don’t take baby steps. Shake things up. For me proactively this includes both taking on a new project and finding a fresh environment to work in. My office environment is too routine. Instead of beginning my day there, I now go to a breakfast stop after the gym. While there I write chapters for my next two books. All this before the more reactive part of my day begins. I’m sure that you can come up with more dramatic examples.
4) Be patient about starting new things, but be driven to complete the ones that you have started, unless they are no longer strategic. Don’t be afraid to shut things down if they are not. Fewer balls in the air, a higher percentage in the net.
5) Identify where the work comes from and design your process to start there.
6) Recognize the significant learning that you have internalized and the competencies you have gained. When directing others, realize that what you have achieved did not occur over night. When you tell someone to do something, they may lack the skills. When you send them on training, they may lack understanding of how to apply it. When you help them integrate the learning they now have the tools to be successful.
© Wayne McKinnon 2013. All rights reserved