2019 is over. Let that sink in.
The older I get the more I find myself asking the same question every time 1st December appears on the calendar. No, it’s not whether I will finally make it to Santa’s nice list but more where has the year gone?
If this sounds familiar, and you find yourself in a constant state of confusion trying to figure out how another 12 months have come and gone in a flash, then I’d recommend taking some time over the Christmas holidays to have a period of deep, self-reflection.
Whether it’s looking at the good and bad both professionally and personally, having a cathartic release at the end of the year can be an extremely powerful tool for moving forward, but only if you are truly honest with yourself.
Celebrate the successes!
If you’ve achieved new client wins, contract extensions, new hires or overall business growth, you must recognise the triumphs that your hard work has delivered. With that being said, it is equally as important to evaluate the failures. I believe that taking stock of these combined experiences allows us to learn, progress and ultimately reach our full potential.
So, before 2020 begins and we think about what we will be thinking when we sit down one year from now scratching our heads as to where another twelve months has gone, I have put together a list of my three top tips to help immerse yourself in the here and now.
- Journal writing
Start the new year by dedicating yourself to writing a journal or diary entry. Whether its daily, weekly or even monthly, putting pen to paper can often prompt reflection and force you to remember key experiences and moments that would have otherwise been forgotten.
Not only does this allow you to keep on track of your ongoing activity, meetings and workload, but it also can be used as a prompt to generate new ideas and strategies. Furthermore, it could act as a blueprint, outlining what has and hasn’t worked in the past which can be used to help form new decisions for the future.
- Monthly comparisons
Measuring progress can be done in many different forms, depending on what area of the workplace you are looking to assess. Whether it’s an analytical approach, goal oriented or from an economic perspective, comparing and contrasting your progress can indicate which areas need reviewing and which areas you are performing most strongly in.
Identifying what worked, but more importantly what didn’t work, is a practical way of assessing how you’ve either been successful or fallen short in many critical aspects of the workplace.
Becoming aware of your shortcomings, no matter how big or small, will not only help you eliminate the fear of making the same mistakes, but it will also highlight your strengths and how you’ve been able to use these to achieve success.
Once the month is over, repeated the process.
- Self-imposed breaks
Whether you are completing long or short projects, reaching deadlines or simply trying to manage an increasing workload, taking a break in a busy period can often feel detrimental to your work, especially when you feel as if you are performing at a high level.
Realistically, however, you have to ask yourself how long this can be maintained before hitting the proverbial brick wall. Operating at a rapid pace will eventually leave you feeling overwhelmed, unfocused and frustrated, all of which combined will lead to a drop in overall productivity. To avoid such a scenario, we must allow ourselves to step back and take a much-needed break.
Whether its twenty minutes, an hour, a day, week, month or longer; the ability to step back, refocus and revaluate what you are trying to achieve can be such a valuable skill to have. Implementing this practise into the workplace will not only encourage you to stay mindful of your ambitions, but it will also help you understand when you are at full capacity and unable to deliver your desired end goals.
Practise what I preach
The purpose of each of all three tips is to ensure we become self-aware of our strengths and weaknesses, which then allows us to identify and address critical areas of improvement. We strive to be better today than we were yesterday, therefore we must show significant signs of growth year on year.
As we expect to get even busier in 2020 at Open Comms, I will be making sure to implement all three tips as soon as we return in January. Whether its crafting a press release, rolling out a social media campaign or securing media coverage for our growing list of clients, it is critical that I constantly work towards building on the success already achieved and improving the less developed aspects of my skillset.