In such a fast paced environment as ours, it can be easy to fall into the same comfortable patterns. With the arrival of the new year, the inevitable, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” question arises. It’s natural this time of year to reflect on what went well, what didn’t and take pause to evaluate how you can propel yourself forward.
I’m posing four resolutions to consider as you enter the new year. Try implementing even just a couple of these and see how it impacts you professionally and personally. You might end up making all a part of your daily routine.
Think about the last meeting you attended. I bet a small portion of the room was actively listening while the majority were attempting to be engaged but constantly checking their email, Slack, and in many cases, surfing the web or texting. When you’re the one presenting and notice this behavior, it can feel disrespectful. Being present and engaged in the meeting benefits everyone and can limit the amount of time needed to meet. I thank my Dad for introducing this behavior to me at an early age. Cell phones were not allowed at the dinner table since that was a regularly scheduled time to connect as a family. To this day, I try my best (my best is the keyword, not always) to adopt this same behavior when others are giving their time to connect with me; be that a friend, date, family member, client or colleague. Being in an industry that requires speed and for you to be constantly connected and responsive, this isn’t always possible. If you’re presenting or hosting a meeting, I encourage you to ask attendees to leave devices at the door. You can request this ahead of time in the meeting invite so there aren’t any surprises and attendees can plan for not being connected during this time. If you’re an attendee, try this same practice. I bet you’ll see an increase in productivity and possibly cut down the time needed to meet.
Be comfortably uncomfortable.
This is one of Dagger’s core values and something all Dags are charged with doing during our 1:1 meetings. Many leaders have said that a key to their success is embracing being uncomfortable. Routine can be comfortable but ultimately, dulls your senses. The challenge here is that it doesn’t feel good to be uncomfortable so your natural reaction is to avoid uncomfortable situations or conversations. Have you ever been in a meeting where you questioned the proposed process or disagreed with your superior but were too afraid to say anything and discuss your reason for not agreeing? A healthy discussion could advance those relationships and ultimately affect positive change within your organization. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone can be the difference in you personally and professionally becoming good versus great. You will grow and benefit from that discomfort.
First off, I’m going to brag on my Dags a bit. I’m truly thankful to work in a place where I enjoy coming into the office every day because of my coworkers. Not only do I love working with this amazingly talented group every day, we also have a blast hanging outside of work. Positive workplace relationships are extremely important and essential to your career. I’m not proposing a resolution for you to start hanging out with your colleagues outside of work if it feels forced. I will, however, challenge you in the new year to mingle with someone you wouldn’t typically mingle with. It’s easy to fall into the comfort of only speaking to or socializing with the people you work alongside every day. Schedule a 1:1 or grab drinks with someone that you don’t work directly with on a day-to-day basis. This could teach you something about a different discipline than your own or develop a new friendship.
This one is easy, right? I’m probably the worst offender of this. I scarf down my lunch at my desk or in a conference room while working almost every day. Even though it can seem challenging when you’re in back to back meetings and have crazy deadlines looming over your head, try and block your calendar for 15 or 30 minutes every day to disconnect and recharge. Walk away from your computer, put your phone down, walk around outside or go chat with another coworker that looks like they may need a break as well. Are you able to work remote? Once a week, change up your location. I love to pick a coffee shop with a view like Chattahoochee Coffee since I know I’ll have great WiFi and the view is inspiring and calming. A change of scenery can help with creativity and productivity.
Best of luck to you and your 2018. Even if these suggestions don’t become a part of your daily routine, here’s to making this year the best one yet.