fresh ways to promote a productive new year

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With the new year upon us, we typically focus on one lump sum of a New Year’s resolution. Rather than aim for one large goal, why not work toward a couple smaller feats. Here are a few pointers for making your upcoming year a little more productive and maybe even more fun:

1. Reflect on your 2017 failures

Failure is normal. Slipping up on a presentation, missing a deadline, forgetting your boss’s husband’s name…all normal human errors. What is growth without failure?

Take a step back this year and reflect on each failure. Ask yourself:

  • What constitutes as failure to me?
  • Why did I fail?
  • How can I prevent this from happening again?
  • How did/do I grow from each failure?

2. Shake up your routine

9 am coffee, 2:30 pm stretch, 7 pm yoga class, rinse and repeat. Rather than continue with the same pattern day in and day out, shake up your routine this coming new year. Throw in a new learning course in your schedule (something like a writing course, an art class, a monthly networking event, etc.). By switching up your routine, you’re avoiding monotony, thus increasing your normal morale.

3. Set up periods to unwind

Work emails, social media and the constant stimulation of today all add up to the steady noise we’ve become accustomed to. With the influx of chatter going on throughout the day, we forget to set aside some time for silence. Adopting a couple of habits to create a silent space throughout the day can help us readjust our focus.

  • Upon waking, take a few minutes to design your day. By so doing, you’re making room for your day’s goals and focus.
  • Take on meditation. Whether it is a guided meditation for 20 minutes or simply a short session of silence, taking time in solitude to release your thoughts can align your focus for the rest of the day.
  • Set aside a few minutes each day to walk. Pre-work, during lunch or evening walks are the additional workouts you may never know you were missing out on. Snag a friend and make it a ritual.

4. Get uncomfortable

Is there something you’re scared to fail at? A new hobby or career goal you fear you’ll flop miserably at? Take it on! Presentations? Sales pitches? Writing more? Explore. Face fears. Soar. 

5. Learn about a different department

Engage with a department in your company you wouldn’t normally interact with. By learning about your peers’ departments and roles, you’ll be better equipped to speak to the entirety of your company’s capabilities.

6. Exchange books with a co-worker

Interested in the way another co-worker thinks? Most likely, she has a good book that has influenced her. Ask to swap books with random co-workers this coming year. You could be amazed at what you get learn.

7. Offer help

Normally, the daily to-do list of an employee is often filled to the brim. However, occasionally, you face slow periods. During those times, offer your peers help. See a lone co-worker shuffling with some disorganized papers, fretting over a topic that could better be handled as a team, or simply confused about an issue? Offering your assistance makes a world of difference and can create shared trust. Don’t forget – you are part of a team.

8. Ask for help

On the other side of the coin, while offering help sounds simple, asking for help seems to be a little trickier. Whether pride gets in the way, or you’re simply unsure if someone else can lend a hand, asking for help will only…help. Rather than letting the burden of something affect you and the job at hand, ask if a peer can take on a small task to help get the job done more efficiently.

9. Collaborate more

We tend to forget the magnitude of brainpower we’re typically surrounded by. Our peers/surrounding employees are made up of many different trades, insights and knowledge. Why not collaborate with them?! Feel like you’re stuck brainstorming by yourself? Get a group together during lunch and see what types of ideas you can conjure. In the end, you may generate a solution out of the ordinary for your consumers.

10. Set up Lunch ‘n Learns

Rather than carry on with the typical lunch of hot soup and gossip, think about switching it up a bit. Grab a group of peers and find something you’re equally interested in learning about. Whether it’s a new course through Coursera, Master Class, Lynda.com, etc., engage in a new topic together. Group learning is a fantastic way to engage with peers in a new, fun, and relevant way.

With the new year upon us, set up some attainable goals to promote personal and team growth…and don’t forget to make it fun!

By tim brown
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