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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Career Tips
The holiday season traditionally ends with New Year’s. That’s when we try to enact all those well-intentioned resolutions we’ve been preparing for weeks with equal parts of anticipation and dread.
Most of our New Year’s resolutions are personal and revolve around ourselves and our family. But there are resolutions that you can adopt in the workplace that could be beneficial to your career – if you stick to them.
Banker’s Toolbox has six resolutions that could improve your work and perhaps further your career:
1. Delegate more – “There’s nothing wrong with working hard and having control, but remember that the people around you are capable, too.” Also, there’s usually more than one way to do a job right. You may learn something new.
2. Ask more questions – “It’s amazing what you can learn when you ask.” Instead of accepting the status quo, ask yourself and your fellow workers if there is perhaps a better, more efficient way to tackle the same old tasks.
3. Join a new club or organization – There is a group for almost everything – industry-specific organizations or more general groups to help you with networking, leadership or public speaking skills. “Whatever you hope to improve, there are likely others that share a common interest. Find them.”
4. Dial down the social media – A quick glance at your phone to check the time leads to a short peek at Facebook. Before long, you’ve killed 20 minutes reading personal emails or watching videos.
Know your limits. If you’re easily distracted, don’t tempt yourself. Set aside a certain time of day to log in.
5. Take breaks – Even when you’re busy (especially when you’re busy), it’s important to take a few minutes to yourself. Taking short breaks can actually increase your productivity. A short walk outside can do wonders for your mind.
6. Learn a new skill – If there’s something new you’ve wanted to learn, there’s no time like the present. Sign up for lessons, take a class at a community college or online, or listen to podcasts. Set aside time to challenge yourself.
Susan M. Heathfield, a management and organization development consultant, says surveys show that people who try to do their best every day are “more likely to be happy and productive at work.” So resolve to “do the thing you do best every day.”
Managers and business professionals get caught up in work all day. This problem is compounded when you have family members who occupy your off-work hours.
Set Time Aside to Exercise, Relax and Reflect
“Resolve to set time aside for yourself every day,” Heathfield suggests. “Use it to exercise, relax, reflect, meditate, cook a gourmet dinner, write in a journal, walk your pet or do any other activity that takes your fancy. Just make sure that the activity is different from what you’re already doing all day long.”
Reading more in 2019 is another way to improve your work and broaden your mind. “Read voraciously,” Heathfield says. “Aim to read a couple of business books a month, plus periodicals, online journals and the Wall Street Journal daily. You might not always reach that goal, but it’s there to challenge you to learn and continue to grow.”
We all get bogged down with serious work issues and problem-solving. But we also need to take time to laugh, she says. “Smile when you hear stories about what your crazy employees are doing after hours. “You don’t have to be the mom or dad figure all the time. Enjoy them for their little quirks and differences. Appreciate the different strengths, skills, and experiences they bring to work.”
Make Changing Negative Behavior Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions
There are also some negative resolutions worth considering. Megan Malugani, a Monster contributing writer, has some no-no resolutions for 2019:
- Stop excessive complaining
- Cut out the gossiping
- End the criticism of others
- Stop beating yourself up
- Stop taking yourself too seriously
- Stop isolating yourself or blending into the office woodwork
- Stop blabbing unnecessarily; state your mind
- Curb your social media addiction
Remember that “work-life balance is important,” Joanna Zambas writes in Career Addict. So resolve “to know when to switch off and figure out what you can leave until the next day.”
Whatever is on your desk that evening will be there in the morning. And you can tackle it then with a fresh mind and a renewed appetite for the job.