Something is in the air in January. Change seems easier at the start of a new year. Utilize that energy to make great things happen in 2018. This month we’ll release our best ideas on how to improve your job – boosting your bottom line, your work satisfaction and your personal success in 2018. We’ve got lots of ideas for resolutions, ranked easiest to hardest. Browse the list, pick a task and stick to it. You’ll be on your path to success in 2018.
Focus on Number One
We’ll work on making your boss happy later in the month. First things first… here are some simple resolutions that will help you invest in yourself this year.
EASY – Max out Your 401k
We’re not the first to tell you this, and we won’t be the last. Take a trip over to HR and make sure you’re paying yourself first, and maxing out your companies matching contribution. When it comes time to retire you’ll appreciate the foresight.
MEDIUM – Spend that PDA
If your company has allotted professional development money for your use in the new year, plan today for how you will spend it. Research training opportunities, adult education classes and conferences (WAHC, WWA, NRPA and NESPA are all great) that will help you advance your career. Write a proposal and have it on your boss’s desk tomorrow morning. Resolution … done.
CHALLENGE – Commit to a Better Work-Life Balance
Draft a schedule of how you can get your work done more efficiently each week. If you can save time by shifting your hours away from the traditional 9-5, why not make it happen? Now share your plan with your boss. They’ll appreciate your transparency and you won’t feel bad coming and going based on your new maximum-efficiency schedule.
Spread the Love
After you’ve committed to a personal resolution, consider the people you lead. They’re your greatest resource.
EASY – Team Resolutions
If you’re the manager of a team, think about encouraging the above list. Personal resolutions will not only encourage greater performance from you people, they’ll also show your vested interest in their success. When you show genuine commitment to your people’s achievement they’ll reciprocate with a commitment to you.
MEDIUM – Coach up the Crew
Talk to your team and find out who’s looking to take the next step in their career. Set weekly, dedicated time aside for their development – both formal and informal. Take them out for lunch. Ask them to lead on a new initiative. Delegate new tasks that will help them advance in their careers. They’ll appreciate the opportunities.
CHALLENGE – No More Meetings
Well… you can still have meetings, just significantly less. Set a firm time limit to all of your scheduled and impromptu meetings, or better yet, let us do it for you:
Unscheduled Updates – 5 Minutes
Weekly Individual Meetings – 20 Minutes
Group Meetings – 45 Minutes
Quarterly All-Staff – 60 Minutes
The above schedule will be a dream-come-true for your team. If it sounds too hard for you, you’re likely not giving enough planning time to your meetings. Take a few minutes before you meet to work up a schedule of talking points, then deliver… concisely.
Make Your Mark
Ready to grow? You need to look ahead. A bit of foresight and prescience can serve as a road map to your long-term success. Here’s how you can galvanize your role at work over the next 5 years.
EASY – Scan the Market
Remember the PDA recommendation above? Head to an aquatic or rec conference that features a great trade show (most do). Tour the floor and find your next big idea. Green tech, high tech, new gear, great programming… whatever it is, you’ll find it there.
MEDIUM – Hit the Easy Button
Buy something that will make your life easier. Would a robotic vacuum cut down on manual labor? Would a new test kit save you from chasing your tail on chemical changes? Would it be beneficial to have a pump rebuild kit on-site for your next inevitable break down? Spend a few bucks in January that will cut frustration year-round.
CHALLENGE – Ready, Set, Spend
Have a big idea for your facility? Plan a capital investment. Talk to your controller, accountant or CFO and see what needs to be done to budget for a five or six-figure investment. They’ll know the process and timeline for getting a big change funded.
Ready for more? This article is the first of a series. Click here for part two.