Summer … a good time to tweak your processes!

Time Management CourseDoes it seem to you like the work pace slows during summer months? Once Memorial Day arrives, many of your colleagues begin to take vacations, long weekends, summer Fridays and may adopt a slightly frenetic pace. Well, this may be a good time to tweak your routines and practices. I am not recommending massive changes, but rather a review of how you might be more effective and help your team members. If the pace seems to be a bit more relaxed, you may be able to “catch up” and also use this time to tweak a few things such as your to-do list. If you can get a few steps ahead this may also result in a lower-stress level now and a higher-productivity fall.

Here are six (6) suggestions:

Reorganize your work space – Determine if you can make a few changes that will give you a psychological boost and increase work flow. This may be as simple as moving or organizing your desk, filing cabinet, drawers and or your wall space.

Re-evaluate your inbox and other file systems – Since your work or team members may have changed, this may be a good time to clean up your email lists, reorganize, add or delete contacts and evaluate project folders on your desktop. Also, this may be a good time to test a new productivity software package.

Re-evaluate your goalsTake a few moments to read and revise them. “Develop a short term list (for projects in the next 30 days) as well as a long-term list (for projects in the next 90 days); begin brainstorming with the short-term list and develop questions that apply to each project (who, what, where, why, how, with whom, etc.) along with answers (if you already know them),”

Ensure your goals are SMART –   First, a goal must be highly specific. It is not enough to state that one of your goals for the year is to get in shape. You must state explicitly that you want to lose 15 pounds or you want to walk six miles a day five times a week or you plan to swim a half hour per day five days a week. Your goals must be measurable. That is, you must be able to see how close you have come toward reaching your goal at a certain point. A third requirement is that the goal must be attainable. It would be fruitless for a short person to have a goal of becoming a top NBA player at the Center position. Next, a goal should be realistic for your lifestyle. Sometimes you can attain a goal, but it may not be realistic or healthy for your total life picture. Finally, all goals should be time bound with a date certain for completion or attainment.

Continuing education – Now could be a good time to learn something new or refresh your knowledge in certain areas. Consider on online course. They are available in an infinite variety of times, lengths, intensity, availability for academic or vocational credit and many are FREE.  Even taking a workshop, reading an industry-related book or just catching up on news that relates to your job, now may be the time.

To-do lists – Break the items on your to-do list down into small tasks, so that it is harder to justify not doing them. Subdivide the tasks until you have something so trivial that you are ashamed not to just do it. Give yourself a small reward for completion.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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