It’s November, that time of year that flies by until January. Finalizing projects, deadlines, and taking the 11th hour to complete all goals. As you work tirelessly on the demands, here are a few things to process, which may help determine your successes in 2018 and help you step into the new year with focused delivery.
Be intentional about everything you do, every move you make throughout the day. It’s important to be decisive and in control of your tasks, big and small. This means: choose wisely on the timing of your day’s events. Don’t wait until 6:00pm to make a call that you know will take more than 5 minutes, and will yield a list of to-do’s. Make that phone call first, so that you can be productive as soon as you hang up. Do you have a large report due today? Do it first thing when you walk in the door, better yet, come in 30 minutes early. This way, you are completing complex tasks in the start of the day, saving the easy wins and low-hanging fruit for the end of the day.
Energize and place others first. Get in the zone from the moment you walk in the door, it will be contagious, and your surroundings will be focused as well. Place deliverables and commitments first and yourself second. Prioritize your promises and meet the deadlines you’ve committed to, then utilize the end of the day for professional growth, stretch assignments and those projects you’ve been working on behind the scenes.
Influence. Anticipate change, and be proactive. Acknowledge all of the areas of the business that you impact, become knowledgeable of the basic processes and procedures, workflows and practices. This way, you can walk away from meetings with actionable items instead of scheduling more meetings. For example, if you are trying to solve for a problem that will impact other teams, don’t just invite them to the meeting. Prior to, explore what the impacts will be, find potential solutions, get to know what their pain points are with the proposed change, and when you get to the conference call, more time will be spent on decisions based on options rather than exploring the options. This will make you a trusted resource, not just a collaborator, and you will be able to move through hurdles much more efficiently.
And finally, lead with resiliency. A long time ago a leader of mine, now a very good friend, told me to “feel it and let it go, Liz.” I’ve carried this mantra with me throughout my career. Know that some projects, ideas and implementations are going to be deemed useless midway through development. In an ever changing environment, this is a good thing. Never carry through with a commitment that becomes unnecessary. You’ll not only waste your time and others, but your pride will impede progress. Grow with grit. As defined by the internet (lol), Grit: courage and resolve; strength of character. Become a chameleon, adapt to change, and laugh at yourself often.
I hope these principles will get you thinking, and that you will hold on to them as not the be all, end all of success, but as tools in your tool belt of business acumen and high performance standards.