Last weekend was the first weekend I felt spring was on its way. I could smell the change in the air, feel the the sunlight on my skin and see the daffodils bobbing in the breeze.
Finally, after a particularly cold beginning to the year, spring is coming. And with that, the promise of new beginnings, fresh starts and opportunity.
It is such a great feeling to know we’re coming into warmer months. It puts a spring back into our step and allows us to look forward. I’m already feeling fresher, more energised and happy.
This feeling has moved with me as I’ve started my working week. It certainly is a time to be looking forward.
In a few weeks we will be coming to year end which means the start of a whole new tax year. We’re also about to start a new quarter. All of these new beginnings are a great way to refocus the mind personally and professionally. If your well intentioned new year’s resolutions have slipped out of focus since January; it’s time to reset and look at what you want to achieve going forward.
The beginning of a new tax year is always a good time to look at the way you are working and decide what you want to achieve going forward into 2016. And with the fresher warmer weather, a house spring clean always seems like a good idea; but how about thinking about a work one as well?
Firstly, spend a little time reviewing what you have been doing. Hold on to the positives and do away with anything that isn’t working. We’ve all heard the quote ‘the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.’ I should attribute this to Einstein but there is now some doubt as to whether he ever said (or wrote) it. Regardless of who it came from, it’s very wise and helpful advice.
Secondly, have a really (and I mean a really) good think about what you want to achieve going forward. Involve others, whether they are part of your business or just friends or family. Be honest about what you think is achievable. From this evaluation you can set realistic goals.
Set yourself a timeframe but, to make this more manageable, break it down in to chunks, monthly or six weekly objectives should help you stay focused and on track. But still have an overall end goal in mind. By dividing up your time you will make it easier to stay focused on this end goal.
Remember to build in flexibility. We are all human beings and life can get in the way of work when you least expect it. Allow yourself some natural downtime if you know you are going to need to focus on other things at certain times, for example, children and school holidays.
Build in rewards to help you feel motivated. Bigger companies are good at having reward schemes to keep employees on track. Even if you own a small company or just work for yourself, start your own reward scheme. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy such as winning a car or a 5 star holiday. Something simple such as giving yourself a Friday off every 6 weeks if you achieve a work goal can be motivating. Be aware of what motivates you or your employees and build your scheme around that.
Finally, take a look at your work environment and streamline it. If your desk is drowning under a sea of paperwork, set aside some time to clear it. If your inbox is overloaded, go through your emails and delete or file anything you don’t need. Have a look at your filing system and make sure all your documents are in the right place. It might not be the most interesting job but it will keep you on track and you’ll feel so much better afterwards.
Once you’ve gone through these simple steps you should be bouncing on two feet, ready to power through into spring and the year ahead.
We’re interested to know what you think. Do you have ways of spring cleaning your work life? Do you feel ready to tackle the year ahead? Please share your thoughts in the comments.