Don't let the wind rustling fallen leaves spook you. Get into the spirit of the harvest season, building on achievements both personal and professional.
It may feel as though we are speeding to the end of the year. You can take control and slow your pace. Take time to breathe and prioritize. With a bit of reflection you should find that some of those urgent tasks are actually unnecessary. Cut the fluff but not the fun. Achieving work/life balance is the goal.
If you have implemented our Email Management strategies you should be feeling more in control of your inbox. Now translate those strategies to your social media feed. Stop following commercial feeds in which you have lost interest. Disconnect from contacts that are tenuous or with whom you don't have a 'real-life' connection. Clear the way to constructive connections to enhance both your personal and professional life.
Take ownership of your schedule by suggesting meeting dates/times. Don't say "whatever works for you" unless it is 100% true. If a colleague proposes times that are inconvenient suggest a time that better fits your schedule and identify a back-up option. Ex. "Mtg at 3 would be better for me. If that isn't possible I could do 1:30."
Confused by a colleague's email message? If possible, get up and walk over to their work space. Ask for clarification or additional detail. Be genuine in your inquiry, looking for further understanding not providing a critique. You will build collegial relationships, gain insight, and get closer to your daily quota of steps. #Win
When a colleague's behavior annoys you, take a moment and assess not only your reaction but also your own behavior. Have you contributed to the friction that may exist between you? Own your own part in the situation and take the time to be thoughtful in framing your communication to address the issue. Strong collegial relationships are always a two way street.
Never stop learning. No matter what your role is at work, you have opportunities to further your understanding. Avenues for continued growth range from engaging a veteran colleague in conversation for insight into workplace culture to searching the internet for groundbreaking articles in your area of responsibility.
Improve customer service, by adding specific information to your auto response or voicemail message. Include the times when you will be checking and responding to email or voicemail messages. Provide an alternate method of being in contact. Invite communication from your clients/customers and increase the depth of your business relationship.
Have you been searching for an important document, frustrated, anxious, stressed? If you have an opportunity to get a replacement copy, stop looking. Apologize to the colleague you will need to ask for help and then (mentally) vow to do better.
Reflect on your process for keeping track of information you need to access in the future, make adjustments, develop a back-up plan, forgive yourself, and move on with the work that needs doing.
Immersed in a big project? Over plan then scale back. Whether you are developing a presentation or planning for weekend guests, start with a complete overload of information (or food). As your deadline approaches you can scale back on content that is less relevant or in which you are not as well versed, leaving solid material in place. Same with refreshments for guests, as time runs short makes choices that are practical and tasty.
Start with the 'have to's' and then take a break. A walk, a cup of tea, or tick off a couple of tasks requiring the aspects of your work that you love. The tough stuff will be done and you will feel rewarded and productive.
Taking your puppy on a road trip. Start stockpiling car entertainment early for long rides. Plan for longer than usual rest stops to run around and get the wiggles out. Top tricks: chewy toys, food puzzles, and an extra long leash. Don't forget your puppy's seatbelt!!
Double Up! Just as two heads are better than one, two reminders are better as well. Jot a meeting on both your online AND paper calendars. Text a reminder AND send yourself an email. Take advantage of easy to employ safety nets to preserve your professional reputation and meet expectations.
It's never too early to practice donning your Halloween garb. Complicated costumes or wiggly trick or treaters benefit from some practice prior to zero hour. For seamless prep on candy binge night start now and plan ahead.
As you review & warm up for the coming work week, take some time to delete duplicate files, clear out your downloads, and rename folders that are redundant. Ongoing maintenance helps prevent lost documents and hours of searching.
Make easy hair care part of your streamlined morning routine. Have you tried dry shampoo and struggled? Need tips for quick styling? Ask your hairstylist!
The professionals in your life can save minutes and frustration. Traci @artisanhairsalon provides great advice for my hair care and for the SO who is a hair product hound.
Schedule overloaded? Social calendar brimming? While it may be time to say 'no' to a meeting here or there, you may benefit from more from simply rescheduling. Don't feel compelled to pack your day if you have flexibility within a week or so. Suggest rescheduling. Often your request will be accepted and you will be able to devote more attention to your meetings and colleagues. Same strategy works equally well with friends and family!
Strengthen your professional relationships by pitching in. Success, personal and professional, hinges on building relationships. Listen to your colleagues to learn where their pain points, then do what you can to lend a hand. You will help your colleagues and increase their understanding of your skills and abilities.
Introducing a public speaker or guest? Go beyond items found on a resume. When used with good judgement, content found online can add interest to your intro. Draw personal connections when possible. You will generate genuine interest and also make your guest feel more welcome.
Before dismissing a 'hunch' or ignoring your intuition, reflect on its origin. That 'feeling' did not arrive out of thin air. Is it based on body language, facial expressions, prior knowledge? Intuition, when based on accurate observation, is exactly the social intelligence that is being sought in the corporate world and is the element missing from AI. Hone your social/emotional intelligence and articulate the perceived cues when sharing your 'hunch'.
Avoid feeling out of the loop at the office. Extend an invitation, gather a group for a Friday Happy Hour outing, take the first step. When you are proactive and initiate engagement with your colleagues, they feel liked and will reciprocate. Great friendships can be found at the office but keep in mind socializing is NOT your primary objective.
Have the end of Daylight Saving time on your calendar? Make a note of it. Fall back on Sunday, Nov. 4th.
Plan ahead to avoid the frustration of arriving an hour early!
Share your anticipation of the upcoming holiday season with save the date invitations. Sending advance notice of events you will be hosting allows your guests to plan appropriately and jumpstarts your own event planning. Once your guest list has been created and save the date invites sent; you can begin planning refreshments, entertainment, etc. As the event date nears your plans will make preparation run smoothly.
"If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;" - from If by Rudyard Kipling, 1865 - 1936.
Find your way forward connecting with colleagues and friends, addressing challenges, reflecting on your efforts and continually striving to do better.