I love a shiny new year. It holds so much promise. If you reflected on some of the 12 Questions to Look Beyond and Plan Ahead then you might be thinking about goals, opportunities and challenges for the year ahead. To be on your best game it’s a good idea to have some really solid rituals, good habits, and best practices. Got any?
Here are a few success habits that I’ve put together. I must confess, while I truly commit to all of these I can do a lot better at a few key areas. In particular, I can do better with some of #3 and definitely #5. Read on for more…
- GET ORGANIZED:
Heavy loads, fast pace, competing demands – yeah, sounds about right for work and life today. A common derailer I often see with clients is when they fall into the ‘winging it’ mode. Even some of the most brilliant people I know have tripped into overwhelm because they felt burdened by their loads and unfocused within the chaos of competing priorities.
Work can bring that on. To succeed these days, you have to be good at your job AND able to stay organized within the chaos. If it’s not a natural strength, then time to get more serious about shoring up. Get your arms around your priorities and tasks – and write them down where you can see them/review them/ act on them. Get your schedule under control. And create systems that work for you. I wrote about these and other tips in my book, Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of ‘Crazy Busy’ — and the related articles just below.
2. KICK-START YOUR MORNING RITUAL
Does your morning ritual give you a strategic edge and set you up well for your day? Or do you sleep in until the very last minute and then rush like mad to get to work and jump into the day. If you answered no to the first and yes to the latter – you might be missing out on one of the best ways of getting a strategic, winning edge.
Take your morning seriously.
Even half hour can make an entirely different day. That’s an 8+ hour pay-off for just 30 minutes. At the start of every day, take a few moments to put your head into the game with clarity and focus:
- Write out your intentions for the day — and lay out your top (starting) priorities. Yes, things change, but having a starting compass is still critical.
- Review your schedule — never be surprised by a scheduled meeting you forgot about.
- Review your week’s priorities (yes in a separate list) to make sure you didn’t forget to address something that should be in today’s priorities (yes, a separate list each day).
- Take a bit of time to get resonant, positive and put your heart and brain in alignment*.
*That last bit about getting your heart and head into alignment likely deserves its own post but for now in brief this is about getting into the right mindset. For me this means taking a few moments to reflect on the good (what is working; what went well; what I’m looking forward to; what I’m grateful for). And, these days, I’m practising some brief coherence meditation. How about you? How do you get your head and heart brain aligned?
3. PRIORITIZE & TRIAGE and whittle down that to-do list!
Prioritizing is inherent in the first two strategies but it also deserves its own mention because even if you do write things down – did y’a notice how long those darn to-do lists are getting these days? Gotta whittle those lists down.
Prioritizing isn’t a singular habit. It’s a repertoire of habits that you need to draw on daily and minute by minute.
- Learn when and how to say no
- Get ruthless with your to-do lists and learning what really is achievable
- Delegate more
- Know when good enough is perfect vs. making perfect the only way for good enough
- Find ways to be more efficient
Related Post: The Priority Challenge
4. MANAGE YOUR ENERGY WELL
Ahhh, that balance thing turned upside down. Work-life balance is so old news – these days it’s all about energy and the ‘well’ of reserves available to you. We waste a lot and most of us can do better with our own energy usage. Pay attention….and fuel up!
Energy depleters: multitasking is a huge drain on your brain and energy. So is negativity (bah hambug!).
Energy boosters! Focus time – too Busy? Well, even 10-20 minutes can do the trick. Micro moments of positivity daily can make a huge difference as can setting some meaningful goals. Note that even small goals can energize. More about all this in Ease and in articles below.
- Ditch the Multitasking Habit
- Stay Positive At Work – It Makes a Difference
- Tiny is the New BIG when it comes to goals
5. REST AND RECOVERY
Certainly connected to your personal energy — and crucial enough to warrant its own shout-out. Did you know that your success will be based not only on how hard you work, but also on how well you rest and recover? Working late most evenings and weekends? Not unplugging enough? That battery of yours might be weakening and could falter and the most inopportune time. If you want to perform at your best, take a hard look at how you schedule, plan and truly take your rest and time-outs.
Confession: this one is my weakest – I truly want/need to get better at this. I know that if I can do better here I will do better EVERYWHERE. Alas, we are at the start of a brand new year. Onwards to success!
Related Post: Rest and Recovery – The Keys To High Performance
Here’s to your success in the day(s) and year ahead!
Eileen Chadnick is principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto and Chadnick Communications. She is author of Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of ‘Crazy Busy’. See more at www.Bigcheesecoaching.com and Follow her on Twitter (@Chadnick) and Facebook/bigcheesecoaching.com)