Are you one of those people who love the time between Christmas and New Year’s to get work done when others are home watching movies and eating leftover turkey? Do you relish the quiet time that you might never otherwise get to catch up on stuff that rarely gets done? Being at the office during this time is an efficient way to get caught up. But what is the best thing to do if you are working between the holidays? It’s really boils down to three things.
1) Get rid of the clutter
This is a no brainer. It is a time to go through the piles that never seem to go a way during the rest of the year. Sort, garbage, reorganize and get done some of the little things that help to reduce the clutter quickly. As you move into the New Year, it’s a good idea to take stock of what you’ve got going on visually by going through everything on your desk and in your inbox.
2) Get done a couple of projects that take concentration
With less distractions now, it’s easier to tackle things that you want more focused attention on. With the phone not ringing and less interruptions you can spend time digging in deep and feeling accomplished.
3) Take notes
Take notes you say? What does that mean? With your mind less cluttered, less distracted and slowed down, you will notice things that pop into your head. Creative ideas, solutions to problems, answers to questions, options for dilemmas, questions you want to ask others, things you want to follow up on and ways to handle a particular challenge. You aren’t going to have time to do all of them and don’t trust your mind to remember them later. Put them down in a note for safekeeping.
Make the best use of your time at the office this week. Use the time to regroup and catch your breath but also to set the stage for the coming months. You will smile later when one of your notes pops up and you are relieved you were smart enough to jot it down when it came to your quieter brain.
Want to connect with me for more ideas of how to get things done. Check out Shifting Perspectives
Kathy Archer is a Leadership Coach who gets you back in the driver seat of Leadership
As I reflect back to all of the people and organizations that I have worked with over the last year, I am in awe. I did not know when I started this company how lucky I would be!
Thank you to all of my one-to-one coaching clients, to all the people that attended my in person training, my on-line training or sat in the audience during one of my speaking engagements. I’ve enjoyed conversations at tradeshows and community events, at conferences and during breaks of organizational training. I’ve been blessed to see your smiles, your nods of agreement, your tears and your ah-ha moments!
What I know is that people are ready. People are ready to see their lives differently, their roles in organizations differently and the way they do business differently. They are ready to slow down and somehow become more connected. It’s time!
As we go into Christmas, I really know it’s time. It’s time to slow down and reflect upon who we are, what we have and where we want to go. Take this next couple of weeks to reflect, take the time to look at what you’ve got. I know I will be. Here is what I am grateful for this season:
Merry Christmas Everyone!
For most of us, this time of year brings extra stress and challenges as we try not only to prepare for Christmas with our families but also the preparations in our workplace. Leadership at Christmas time means:
· identifying what needs done,
· who’s going to be around to do it and
· contingency plans for when people are away, the program or office is closed.
In this time is seems to mean for many that in the back of your minds, you are trying to push aside the view of the tons of work that will pile up and need to be tackled in the New Year. It means trying to find time to do your own shopping and preparations. Oh, and don’t forget it also means that you are supposed to be smiling and cheerful, decorate your door, have extra time for chatting and visiting and parties! Phew, I’m tired just writing all of that! It’s no wonder many leaders take the Bah humbug view of Christmas.
What if this time of year could be easier? Less stressful? Less challenging? It can be! At least a little bit. It happens by looking at the expectations you put on yourself and adjusting them a little bit, ever so slightly so that you start to see things a bit differently.
For example – You know that you have to drop parcels off today at the post office and your worried about the line up? Use this as your time. Standing in line, take some deep breaths. You always complain you never get time for yourself, here it is. Be creative. Make up stories in your head about the person in front you in the line up. Take this time as your coffee break, your humor break, your relaxation time. Leave your cell phone in the vehicle and relax!
Need a few extra minutes in the morning to do an extra errand or sign some forms? Try putting your hair in a ponytail today, wearing a Santa hat or putting on less make-up. We spend a lot of time worrying about what we look like and sometimes lowing those expectations for a day will help take some of the pressure off.
Spend some time in gratitude. Look around the office. Who is digging deep and really helping out with tasks, holiday spirit or holding down the fort while many are going away. Be grateful for the things that are happening. Acknowledge them both to yourself and sometimes publically. Look at the expectations you place on yourself. Step back and acknowledge what you have, and who’s on your team helping out. Even if it is a small thing, take the time to notice it.
The truth about making things easier on yourself is that it starts in your head. The self-talk and inner dialogue you have with yourself is what creates the world you live in.
Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw.
If you choose to think this is a crazy stressful time, it will be. If you choose to think you are going to be overwhelmed, you will be. If you think you are going to run out of time, you will.
If you choose to think you will find tiny pockets of peace, you will. If you choose to think you will spend some quality time with your family, you will. If you choose to think the necessary work will get done on time, it will.
Travelling around the region lately, I’ve been attending interagency meetings telling them about what I do now! Now meaning, I’ve been to the meetings for years as an agency employee and now I run my own business. Over the years, I’ve got to know each group of agencies, the individual members, the way they work, the culture of the group, how they run meetings, what kind of information to share and how to build partnership, collaborations and most importantly one-to-one relationships.
I’ve been honored to be a part of these groups and I am reminded now how valuable they are. Wherever you are, whatever you do, there are always groups of people in your community who get together to share information in some way or another. Join these groups. Attend regularly. And if there aren’t active groups, I encourage you to create them. These connections are vital to the work we do.
There is only one way to survive in this world, in your own personal world and the world of business and community agencies and that is by doing things together. You are not the be all and end all. You can’t do everything on your own and by yourself. At least not in the way you could if you worked with others.
Working with others does not always mean partnering with them and formally developing working relationships. It might simply mean having a conversation that sparks creativity. I watched yesterday as one agency brought forward a desire to have youth more involved in the community. She asked for ideas and suggestions and as the members started to talk you could feel the energy in the room rising. People became engaged, even excited about possibilities. Stories came out about other successful ventures and the impact it’s had not only on the youth but also the community at large. This member walked away with ideas and possible partnerships for her venture.
As a leader it is up to you to set the tone in your organization to show the importance of these connections. Attend the meetings yourself. Take on a leadership role at the meetings to validate their importance and ensure they sustain the impact of the business in the world. Encourage your employees to participate. This is part of your mentoring role as a leader. Show them the value in the meetings. Talk about what they learned, how they participated and what value your agency and the community received from their attendance.
The other benefit you might find is that you find a friend. Someone who you can talk to who might also be in a similar position as you. Someone who you can share a bit of your challenges and successes with too. I have some pretty special friendships that were developed from community interagency groups that have withstood the test of time. These friendships not only allowed us to complain to each other about proposal processes, the red tape we had to jump through and recruitment woes, but also our families, our dreams and our visions for life.
Take the time to connect regularly with others and ensure your organization does as well. These connections that allow for both informal relationships and formal partnerships to blossom and grow to provide you and your organization with a strong foundation to do your work in a way that will have the biggest impact on your community.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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