If you’re anything like me, you’re slowly clawing your way out of the holiday daze and easing your way back into your daily routine. It’s no easy feat, but fortunately most of us are on the same page. We’re slowly working through our inboxes, replying to those less fortunate souls who had to work through the holidays, and reviewing our to-do lists for 2018.
It’s tempting to settle back into the same old routine that served us well in 2017. After all, there is comfort in familiarity, but the new year offers new opportunities for self improvement, not just personally but professionally as well. While the first of the year has already passed, it’s not too late to make a new year’s resolution, and there’s no better time than now while businesses are still operating at a slower holiday pace.
If you’re unsure of where to start, think back to last year. Was there an area of your process where you felt your performance was lacking? Do you wish you were more knowledgeable in a certain topic? Did you often repeat a task that could easily be automated? The possibilities are endless.
Instead of trying to tackle something too big, set realistic goals. Small, incremental improvements can add up quickly and have long lasting-positive effects. If you don’t know where to start, here are three tried-and-true classics that are sure to help kick start your productivity in 2018.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Knowledge is power?” Of course! There’s a reason everyone knows it. It’s because it’s true. Natural talent will only get you so far, but when you combine talent with knowledge, your potential is limitless.
The problem is too many of us are guilty of relying solely on our natural abilities, never challenging ourselves to improve. It’s time to break the cycle. This year pick up a book or two or twenty on areas where you can improve professionally. If you’re look for recommendations, some of my personal favorites are Getting to Yes, Lean In, David and Goliath, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.
2. Take a Course in Area Outside of Your Expertise
Lines between functions are getting more obscured each and every year. Recruiters need to think like marketers. Marketers need to think more like sales. And, the list goes on and on. It’s no longer enough to have a specialized skill set to have long-term success.
Fortunately, we’re in the middle of a content renaissance, and it’s easier than ever to get your hands on some great instructional content. There’s literally a course for everything and anything, and there are a lot of FREE options to choose from. Just open up Google, search for whatever you’re interested in, and choose whatever looks promising.
3. Ask for Help
There seems to be a trend in business where people refuse to ask through help. Most of the time fear is the cause. Fear of seeming incompetent. Fear of burdening someone else. Fear of seeming less smart. The silly thing is most of us don’t realize that our fear is holding us back and setting us up for failure.
The truth is no one knows all the answers, and no one is expected to know all the answers. That’s alright, but self-inflicting stress or failing because you were too afraid to ask for help isn’t.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You’ll be surprised to find how many people are willing to lend a helping hand, and how far it goes to helping you build stronger professional relationships. Most importantly, reciprocate and help others whenever you can.
Although the holidays are sadly starting to fade, carry the momentum and positive energy into the new year. Remember, regardless of whatever resolution you chose, whether it’s one of this list or one of your own choosing, stick to it. It’s not about perfection; it’s about persistence.
Happy New Year!