For many of us, the start of 2021 did not bring the same hopeful sense of renewal we're used to with a new year. We’re still working from home, in a global pandemic, with our partners and kids sharing our workspace and WIFI, all while trying to keep up with increasingly overwhelming news cycles.
While there’s a lot outside of our control right now, there’s plenty we can do to bring renewed inspiration to our work in 2021. Doing better work this year may not be about doing more. For many, it will be about finding greater meaning in our work, being more connected, and feeling more satisfied. To that end we offer:
5 Ways To Make 2021 An Excellent Year At Work
Set goals (instead of making resolutions):Instead of thinking about things we’re not doing well and “resolving” to fix them, setting goalscan be a more positive and inspirational way to kick things off. Take time to think about something you’d love to accomplish. Post your goals (physically) in your workspace. Better yet, share them with a colleague - or your Process Excellence coach! - and keep them updated on your progress.
Action tip: Interested in setting some SMART goals for yourself? This self-paced online course can help you get started. (It was designed for teams but works well for individual goal setting too!)
Invest in organization:A new year is a great time to refresh the structures you use to organize your work and manage your time. Evaluate how you store files, manage email / Slack, and prepare for each work day. Adopting systems you'll stick to in these areas can help you be more efficient and focused, which will help you feel more productive and satisfied.
Focus on connection:It’s been nearly a year since most of us began working remotely. While we may have developed effective structures for staying connected to our workgroups, many feel disconnected from colleagues they don’t work with regularly. Maintaining these extended relationships will not only help you feel less isolated, but can also help you stay connected to SoM's mission.
Action tip: Set time in your calendar weekly for a 20 minute “catch up” Zoom meeting. Invite a different colleague each week. We promise they've been missing your break room chats as much as you have!
Ask for feedback, and share before you’re ready: In the office, opportunities to bounce ideas off our coworkers come easy. We can peek over our wall, or hang out after a meeting to share what we’re working on and get feedback. In a remote work environment, we don't have as many informal interactions and are more likely to deliver “finished products” created without input from others.
Action tip: When working on projects this year, build in time to share your drafts with others - they’ll appreciate being consulted and you’ll create a better deliverable.
Learn something new:Hear us out on this one...while you may feel overwhelmed by the dynamic nature of work these days, research shows focusing on learning is actually a healthier and more effective way for stressed workers to cope than trying to “power through” or “disconnecting” (two other common responses).
Action tip: Put those STAP funds to work this year (or use Stanford's free resources) and grow in a direction that excites you!
As you start this new year, Process Excellence is here to help. Whether you'd like to host a reflection workshop for your team, need help organizing your work, or want to begin a coaching engagement, we're just an email away!