Resolutions are Crap
Let’s be honest, for most people, new year’s resolutions are a load of crap. People sit around and make these big, lofty resolutions after reflecting on the previous year and then come February- Surprise! You are the same person you’ve always been. This is because resolutions are vague, ambitious goals that don’t have a real plan to go along with them. People decide that this is the year they are going to “Get fit” “Stop procrastinating” “Write that book they’ve been talking about” but they don’t put manageable, achievable plans in place to be the stepping stones to get there. If they do come up with a plan, it’s not well thought out or realistic. I’m going to go to the gym Everday at 3am for 2 hours! Great- but after snoozing the alarm a few too many times you’re going to give up altogether.
This is why instead of creating resolutions this new year, you should be focusing on creating habits. Habits are brain friendly, and they end up saving you time in the long run, because they will become muscle memory and when the you are triggered, you will respond. For example, let’s say that your goal is better dental hygiene. By doing the simple act of putting the floss (or water pick if you’re boujee) next to your toothbrush and toothpaste, you will be triggered by seeing it there and you will respond by brushing your teeth. After a little bit (supposedly 21 days if you listen to science) you will atomically floss every time you brush your teeth. If you don’t brush your teeth already- I don’t think I can help you.
So, when it comes to our work lives in 2021 it’s important to reflect back and decide what are the habits that you are going to create this year? After a year like 2020, when we were often working from home and generally being less productive (oh, was that just me?) It’s important to make a real plan to get back on track. Whether you will continue working from home, or whether you will be back in the office with your coworkers, the process will be the same. Now self-examination can be a scary thing. I’m a firm believer we probably all need a therapist to really help us get there, but hopefully for work life habits you’re not diving too deep to cause long term damage on your psyche.
For myself, when I think back on the last year, and previous years, and think about what my bad work habits are a few pop into mind
All of these affect my work life in separate ways, but they are all important for me to focus on this next year.
Not Clocking Out Mentally
We’ve all been there. We are lying in bed, binge watching Greys Anatomy for the 15th time and an email pops up your phone. It’s an easy question to answer from a client, so sure- why not just type back a quick response, maybe make a note on your phone for a task to do tomorrow, send it along to a coworker who needs to collaborate, etc. Only it doesn’t usually end there, once they know you are still around to communicate, they will continue. Or another email will pop up. Or it ended up being a harder task then you originally thought, and you’ve now taken out the laptop and started working again. This is bad for 3 reasons that I can see
All of this, if continued, will burn you out. Even if you love your job. Even if you feel fulfilled helping people and going above and beyond. You will burn out, you will feel overworked, you will feel as though you have no life outside of work, and ultimately you won’t be helping yourself or your company.
Not Planning My Lunches
This one is pretty simple, but it affects me greatly in two ways.
Being Late when there is nothing on your calendar
The reason that I think this one is my worst is because it affects others as well as myself. We are pretty lucky at TGE to basically make our own schedules. When it comes to office days (not events- ha) you can decide what days you work, when you come in, when you have lunch, etc. This is a huge perk that I love. It’s also something that I highly take advantage of. I am someone who LOVES sleep. Loves it. Needs it. Crave it. I am talking like 9+ hours a night here. I will skip out on many things in order to achieve this. Which means that when half asleep Kelly has her alarm go off, she often likes to roll over and decide- nah, there is nothing pressing happening today. What difference will another half hour make, hour make, etc. This then pushes back my entire morning routine, or strips me of it completely, and I end up getting into work frustrated with myself that now I have to stay another hour+ in order to get my hours in and do my to–do list. This can also sometimes affect those who work near me, because maybe they thought I could do something earlier, or it can affect my husband because he thought I would be home earlier, etc. That is why this is the biggest one that I will be working on in 2021. Now this is a lofty goal, but I am working on my baby steps that will help me achieve it. I don’t expect to hit the ground running on January 1 with the perfect spring out of bed and run to the office in the morning.
Coming full circle with self-examination means not just looking at the negatives. It’s also important to think about what are your best work habits, and how you can help others work on these. When I think about the things that I have turned into habits that help me succeed I think about how I made my workspace my own. No matter where our offices have been, I always take the time to set up personal items on my desk, and set up my work station to be the most efficient for me. This makes spending the long hours at your desk more enjoyable and efficient. As a whole company we have also embraced time blocking in the past few years and no longer let emails dictate our work day. This is key to staying on task because no matter what everyone says, it’s physically impossible for your brain to multitask and not get distracted. This biggest thing that helps me succeed is that as a company we believe in constant learning. We are always looking for new, better ways to do things and ways to brush up on our skills so that we can do better. This helps keep us fresh, and excited about our work, instead of getting burnt out or complacent. This is why taking the time to sit down and look over your work habits is crucial. Creating a resolution isn’t going to create change, you have to change your habits.