New years are hard. Sometimes they can be super motivating, but other times they are overwhelming. The pressure to commit to big resolutions and make huge changes can be too much. I like to start small. 🐭
Here are four small habits that can make a major difference in your professional and personal life.
This has saved me a whole lot of time and confusion. I used to name my files anything and everything under the sun and I could never find them. It was a headache.
If you’re facing the same issues, create a naming system for your files. I’ve created a super easy and clear template for my file names. This helps me understand the date and project/client in one look. The template also sorts the order of the files by date, so you’ll always know which file is the latest.
Saying no sounds easy, but it doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. I’m a people pleaser, so this is something I’ve struggled with. This year I’ve learnt to say no and have started putting myself first. It has made a huge difference. I feel more confident. More in charge. And happier.
Saying yes to lots of things will lead you away from the path you have chosen. It will make you less focused and it will take you longer to achieve your goals. You need to look after yourself and your choices, so you can make sure you’re putting your all into the opportunities you do decide to move forward with.
Tim Ferris found that successful people say no to 90 percent of the things that are asked of them. Busy people don’t have the time to take everything on, so they need to be picky. As they get used to saying no, they build up a positive and effective approach to turning down an opportunity.
When Tim was writing his book Tribe of Mentors, he reached out to different people asking for their involvement. He received several extremely well written emails that declined his offer. They were straight to the point and honest.
They all followed a very similar approach. Here’s a breakdown below:
- Each sender would acknowledge the ask from Tim and share their appreciation for reaching out.
- After acknowledging the request, they would then be honest. They would explain their current workload and that focusing on their own goals were their main priority.
- They then shared more details on their priorities (a lot of people need details to sympathise). As well as information about why completing existing commitments is more important than taking on new ones.
- After sharing their thoughts and feelings, they would wish Tim good luck for the endeavour and hope to work together in the future. Ending the email in a positive way.
Next time you need to say no, try out these few pointers.
You have every right to say no. People will understand and will appreciate your honesty. Unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day, so make sure you’re filling it up with big yeses!
Are you someone who can’t bear to look at your calendar? Do you feel like your calendar is controlling your life rather than the other way around?
Take a step back.
Look at your calendar at the beginning of each week. Run through it day by day and understand and prioritise the things that you have in there that is taking up space. You’ll start to realise that you don’t need to go to every meeting, or that other people on the call can take the lead. You can always ask for a quick status update after each meeting if you do feel like you need one.
The just-in-time concept was originally created for manufacturing, where products are only created to meet demand, not created in advance or surplus. You can take this same approach with your work. Instead of prepping for a call that may or may not happen 2 weeks down the line. Prep 1 hour before the call, this will mean things are more fresh in your mind and you’re not wasting time on something that potentially won’t happen. Take control and do a spring clean on your schedule.
Emails can be a drain. They mount up in your inbox over a day and every time you take a sneak peak at your inbox you’re overwhelmed. Or maybe you find yourself looking at your emails every few minutes. Getting distracted and taking you away from what you really should be doing.
Now you’ve cleaned up your schedule, try using some of that free time to focus on your emails. Pop 30 minutes in your diary for the beginning and end of your day. This will mean the rest of the day you can be heads down focusing on the other important stuff, instead of dipping in and out of your emails and getting distracted.
Let me know how you get on with the above. Remind yourself that the New Year is just another day! Keep working hard and you’ll get to where you want to be. 💪