Portrait of a confident businessman with laptop computer outdoors. Looking at camera

Well it is that time of the year again.  As we usher in 2020, it is time to think about resolutions, even though most don’t make them and those that do, don’t keep them.  I remember several years ago sitting down and thinking about every aspect of my life and then setting one goal in each area.  I wrote them down and looked at them every week.  It was one of my most productive years ever.

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When setting goals remember to do the following:

  1. Set goals that are achievable.
  2. Set goals that you truly want, not what others say or think are the right goals.
  3. Celebrate successes, not only after total achievement, but along the way at major milestones.

If you’re anything like me, you probably wish you were more efficient and effective.  If I were more efficient then I would get more done, have more free time and have a better work life balance.  So that’s my 2020 resolution, to be more efficient and effective.  Here’s how I plan on doing it:

  1. Focus on the most important tasks first.  Before starting each day, choose the 1-3 most important tasks and focus on completing them before anything else.
  2. Perform deep work, which means focusing entirely on the task at hand.  No multitasking here.  Schedule time each day to do this and avoid distractions, like the cell phone, computer, etc. Also, take breaks about every hour during deep work sessions, to help reenergize yourself and prevent fatigue.
  3. Keep a distraction list.  As you perform deep work, other non-related topics will inevitably pop into your mind.  Instead of becoming distracted, keep a list of them to come back to later.
  4. Think about the daily tasks you perform that can be delegated to others.  I know I have a tendency to do things myself instead of delegating.  If others can, or should be doing what you are doing, allow them to do it.
  5. Sometimes tasks seem overwhelming.  Just break such tasks into smaller pieces and “eat the elephant one bite at a time.”
  6. Only touch paper or emails one time.  An old school phone call may be a better alternative than 15 emails.  Always use Outlook to schedule appointments and not emails, where possible.
  7. For tasks you perform repeatedly, put together a checklist instead of working from scratch each time.  This also makes it easier to delegate to others.
  8. Don’t multitask.  Checking email and social media counts as multitasking. Sorry!
  9. Recharge, by getting plenty of sleep, exercising and eating healthy.
  10. Spend time getting better at what you do.  Read, listen to podcasts, go to seminars, become a member of SHRM, or other professional organizations.  Even learning to type better will help you become more efficient and effective.
  11. Get better at saying NO, which means you will have more time to focus on the important things you want to get done.

Almost everyone will have a better year by becoming more efficient and effective.  However, no matter whether you make resolutions for the New Year or not, Kelly and I wish you the best year ever in 2020 and appreciate you listening to our podcasts series and reading our blog posts.  If you have topics you would like us to cover on the show, please let us know.  Happy New Year!

Steve

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Steve Nail, JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, RCC
Steve Nail is currently the Dean, College of Business, at Anderson University. He is a labor and employment attorney who began his career with the National Labor Relations Board. Thereafter, he served as Assistant General Counsel for Michelin, including two stints in France, where he worked on the structuring of the European Economic Community and served in the HR and Legal Departments. Later he served as the Vice President of Labor and Employee Relations before moving on to Hubbell where he served as the Vice President of Human Resources. Steve was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve on the SC Healthcare Planning Committee and was reappointed by Governor McMaster in 2018. Steve was named the 2012 South Carolina HR Professional of the Year and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, by the Greenville SHRM chapter. He is a frequent speaker, a published author, and mentor to many in the HR profession. He often coaches individuals and consults organizations on strategic matters. He is a Register Corporate Coach, certified by the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches and holds SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.