Happy Holidays to all of my readers! Congratulations – you made it through the work year and accomplished your goals. Given how Christmas and Hanukah fall on the 2014 calendar, it is tempting to extend winter break from now until January 5th. However, opportunity and award awaits those who save their paid time off for the months ahead and trek down to the office.
Let’s look at the top five productivity metrics for the last three workdays of the year:
- Less traffic lightens the commute. If you typically leave at 7:30am and return home at 6:00, this 10.5 hour day can likely shrink to 9.5 hour day with a 10% gain in your personal life.
- Few or No Meetings – do you celebrate when a meeting ends 15 minutes early because you just gained back 3% of your workday? Your calendar will be refreshingly clear and calm – offering more time to organize, clean up your work area and clear your head for the new year.
- Your employer will likely gift you with an opportunity to leave early on New Years Eve. You can get paid for 100% of the workday with 75% of the effort.
- Reduce your unread or unanswered emails by 100%. Create a folder in Outlook named “Respond Soon” and add any issues to Task lists that can’t be resolved because your coworkers are out. You can address them after January 5th.
- If you receive 100 emails a day, and 25% are daily email subscriptions, you can cut out 9,125 clicks in 2015 by taking an extra moment to unsubscribe from email notifications. Removal of these unhelpful distractions will allow you to concentrate on what matters going forward.
If these three performance-enhancing days can improve your overall well-being, then fill the new coffee mug up with a jolt of caffeine, pack a light lunch (not a bad time to start that diet), and immerse yourself into the serenity of your quiet work world.
Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1, Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates. To purchase, visit www.hlpsum1.com/first-job.html
Over the last few months, many college grads have been posting about final exams and graduation celebrations on Instagram and Twitter, and I have celebrated along with you! I recognize mixed feelings across the country Some of you are relieved, others are thankful and mostly everyone is excited about the future although they realize that they face uncertainty. Now the work years are looming ahead. It is a daunting thought after seeing parents and grandparents work for a lifespan, often not retiring until 40 to 50 years later. The workplace can be a difficult place to navigate and many of you will start with limited experience. I’ve created tips and tools about how to approach the workplace, get to know coworkers and control your personal performance. This blog prepares you for the workforce. I also suggest picking up my book on Amazon called First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates and begin now to absorb this easy read. www.hlpsum1.com/first-job.html In the meantime, here are three pieces of advice that I can give you today after you receive that diploma.
ONE – Don’t crash into your workplace reality with a feeling of doom. Student loan payments, monotony and boredom are the largest frustrations I see for college graduates. Like a postgraduate degree, your first job is another 2 to 3 year growth experience. It is not the rest of your life. This is still a tremendous opportunity to grow and learn, test your ability to perform and evaluate if your major was a good fit after all.
TWO – Get some financial advice. I suggest adopting a frugal mentality your first year. Building up some savings and paying down debt will have more impact on your financial health 20 years from now than you realize. Take pride in what you can save and how you could conservatively approach expenses like cars, eating out and apartment furnishings.
THREE – Although you will miss your old friends at college, take this opportunity to seek out new friendships. Relationships built early will lead to these colleagues endorsing and supporting you in any work situation. Your work friends become allies and as your career progresses, you will need this support network to survive changes in the economy and changes in management.
I congratulate you for all of your accomplishments! Keep in touch with this blog and let us know what your are experiencing.