Personal goals, like losing weight or getting in shape, tend to dominate New Year’s resolutions. But in the age of work-life integration, it’s especially worthwhile to consider adding some professional goals to your list. Not only will working toward these goals further your career, but they could also very well make your job less stressful and more fun!
Q4 chaos can easily leave you overwhelmed with paperwork and other loose ends. The good news? Lots of people take time off for the holidays, so chances are you’ll have at least a little downtime without the distractions of coworkers or customers calling or writing to you.
Use that time to lay the foundation of an organizational system that’s solid enough to cover all your work items and simple enough that you’ll be able to keep using it as business picks up and access stored data easily. Then, set daily or even weekly reminders to make sure everything is in its place. Our suggestion? Go digital. Systems like Evernote are great for keeping notes and documents organized on the fly.
If you still deal with a lot of paper, invest in a quality document scanning app for your smartphone, like one of these picks from CNet–they’re not expensive and have come a long way in the past couple years. For HR, FingerCheck360 web-based workforce management software offers a place where all your payroll, time tracking, time off requests, tax forms and other employee onboarding materials can stay safe, secure, and easily accessible.
As Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business, is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” Congrats — now that you have an efficient organization system, you’re ready to turbo-charge that efficiency with some automation!
Make a list of your least favorite tasks, and set a goal to automate each. Some apps to consider? Boomerang is great for scheduling and organizing personal email; Mint is nice for getting all your bills and budgeting attended to; and, of course, FingerCheck360 web-based workforce management software allows users to automate all kinds of tasks–from complete payroll processing to allowing new hires to self-onboard, to so much more.
List at least five people in your professional life you’d like to have a stronger connection with. Generally, they shouldn’t be from your company per-se–try to think of people you admire in your field you see regularly at networking or other professional events. Then, set milestones for building each relationship such as getting coffee or lunch together. Don’t know enough people in your field? That’s okay–instead, set networking goals, i.e. to go to one networking event per month or to join a professional association.
Business skills-based volunteer work is a wonderful way to give back, network, and hone your talents. Many volunteers find volunteering helps build their confidence, advance their social skills, and stand out in their workplaces. Sites like Volunteer Match can help match you with a charity in need of your skills.