Wednesday, 15 May 2013

An Almost Mid-Year Productivity Pep Talk

Ah, May, the time of year when the sun shines longer, the weather beckons us out of doors, and we start to wonder, "WHERE THE CRAP IS THIS YEAR GOING????"

No? Just me? Doubt it. 

You're not fooling me, and you're definitely not fooling this guy.
Remember all those lofty goals you had at the beginning of the year? Ways you were going to change your organization and workflow to avoid extra annoyance and trouble. Information you were going to put on "paper" [read: Google doc] so that if you took a day off anyone else at the office would be able to step in and the world wouldn't come to a crashing halt. Efficiencies that would prevent you from doing so much grunt work and help you make serious creative progress. Updates to your home or office that would help foster productivity and reflect an image that makes you proud to be there every day and excited to bring in visitors. You were finally going to take the time to do things right. This was the year.

Except now it's May and chances are, if you're anything like me (which I know I am), you've implemented about 20% of the changes you promised yourself you would take the time to make 5 months ago.

It's ok. Take a deep breath, and listen to this little secret: 

There's nothing special about January. You can make changes now.

It's true. There is nothing special about the beginning of the year that makes change any more possible than at any other time of the year, no magical productivity dust or anything. Warm weather does not inhibit resolutions, and the extra pounds you gain over the holidays do not give you more energy to break habits and reform your organizational system. If anything, the end of the year often distracts us from our work-- so many parties and adult beverages and whatnot-- and now that you've been in the weeds of 2013 for some time, you could probably improve on whatever brilliant miracle cures you dreamt up last December and implement even better plans now.

So implement them now! I give you permission! Take a day, take two, take however long it takes to actually get it done [right]. If a coworker asks if you are busy, tell them yes! You are doing the important work of organization and self-betterment, which will lead to the betterment of the whole company! They will hoist you upon their shoulders and shout, "Huzzah!" for being brave enough to take the time to put your grand designs into action!

Ok, that probably won't happen (depending on your office dynamic. I try to encourage the use of "huzzah" around the office as much as possible. It's going to happen for me one day...), but what you CAN get out of the experience-- 100% guaranteed-- is the opportunity to NOT be That Guy when next year's "How Can We Do 2014 Better" conversation rolls around. You know That Guy, the guy who just complains year after year about how nothing ever gets done and nothing ever gets better. That Guy that is a big stick in the mud slowly chipping away at team morale. That Guy, the one who makes you feel pessimistic rather than optimistic about the future. Sure, not all changes are going to work out, but some will and you'll have the added bonus of not being That Guy. No one wants to be [friends with] That Guy.

So true.
The time for implementing resolutions has to be created. It's not going to fall from the sky. So when you finish reading this article (and after you've commented and shared with all your friends on all your favorite social media platforms, obviously) I dare you to break out the calendar [read: Google Calendar] and create the HECK out of some time in your schedule to put those resolutions in place and make [the rest of] 2013 your most productive, most efficient, least complain-y, best year yet! 

What work or life resolutions did you make for 2013 that you haven't gotten around to yet? What's standing in your way? 

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