Thursday, 21 December 2017

Meaningful Decision (Resolution) or a Guaranteed Fail?

Without a plan, a decision (or resolution) is useless.

It is that time of the year when we make resolutions. We may not call them resolutions as such and we just might decide that we need to do things “better” next year. Whatever we call it, a supporting plan is essential to its success.

You may decide you will become more efficient and spend less hours at work in order to restore some balance to your life.

Let’s assume the decision or resolution is to achieve a better life balance, spending  less time at the office.

I addressed some time ago the impossibility of “not doing” something and that it is only possible to do something. (Eliminate "Don't" - The Results May Amaze - 18 November 2017) For example, not spending so much time at work should be expressed as a positive or something to to do. For example: spending more time on my fitness, with my children, reading, gardening, or whatever you will do with the spare time.

This provides a tangible objective, one that can be seen, visualised and focused upon. 

The next step in supporting your resolution is to record it by writing down what you will actually do.

Will you play cricket at the park, pick your daughter up from ballet (apologies for gender stereotyping here) or walk each afternoon with your partner?

Will you join a gym and attend twice a week and once on weekends or will you jog two evening a week?

Maybe it is reading you want to do more of. Do you need to invest in a e-reader, join a book club or dust off the library membership? Maybe you simply need to know where your local bookstore is and  join their loyalty program.

The next step is to identify just where you can free up time at the office.

Do you seem to have a lot of late afternoon meeting requests? Refuse them and suggest and earlier time.

Perhaps you have a two hour weekly meeting with your team.

Think about this for a moment and what is being achieved. 

For years, every Monday afternoon I attended a two hour plus management meeting and every week I dreaded it. I dreaded it because little was achieved and what was achieved could have been addressed in half the time. Why would we think a meeting we convene with our own team would be any different in the eyes of the attendees?

Seek input from the team as to how effective meeting are and what they want from it. I would do this about once every 6 months and the feedback was extremely valuable. I would remove myself from a meeting and leave the Chair to a team member who would then provide me with collective feedback, no names no fears. Some of the feedback was most confronting however it is “our” team meeting, not “my” team meeting.

This is just one example of where we spend time rather than invest time. We tend to look outwards and blame others for our busyness and long hours.

It is extraordinary what can be achieved and what can be saved by first looking at ourselves and our own practices.

As for my above references to efficiency, more on that another time.

In the meantime, happy resolution plan making.

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