Finding it hard to get back into work mode this year? Here, you’ll find five simple ways to get back on track and make 2018 your best year yet.
– By Lehlé Baldé, MSc
Something magical happens every December 31st, people worldwide are either praying, partying or looking forward to January 1st. It’s a new day, a new dawn and an opportunity to become a better version of you!
The New Year is upon us and many of you probably spent a few hours in 2017 thinking about your 2018 goals! It is popular belief that the New Year presents an opportunity for a fresh start, an opportunity to do things differently, with a fresh perspective and enhanced motivation. Contrary to popular belief, fortunately or unfortunately for some, the new year is not a magical pill that one can take to erase all issues from the previous year, but it does present you with an opportunity to reflect, re-evaluate and re-strategize for an even better year.
Getting back to work can be overwhelming for some, especially after a few days or weeks off for the Christmas holidays. Here are a few 2018 career tips to get you off to the right start this January!
Planning your time is extremely important. As a busy person, you may believe that you have one million and one things to do, and that you have no idea where to start from, but if you took about 20 minutes each Sunday to plan for your week, you will find that you feel increasingly in control of your time. Invest in a diary or notebook and ensure you write all important deadlines, dates, meetings and work-related goals down. Having an overview of each month or quarter is also very important, so take the time draw up the big picture and keep yourself accountable.
At the beginning of the year ask your supervisors what their goals are for the first quarter and how you can help them attain their goals. The truth is every supervisor or manager wants employees he or she can rely on. Make it a habit to check in with your supervisor at least every week for a work chat to go over progress and feedback. These regular conversations will keep you motivated and ready to take on new challenges, as well as identify areas for improvement and innovation. If you are a manager, ensure to support your staff and communicate your expectations and goals. Communication is key!
- Stay healthy
Try to work out a minimum of 3 times a week and eat balanced meals. As busy as you may be, it is important to remember to eat breakfast. Eating breakfast will give you more energy to start your day off right. Remember to also drink lots of water. Put a reminder on your phone every hour to have at least one tall glass of water. A healthy body creates a healthy mind, therefore physical exercise is key to career success in 2018. There are plenty of online resources that can guide you in the right direction. You can also contact your doctor for more information.
- Work-life balance
While it may seem unattainable, it is indeed possible, but only if you work towards it! Finding equilibrium requires careful attention. This is where planning for your time is key. Of course, you cannot plan for everything, but you should be conscious when to shut off and focus on other aspects of your life such as family, friends, hobbies and home life. Work is where you spend the majority of your time, so try to be as efficient as possible at work, so that when you get home you can unwind and de-stress. A lot of people will find this difficult, especially with the demanding nature of living in Nigeria, but it is important to try. Keep it at the top of your mind, that in order to be efficient at work you must have a clear mind, healthy body and you must be well rested. Inefficiency at work usually starts when one is neglecting their personal care.
The New Year is a perfect opportunity to take your career to higher heights. Go after that client you thought you could never get a meeting with, start that project that has been on your mind for months, reach out to that person or organization you have been wanting to collaborate with.
In summary 2018, is your year! 2018 is the year of no fear and the year of actualization! Remember you have the power to make 2018 the year to remember! Be proactive and deliberate with every decision that you make!
Wishing you all a fruitful and blessed 2018!
Lehlé Baldé is a pan African communication strategist and journalist living and working in Lagos.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.
Lehlé Baldé holds a BA in communication from the University of Waterloo in Canada and a Masters in International Marketing Strategy from the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. Originally from Senegal, she is a pan African strategy and communications professional, who has lived in over 12 countries and currently works at Business Day as a strategy and partnerships associate. She also interviews some of Africa’s brightest millennials through the various Business Day platforms.