As we move into the New Year, most people come up with hopeful resolutions. Examples would be spend more time with family, stop smoking, exercise more, finish a certification, etc, etc.
I agree with setting goals and making positive changes in your career or in your life. A lot of the readers of this website are Consultants and making change happen at work is part of their every day life.
But how do you do in your everyday life?
I have seen a lot of professional people get the job done at work on a regular basis. They are dedicated to their projects, travel when needed, work the late nights or weekends, and respond to emails very quickly.
On the other side, I have seen the same people unable to spend quality time with family, neglect their health on a regular basis, and constantly put off personal goals or resolutions.
How can these same people that are so successful at work also struggle with getting things done in their ordinary lives?
Learn to manage your client’s expectations properly
I know we push providing extraordinary service and high value to your clients on this site. This does not mean that you are on call 24 hours a day and need to respond to every request or task immediately. Please don’t confuse responding instantly to emails, staying up all night to deliver a presentation, or making everyone in the room happy with the scope as delivering value. Yes there is a time and place for quick actions and responses but this should not be an every day thing. In fact, if this is a habit then it probably means you are losing control of your project. If your clients trust you to deliver and understands the value of the work then they will be ok with you scheduling or denying request to achieve the stated goals. So please control your responses to clients instead of reacting to ensure your work does not consume your time.
Program your special time
It is OK to schedule a date with that special someone in your life or block out time with the kids between 9am – 2pm on Saturday for a day at the park on the calendar. In fact it is better to have these on your schedule so when things come up at work it will remind you that this time is already busy. If work comes first and then everything else is done during that “free time”, you will struggle in meeting your new resolutions.
So no matter what you resolve to change in your life in 2009, make sure you go out to your calendars and block out the time. Treat these commitments as important as the work commitments. Make them a priority and start managing your life like you manage your work.
Happy New Year