This last week of the year, placed comfortably in between two big holidays, is a sweet spot for those who still have regularly scheduled work hours. You have the rare luxury of low email traffic, a casual tone to the office due to employees still out for the holidays – possibly even your
boss. With all the normally noisy tasks functioning at a low hum, you are able to breathe a sigh of relief and construct your day with an ease of comfort that you may not normally experience throughout the rest of the year.
So how will you spend your time? It is tempting to relax back in your chair, take your time completing only the tasks you deem most important, and possibly even browse a few end-of- the-year sales from your desktop or mobile phone. However, what you may want to consider are your goals for this new year and taking advantage of this rare opportunity to get ahead of the hustle and bustle, and make a good impression (if anything, for that raise!) by setting yourself
and your team up for success in the new year. We have a few ideas to bump you into that grind Mode!
1. Clean-Up Unused Files
Nothing sets you up for a productive year like a clean slate – or at least as clean as you can get
it! Take this time to browse through your files, including electronic files and determine what
should stay, and what should go. Set up folders to organize your most important information and
others that are less important or rarely used. Consider renaming files in the most efficient
manner, to make it easier to search for them if the need arises. Keep in mind that you should
review your company’s retention policies and particularly whether there is a timeframe in which
you must keep certain files before destroying them.
2. Give Your Resume a Facelift
This does not only apply to those who are actively searching for new employment. Keeping an
updated version of your resume by adding in new key responsibilities, skills, job titles,
workshops you have attended and so on, is a best practice. At the end of the day, you never
know what may be in store for your future, or the future of your company. No matter if you are in
good standing with your role, you never know when a reorganization, consolidation, acquisition
or boss leaving the company could suddenly put your role in jeopardy.
3. Update Your Email System
Messages can pile up in your inbox like dust on a top shelf. Before you know it those emails
could bury you alive, especially during high traffic times like the holidays – or vacation! Do you
receive over 100 emails a day? Take this opportunity to create folders that will efficiently route
messages to appropriate places, making it easier for you to sort through your mail but also
ensure that you are not missing messages from the most important people! You may know all
about the bosses who send you multiple messages throughout the day, sometimes with just a
link to something that they need you to check on. While they are delegating tasks to you, other
people are swarming around you with questions, and needing assistance. Make sure you have
a “Top Priority” folder for your boss, to make sure their emails are always at the top of your list!
Another way that you can organize your emails is by subject. Perhaps these are different
projects that you are involved with. However you set this up, if you notice that there are more
than six emails on one subject, you may need a separate folder for that subject specifically. At
the end of the day, organization of your information (emails included) is vital to staying in tip top
shape, so find a system that works best for you.
4. Learn a New Skill
With the explosion of technology, apps and social media in general, make sure you are on top
of the most applicable technologies. There are so many new apps available to help with
everyday office tasks from general “to-do” lists, to interoffice communication, to event planning.
Think of an aspect of your role that you would like extra help with and do a search on the
internet to find new apps that are suited to helping manage that task. You will be amazed at
what you can find! If part of your role includes managing social media to some extent, try
checking out new strategies to leverage your businesses social media presence or improve on
their current campaigns.
5. Refresh and Recharge Your Skills
Remember those old training materials that may be hidden in the back of one of your drawers?
What can you remember from that training and how have you been able to utilize that
information throughout your work year? Chances are there is some information that has been
forgotten or left to the wayside. Pull out those old workbooks and browse through to make a
mental checklist of everything you have used, and make note of the things that you could still
work into your routine to make for a more productive day!
6. Set Your Goals for 2019
If you do anything on this list, setting your goals for the new year should be top priority. Take
this opportunity to look back over this past year. What did you accomplish professionally? What
new habits did you create that allowed you to be most productive? What were some obstacles
that kept you from being your most successful self? Take all of this into consideration and
create a plan of attack for 2019. Keep your goals written out somewhere where you will see
them often and make it a point to reevaluate where you stand on accomplishing your goals
periodically throughout the year – add it to your calendar if you need to! I’ve developed an
Administrative Professionals Goal Setting Guide and Templates for your use. Please accept this
useful resource as my FREE gift. If you’d like this guide on goal setting, send me an email at
email@example.com. Cheers to a New Year!
Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: firstname.lastname@example.org.