Spring cleaning

Photo courtesy of morgueFile user Alviman

Photo courtesy of morgueFile user Alviman

That time is finally here! Winter is losing its icy grip and the melting is well under way. With this comes the momentum of things springing to life. What better way to nurture this process than with some spring cleaning! Even in one’s professional life it’s a good idea to do some spring cleaning on a few fronts. It might be a good time to do some work on your organization, your network, and some goals you have set.
It’s always a good thing to periodically review how you keep things in order. Consider asking yourself these questions:

  1. Are invoices and expenses up to date?
  2. Are reviews coming due?
  3. What files can I purge?
  4. What can I knock off my list to make room for bigger projects?
  5. What new systems can I use to improve efficiency?

It’s so easy to get in a routine habit that I find it effective to shake things up. By shaking things up there is less tendency to settle in old ways and this actually makes room for improvement. Rearrange the office, explore ways to streamline tasks or paperwork. There are many online solutions that can assist you.

Second is the networking part. How can you spring clean your network? The whole goal is to foster growth so try asking these questions:

  1. Who haven’t I talked to in a while and NEED to reconnect with? Go through LinkedIn and Twitter right now and make four appointments to catch up.
  2. Are there any people I need to stop following, cut from my feed, or drop all together? We must admit there is probably a Debbie Downer we all should probably back away from.
  3. What groups have you been meaning to try or join? Look on Meetup.com for some suggestions for related interests or professional opportunities.

Third are goals. I know, isn’t that something you do in January for your New Year’s resolution? I’ll share a secret, I never set my New Year’s goals in January. I spend January thinking about what I want to do and really start in February or March. Why? To me, winter is a dead season (as in plants are dormant and animals hibernate) and I don’t have much motivation to start huge projects. I have more motivation when the weather changes. So I spend the ‘dead month’ of January putting my ideas together for professional development, creativity, and action plans. Try this approach:

What area of work do you want to grow most in? Who are the people most likely to help you with that and what do you think they will offer?

  1. How are those exercise goals working out? Measure and recalibrate. If you started, good! Crank it up or ratchet it down based on performance. If you haven’t started, just try. It will go better than you think. Healthy body will make you more productive.
  2. Revisit some of those year-end planning sessions you did. Have you started off the year according to those plans? I love doing end of year assessments and then rechecking in spring. Helps keep the action plans alive and more chance to stay on track.
  3. Want a boost? Try meditation. The health benefits are amazing and the clarity that comes with regular meditation is remarkable. Sitting in silence, finding an inner calm on a daily basis, even for 10 minutes is well worth the allocation of time. I plan to have my first e-book written on how to start meditation. This will be a free resource anyone can benefit from.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home. Professional life can benefit from the same attention to organization, network, and goal setting. Use the spring season to follow up on old plans, generate new ones and connect to those who can help. Spring is a season of birth and growth, use this time to your advantage.

About Guest Blogger

Guest bloggers for the TDS Business Blog.

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