In this issue:
For the past three years, I've shared three tips with you just in time for New Year's. This year is no exception.
1. Make time for reflection and observation.
I bet this week has been a pleasure for you. You've either had a more relaxed week at work, because fewer people have been at work. Or, you've been home. The pressure is off. You've had a chance to catch up on projects, and watch what's going on.
Can you do that more often?
I'm not suggesting you spend half your time reflecting and observing. However, I've noticed that when I take time to breathe, and notice what's going on around me, I solve problems better. I notice the little things that make a huge difference. I become a better problem solver. You might too.
2. Avoid personal multitasking. Period.
You know me. I hate multitasking. If you have so much work you don't know what to do, first, visualize it. Write it all down.
For all you managers out there, I bet you're thinking, “JR, I cannot avoid the multitasking! I have work to do!” Okay, this is where timeboxing can be your friend.
Timebox yourself to a small chunk of work that you can finish, as in get to done, and put that project aside. Now you are free to start work on another small chunk of work on another project if you must. If you don't understand what I mean, let me know, and I'll start another Peer Project Portfolio Coaching session this year. Last year's session worked quite well.
3. Decide what you will learn this year and act to make it happen.
I bet that for the last few years, training has been so far down your list that it's been off your list. So, this year, make training come back on the list.
Training doesn't have to be expensive. You can do a book study group with your team. You can do a series of lunch-and-learns about in-house knowledge, the cross-training you've been meaning to get to for the last few years.
Of course, I would love it if you decided that some of my training was on your list! But no matter what, don't shortchange your career, or anyone else who works for you. Remember, if you don't spend money on training, who will?
Once you've decided on the training, create an action plan with small do-able steps, inch-pebbles, so you can accomplish those steps. Now, you know what you want, and you have a plan to make it happen.
Have a happy and healthy New Year's Eve and see you in 2013.
Have you checked out Hiring Geeks That Fit yet? It's chock full of stories and examples of questions. It explains how to use cultural fit so you understand how to hire technical people for your organization.
If you are looking for a job, take a look at my book: Manage Your Job Search. Looking for a job is not the mirror image of hiring, so this book is different from the hiring book.
I've created a bundle, All About Jobs, on leanpub, where you can buy both books together. Stay tuned for webinars about both books.
Join me at AgileIndy for my keynote about agile management, and a tutorial about agile project management, March 7-8, 2013.
I'll be at Let's Test, in Sweden the week of May 20, 2013. I'm looking to combine that trip with other work in Europe. Want some training or other consulting? Let me know.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues here.
copyright 2012 Johanna Rothman
Tags: multitasking, New Years tip, observation, project portfolio management, reflection, training