2020 has certainly been a year to be remembered, and perhaps maybe forgotten. It has created new working habits and patterns that are likely to stay with us for years to come. Some with online business models remain largely unaffected. Others have had to scramble and get quickly accustomed to work-at-home routines, shifting work times and priorities, and work with virtual teams.
Regardless of how your 2020 wrapped up, here are five things effective project managers will do as we roll into 2021. Personally, I make sure I have most of the last two weeks of the year free to do these things myself. There's still time in the new year, however, and perhaps next year you can get an earlier start.
- Be grateful and acknowledge those that helped you through the year.
Send a simple and sincere holiday greeting to family, friends, colleagues, and customers. Let them know you are thinking of them and appreciative of them. If you manage employees or a team, this is a great time to either draft their performance appraisals or note on your calendar when these should be done.
- Review and reflect on the past year. This is a time for a form of life lessons learned or retrospective. What were your successes and failures and what did you learn from them? Write them down and be prepared to integrate what you have learned in the new year. If you haven't done so recently, this is a great time to review and update your resume, social media pages and bios, and continue to build your network.
- Set new goals. Once you have completed your reflection, it is time to set new goals, even if just for the next quarter. I normally sketch out high level goals I want to achieve in the next 6 months in the form of 3-5 bullet items per month. Then, I work on a more detailed plan for the next three months. Every day, I review these lists first when setting my priorities for the day.
- Tidy up physical and electronic spaces. Take some time to tidy up your personal and work spaces, both physical and electronic. While I generally try to tidy up as I go, there are always spaces that can benefit from more attention. With much more time spent at home this year, I did a lot of cooking, so the kitchen has gotten a deep cleaning. There were also hundreds of photos on my phone that required review and organization to free space and use for home projects. Don't try to tackle everything - just choose a few select things to do for the new year and plan the rest for later in the year.
- Take a break from your regular routine. Enjoy some down time to tidy up and rest. Disrupt your regular routine to take time for more fun things or to learn something new. The rest of your year can be meticulously planned, but take this time to be spontaneous and try new things. As part of the process, you will discover how to better plan your routine going forward.
Thank you for being our customer in 2020! Whether you have just read some blog articles or taken a course, your progress in project management is important to us. If there is anything we can do to improve any of our offerings for you, please drop a comment below or email us at [email protected]. We're always delighted to hear from you, our customers and readers.
May you, your family, and loved ones have a happy, healthy, prosperous, and joy-filled 2021!
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