Earlier this year, I wrote this piece about 15 things to stop doing if you want to end homelessness. It is the most popular blog and video post I’ve ever created – by a large margin. It has also become a popular keynote address at conferences. Here we are at the start of July. With 6 months to go in 2013, here are five ideas to make the rest of 2013 totally amazing:
1. Toss out one useless policy or practice
Your organization/community has at least one unnecessary policy or practice that sucks up time. You may not even know why you have certain policies or practices…they just have always been there. If it doesn’t help you do your job better (and you won’t go to jail or lose your funding) get rid of the inefficient and ineffective policies and practices. (HINT: if you don’t know where to start, take a gander at your intake form.)
2. Start doing at least one thing differently/better
Unless you are perfect, there is a different or better way that you can be doing at least one thing in your job. Get at it and before the year is over you will be glad that you did. Oh, and don’t worry about getting it perfect on paper before you roll up your sleeves and give it a whirl.
3. Add one more skill or piece of knowledge related to your work that will challenge you to be even better at celebrating your passion
You’ve heard the cliché “work smarter, not harder” – and yet I bet you still feel over-worked and under-paid. Too many times people talk about what they would like to learn more about, but then come up with excuses related to their schedule, work demands, etc. that interfere with doing so. No more excuses. Commit to learning and/or practicing one new thing before the year is through. You get personal satisfaction from it – well, if the training doesn’t suck – and your coworkers, other professional colleagues and clients will benefit from it as well.
4. Solve one communication issue
Poor communication is one of the biggest barriers to accomplishment. Have meetings that zap your will to live? Change the way you meet. Have emails from staff or coworkers that read more like novels? Be clear how you best handle written materials from those that pass them your way. Keep avoiding conflict in order to keep the peace? Learn how to speak through the issue so you can resolve it. Have a supervisor that always seems to be picking your performance apart? Tell them how you best respond to criticism in a way that helps you grow. Have clients that seem to be trying to track you down constantly? Let them know when and how it is best to reach you – and that you aren’t available 24/7. No one will solve your communication issues for you, even if it is the biggest challenge that you have day in and day out. Only you can communicate to others how best to communicate with you.
5. Every day do your job in a way that is worthy of the highest esteem of those around you
Be the most awesome you. Make the difference that you are capable of making. Don’t underestimate your potential to be awesome. You will never know all of the lives you are impacting. Never doubt that even what seems to be your smallest contributions may be a large inspiration to those that see you do it to the best of your potential.