Meetings • 7 min read

3 post-holiday productivity hacks

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We all deserve better! We’ve assembled three productivity hacks that can help you grab this year by the horns, starting Day 1. 

1) Hit “refresh” on your surroundings

Part of the reason the holidays feel like such a wonderful break from everyday routines is because of all the physical (and visual and auditory and gustatory) things we get up to. Making arts and crafts, wrapping presents, cooking awesome stuff, playing with dogs, standing up. This is quite the contrast from normal working life, sitting down at a desk.

The solution? Don’t sit down!

Use the momentum of all the creativity and movement from the holiday and put it to work on re-organizing and cleaning your office space.

Start with your desk. Clear away all the old papers. When you get far enough, clear absolutely everything off it and give it a good wipe down, your computer included. Toss out all the pens that don’t work (and, heck, even the ones you think are ugly). Get a fresh notepad. Add a few objects from your personal life that inspire you.

Then move on to the filing cabinet, and then the supply closet, and so on. Do one clearing project a day (some can be quick 20-minute ones) until you feel wholly organized and recharged. You can even move on to your digital sphere. Want to experience inbox 0? Go for it! Dropbox a mess? Sort it out!

You can even do some organizing inside RunYourMeeting. Go through and categorize your all currently uncategorized meetings. Strategic color-coding will help you see at a glance how you’re spending your time, and get the wheels turning about how you’d like to boost your meeting productivity in the coming year.

The euphoria induced by your efforts is sure to help shake off post-holiday malaise and set you on a path of wonderfully freeing productivity.

2) Get ambitious.

For some, the reason they dread going back to work is the work itself. Staring down another year of feeling unchallenged, underappreciated, or simply bored can certainly magnify dismal back-to-work feelings.

The solution? Be proactive about what you want.

Establish what it is you want from your work life. Do you want to branch out within your current role, and take on new types of projects? Or do you want to move up a level, and get a pay raise while you’re at it? Do you want to carve out a new role for yourself entirely, based on your evolving passions and your skills?

All of these things are possible, it just begins with a conversation. First, get clear on exactly what you want and have the business case ready to back it up. Then schedule a series of performance review meetings with the relevant superior to discuss your future. See to it that both you and your superior have assigned action items that you follow up on and update throughout the course of the meeting series.

Looking for professional growth that’s a bit more low key?

Seek out a course that would expand your skills. Or find a conference that seems particularly inspiring. Then pursue! Most companies will have the budget to cover the cost of these kinds of things.

If you find that your company has zero interest in supporting your personal and professional goals, well, then maybe it’s time to direct your efforts towards finding employers or other opportunities that will.

3) Set a vision with your teammates

Hold a start-of-the-year kickoff meeting, and make it your best meeting ever. In the way of content, have a collective brainstorm about what you would all like to tackle in the coming year. And don’t forget to take a little while to review how the past year went. A lot can be learned and many new ideas generated in this process.

It’s extremely important to be truly ready for all the insights and exciting ideas this meeting will generate. And by this we mean having great structure for preparation, facilitation and follow-up. Use Stratsys meeting tool to start the year with a smooth meeting experience.

Make sure to schedule a follow-up meeting for later this spring, or even a few of them. If you thoroughly document your vision and decisions made in the kickoff meeting, it’ll be easy to track your progress and keep everyone on track towards your shared goals.

Given it’s a new year with a fresh start, this meeting can set a precedent for the rest of the meetings you hold. Make it a topic of discussion, and see what everyone has to say about meeting culture.

***

You may have noticed that these productivity hacks are not about forcing your nose to the grindstonethey’re all about setting yourself up for a productive year. When you get your motivations in order, and put things in front of you that are exciting and challenging, being back at your desk will feel like the adventure it should be.

Welcome to your new year!

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