Now that summer has come to its unofficial end and you've sent the kids back to school, it is time for you to make the transition from summer hours to a full-fledged fall schedule. Seem tough? Well it doesn't have to be - with a few tips and some common sense, you should be able to handle it with ease - and enjoyment.
Barry Siskind, author of Bumblebees Can't Fly A Practical Guide to Making Your Life Work (Stoddart, 2001) suggests the first thing you should do is to “take the summer with you.” Harness that positive energy that you've enjoyed all summer long and use it to keep you moving through the fall.
While it is rare to have a job that fits you like a glove, Debi Sanderson, associate vice-president, group human resources, TD Bank Financial Group, suggests that you start the process of recommitting yourself to your work by asking the following question, “do I like what I do?”
• Answering "Yes" means that you enjoy your work, you feel valued and you have good relationships in your workplace, it shouldn't be too difficult to recommit.
• If your answer is "No", then you may be faced with having to make some changes - either in your current position or by looking for something new.
• You should force yourself to go through a business-critical evaluation of what you get paid to do - by identifying your top three responsibilities at work. This should not be a laundry list of tasks, cautions Sanderson, but a reflection of your higher-level duties under which most of your tasks should fall.
• Take some time to sit down with your boss to find out if they agree with the way you approach your tasks. If, after careful evaluation, you find you are out of balance, you should reprioritize (and perhaps redirect) some of your work.
Fall is a great time to set new goals for yourself, but it is important that these goals be realistic. “There is nothing more discouraging than setting unrealistic goals,” Sanderson says.
Sanderson uses a system called SMART and applies it to each goal she sets for herself. When she creates a goal she makes sure it is Specific , Measurable, Actionable, Results-oriented and Timely
In order to develop SMART goals, Sanderson suggests that you group them according to your big three responsibilities, then break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks that you can check off as you go- it will give you a greater sense of accomplishment along the way.
Siskind says you should find ways to blend your goals with those close to you - this is a great way to support and be supported along the way. “Look for small steps that you can take each day that are personally rewarding, keep focused on your long term goals, pace yourself and leave R & R time during your busy day.”