I love this time of year. Warm days of summer are still here yet there is a hint of fall sneaking in at night with crisp cool air. It brings anticipation of the changing seasons and, for some of us, our life schedules. As I write this post, my youngest son is scurrying around the house packing to go back to college. Shoppers are out in force buying school supplies for a new school year. This time of year triggers a sense of change and newness. I find this holds true for our professional lives and schedules, too. While summer is hectic and there is no shortage of work, there is an unwritten rule that things are a little more casual and laid back. Life slows down for vacations and the things we north-easterners enjoy about this part of the country during this short season. As we head into the last official weekend of summer, I always get a sense of excitement and spark of energy to tackle the projects I have put off and to set some new goals to achieve by year end.
I really try to leverage this energy and renewed sense of drive. If you find yourself feeling the same way, here are some tips not to squander this opportunity.
1 Think of this time like we do New Year’s and set aside time before the Labor Day weekend to write new goals or “to-do list.” Have the list complete before the long weekend. This way, you can enjoy the weekend and start fresh with your list the day you get back to the office.
2 Share with a co-worker, your boss, or someone who will help you be accountable for these goals and action items. I find if I share with others, I am more likely to take it seriously and not place on the back burner.
3 Don’t overdo it. Make the list realistic, specific and measurable. If you overwhelm yourself, you may lose that renewed sense of energy that got you started in the first place.
4 Include at least one personal item not related to work. I find this helps me keep work/life balance top of mind.
5 Include at least one professional development goal. Tie this back to your performance review and share with your boss. This may help get the support (time and funding) to make it happen.
Looking for some tips as to what to place on your list? Here are a few suggestions:
Join a networking organization to build relationships with professional women to grow referrals for business. The WBC has over 1,000 members and offers professional development programs throughout the year. Here is a link to the list of upcoming events. If you are already a member, invite a friend to join you at the next event.
Learn a new skill or deepen an existing one. “Finding Your Voice and Getting to Yes” is a WBC program in November presented by author and lawyer Frances Green. Register here.
Start that education or retirement fund you have been putting off. Contact CAPCOM. They are one of the leading financial service firms for women in the Capital Region and are sponsors of the WBC because they are committed to the empowerment and success of women.
You get the idea. Happy planning. Enjoy the last days of summer, beginning of fall, and a renewed sense of drive to accomplish your goals.