Estimated reading time: 2 mins
Personal performance improvement is often treated like a ‘project’. You identify goals; you plan change; you manifest change; you test change; you review change; job done. For most personal improvements, this works just fine.
But get this – this project work is often de-scoped or de-prioritized. And then it is rushed, just before your Performance Review/Appraisal. How can we expect to achieve great performance and improvements if it isn’t taken seriously?
Here are 8 things you can do on a weekly basis.
- Introduce yourself to at least one new person in your office, each week, and tell them about yourself. Who knows, you may just find someone who can help you or give you a fresh outlook on your challenges.
- Block off some time at a regular slot each week, and use it for ‘thinking’. Did I just use a dirty word? Allow yourself some thinking time. Ponder new ideas or use it to listen to your thoughts or feelings. Don’t consider this as a waste!
- Visit your industry websites, and see what is happening beyond IT. Learn more about the challenges of your industry and see what competitors are doing. Why? Well a) it is context that could be important when considering organizational change, and b) it gives you something interesting to talk about when you do (1).
- Invite someone in your network for a coffee, once a week. Create an informal environment to talk about stuff you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to in formal meetings or by email. Use this as an opportunity to socialize ideas you might be working on and test them out, or consider different ways of achieving them.
- Write an update to your boss and your peers. Send these folks some bullet-points or a full-blown update on the things you’re working on to keep them connected or involved. This avoids the appearance of working in a vacuum, and it gives people the chance to offer help or advice.
- Review your contribution to the business strategy. A great thing to do once a week: it keeps you honest and fresh. It’s so easy to get buried in work without knowing why you’re doing it. And if your review turns up “Don’t Know” then it is time to ask!
- Review last week’s achievements. Allocate a slice of time to stock-take the results of the previous week. I notice that when I stop doing this I can lose sight of what I am striving for, and it can then feel like I am just going through motions. Reviewing the previous week links cause to effect, and creates an opportunity to identify course corrections.
- Scan your Job Description and Objectives. It might only take a minute to read through your Job Description and agreed Objectives, and it will be a minute well spent. This action can totally clarify priorities in an instant. It can also lead you to question whether your Job Description is still appropriate. It can result in many things – you’ll know that when you do it.