It’s the season of Spring Break, sunny days, and the opportunity to refresh yourself personally and professionally! I don’t know about you, but I tend to “nest” this time of year…I clean out drawers and closets, plant flowers, clean out files, and on and on. My Type A personality kicks into full gear in the spring, and I cherish longer days and time to clear the path in front of me – literally and metaphorically.
We’ve submitted our budget and business and plans for FY20 and are ready to rock out the 4th quarter – we just need a clear mindset to both reflect and move forward. I would encourage you to take some time this spring and focus on what you have accomplished and what you need going forward to be the best version of yourself both at work and at home.
Here are a few ideas to get you kick-started…
Take a few hours and clean your office. Like, REALLY clean it. Take everything down, dust, vacuum, sort papers, update your whiteboard, update your photo frames, throw out the dead plant, and clean up that nasty snack drawer.
Clean out your files. Physical AND electronic. Sort out unneeded paper, relabel, archive old items, update your samples and ideas files, delete duplicate files (especially large design or data files that take up a lot of digital space), and DELETE the things you don’t need.
Update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio. Yes, I said it. It doesn’t matter if you have been in the same position for 10 years and have no intention of moving. You should always have your professional materials ready to share with others at the drop of a hat. You never know when opportunity will arise. Pull out your best samples from the year and make sure your portfolio is full of sparkling examples of your awesomeness.
Clean out your inbox. Yes, all of it. Sort and organize your folders, file items in your inbox, de-dupe conversations (hands down, the best Outlook tool ever invented), clean out your sent and deleted boxes. You may have thousands of emails, but the time investment is well worth the relief and efficiency you will have when done.
Clean out common areas, cabinets, and old materials. You don’t need 50 copies of the Alumni magazine from 2001, every sample tchotchke and bumper sticker you used to send out, or the three boxes of XXL event t-shirts. Don’t be afraid to throw things out if they are only taking up space and will never be used again. Want to keep it for reference? Ok, take a few photos and put it in your digital photo archives. (Channel your inner Marie Kondo, here.)
Research professional development opportunities based on your specialty area and submit your requests for next year. Nothing is more motivating than spending a few days with peers who face the same challenges you do and can spark new ideas in your work. You can check out upcoming DRG conferences and workshops here. Consider enrolling in a spring or summer continuing education class. (We all need to get better at pivot tables.)
Dedicate some time to self-care. I know this sounds obvious and overrated, but we tend to get spread so thin through the year that we rarely take the time to stop, collect ourselves, assess our surroundings, take steps to remedy small situations, and generally take care of things that are not on fire.
So instead of surviving the spring like we do so many other times of the year (hello football season, end of year giving, budget and evaluation season), I ask that you stop, reprioritize, and take the time you need to mentally and physically flourish. Whether that’s getting control of your email, reading the newest Adam Grant book you have been putting off, or sitting by the pool and watching your kids enjoy the sunshine…spring is here, and it’s time to renew our energy, drive, and motivation!
This post was written by DRG Group member, Sarah Sims. Sarah is a consultant, speaker, educator, and the Executive Director of Donor Relations at the University of Florida.