There’s lots to think about, and something about the long, dark nights put me in the mood for hatching new ideas and spending a little bit more time on personal development than I might have dedicated toward the hectic end of 2016.
Of course, there’s countless magazines and adverts telling us we must lose weight, stop smoking, and drink more water in January… Now, anyone who knows me knows the only way I like my water is frozen with a whisky accompaniment! What I’m really interested in, though, is how to make time for change and for keeping on track, and what sort of resolutions the LinkedIn community think are important for 2017.
I read an interesting article recently about a man whose resolution was simply switching off his smart phone for 24 hours; an idea which, admittedly, feels uncomfortable and even absurd to me. Apparently, though, the average person checks his or her phone 150 times in 16 hours – enough to qualify as a kind of addiction to information.
Do you check your phone in important meetings? Are you interrupted by WhatsApp or Snapchat messages over business lunches and dinners? Do you take your phone to the bathroom or to bed? It’s these sorts of behaviours that led me to wonder whether the writer of the article had a point: how well do I deal with the distractions that technology can bring?
Now, I do believe that technology can bring a positive force to work, of course. Yes, it can distract and contribute to stress, but it also helps to make that work/life balance easier. It allows us to work from home (or wherever) if we need to, and it is putting an end to the rather old-fashioned idea of a rigid 9-5 work-day which doesn’t work for many people, especially those with young families.
However, would a little time apart from our smartphones and tablet PCs allow us to truly focus on what matters? My resolution, then, is not to be distracted from the job at hand and to take a more hands-on approach to my life. Whether this means my own personal development or that of my team members to whom I have recommitted to mentor and empower throughout 2017 I’m ready to take on the challenge. I’m the first to admit that WhatsApp, news websites, and social media have all – at one time or another – contributed to my wasting time.
Having said that, I intend to make technology work for me too, as I would like to read more than I currently do and intend to make use of audiobooks to make this happen. You see, along with my first cup of tea in the morning, it’s my habit to play a few Sudoku or word games. They say it keeps the mind sharp, but I’d like to expand on this practice and find time to read as well. Technology like downloadable audiobooks make this possible for me in the car or on the train – instant time saver! My plan is to pin-point a few topics I’d like to know more about and dedicate to learning all I can about them. As well as keeping my brain muscles strong and entertained, I think it might be great to have up my sleeve as a conversation piece – why not?
So in summary, I hope my 2017 is full of a little less distractions and a little more focus on the tasks at hand – how about you? What are your resolutions, and which ones have you broken so far?