If you regularly spring-clean your living space, you know how a thorough scrubbing can renew not only your physical home, but your approach to life. You can do the same thing for your career, without the day-long battle with mops and dusters, just by committing a few minutes a day to getting your work-life in shape.
Sound good? Embrace this less-daunting work version of spring cleaning by setting aside 15 minutes a day to purge, refresh and renew your career. Do it for a week, 30 days or as an ongoing practice. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
1. Refresh Your Friendships
Social media has given us many things: the ability to stay in touch with friends and colleagues who’ve moved on to other places and companies, easy ways to provide and ask for professional recommendations and a means of endless procrastination. (OK, that last one isn’t so great.) But social media can also fool us into thinking we’re participating in each other’s lives when we’re actually just scrolling through feeds.
This spring, make a pledge to meet up with some of your contacts in person. Make plans with friends, former colleagues and other connections. Go out to coffee or go for a run or meet for a meal or event. Put actual plans on your calendar and follow through.
The best networking is still the kind you do in person. Beyond that, people are social animals. You’ll be a lot happier, as well as more successful, if you connect in person.
2. Renew Your Resume
When’s the last time you took a good look at your resume? If you’re like most of us, it was whenever you were looking for a job. But even if you’re lucky enough to love what you’re doing right now, it pays to keep your resume up-to-date. You never know when you might get an opportunity for a promotion … or news of an impending layoff.
These quick fixes will buff up your resume in minutes.
3. Purge Clutter Both Physical and Digital
We get it: you’re a messy desk person, and clutter is a sign of your creativity. But unless you have the ample workspace of an Einstein as well as the cluttered habits, you’re going to have to throw things away at some point.
Setting aside 15 minutes a day to toss things out takes the pressure off. You’re not trying to create a new organizational system, necessarily; you’re just trying to remember to throw out your coffee cups and junk mail. Delete the digital garbage as well and see how much easier it is to find stuff when you need it.
4. Say Yes to Something New
It’s easy to fall into patterns and do the same things over and over again, day after day and week after week. This spring, shake things up a bit by saying yes to one new thing every day, whether it’s lunch with a colleague or speaking on a panel at a conference.
5. Get Some Fresh Air
Don’t have time to take an hour-long walk at lunch? Set aside 15 minutes and enjoy the benefits of resetting your brain and regaining your perspective. Make getting out of the office a priority and you’ll have a daily reminder that there’s life outside of work. You’ll be less stressed, more productive and just plain happier.
Tell Us What You Think
What do you do to change things up in your career? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.