Ask yourself this question (and be honest with yourself): Are you GREAT at what you do, or just good enough?
There are many days where I feel like I am just good enough and teetering on barely mediocre.
There are OTHER days where I can do no wrong! Every call goes perfectly … Every follow-up email has the right tone, the right amount of humor, and the perfect call to action … Every hiring manager and every candidate says yes!
The key to a great year is to have more of the great days and less of the ‘barely mediocre’ ones. This does not happen by accident. Great days are MADE. Great days are EARNED!
Here are 10 things you can do make a great year:
1 – Time block your day
While there are many ways to organize your day, “time blocking” is a very effective approach. Break up your day into manageable blocks of time, whether those blocks are 25 minutes or 55 minutes is up to you and how your mind works.
When you are in your focused time block ONLY focus on that activity. Whether you are marketing, recruiting, sending LinkedIn messages, doing research, sending follow up emails, it doesn’t matter. Focus on the activity you are working on at that time. Don’t look at emails … don’t check texts (unless you are waiting on an offer) … in other words, focus!
Yes, I realize that this sounds great in practice but is more difficult in reality. However, by blocking your time during the day, you WILL get more done each day!
2 – Give yourself breaks during the day
Did you notice above when I listed 25 or 55 minute time blocks? Of course you did! You are smart and you’re reading the article for a reason.
The reason for those 5 minute gaps is to allow yourself a break EVERY hour. Here’s a fact: you cannot go non-stop all day and be at your best every moment. Google it.
By taking just a 5 minute break, you will allow your mind and body a chance to refresh. A key to these breaks is to GET UP! Walk around your office/your home, play with your pet, or go outside for some fresh air.
Some of the greatest people in business today will actually plan a 30-60 minute creativity break during the day to completely step away from work completely. It allows them to be more focused, energetic, and successful.
3 – Take care of yourself
A healthier you is a better you! If you live a healthy lifestyle, you will have more energy and your mind will be more focused. I'm sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, but I’ll say it once again: your eating habits and your physical fitness are the keys to being healthy. There is a third element, though, that has come to the forefront in the past couple of years and that is your mental health. To take care of it, you can do a variety of things, from meditation to journaling to a great talk with a friend/family member.
Working out does not need to take a long time. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know that I like to run. That’s my favorite form of a workout. But, you can do so many things: biking, circuit training at your gym, swimming, brisk walks, HIIT (High Impact Interval Training) in your own house, hiking, and on and on. Simply put, do something to get your heart rate up.
4 – Give back
Be good by doing good. Over the course of the year, try to do good for others every single month. While donating money is always welcome, many charitable programs need volunteers all the time. Their programs that serve the community don’t go on without volunteers. Food is not served, shelters aren’t built, children aren’t being supported without volunteers. These programs need both your time and your donations to thrive.
I don’t know about you, but I personally feel so much more fulfilled when I gave my time to help others than I do when I just make a donation.
5 – Have a positive mindset
Your mindset each and every day will have a significant impact on your success in 2022. Are you waiting for something negative to happen? Are you expecting the ‘other shoe to drop’?
Are you expecting good things to come? Are you putting in the effort that will allow for positive results?
Your mindset can and will make the difference in your year. I firmly believe this … but I’m a pretty positive guy!
6 – Have a BHAG
No, a BHAG is not a kind of sandwich. A BHAG is: Big Hairy Audacious Goal! This is a goal that stretches your imagination
Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” popularized this term. Here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself when creating your personal BHAG:
- Does it create momentum?
- Does it get your juices flowing?
- Do you find it stimulating, exciting, adventurous?
- Are you willing to throw your creative talents and energy into it?
A good BHAG will get you excited every time you think about it!
7 – Be organized with a plan
The best way to be organized is to write things down. (yes, typing it up works too) Like we discussed above, time block your day. But, what are you wanting to accomplish during each time block? That is where your written plan will come into play.
Have a to-do list for each time block. This works as long as one of your ‘to dos’ is the end result you are trying to accomplish. Without these result goals, you are just going through the motions.
8 – Evaluate each day
If you really want to supercharge your performance, begin evaluating your activities and results each day. What went well? Give yourself some kudos. What could you have gone better? How will you make it better the next time? Where are your skill gaps and you improve?
Asking yourself questions like these give you an opportunity to identify little victories as well as the areas of improvement.
9 – Care more about the client and the candidate than yourself
This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Afterall, once you scrape away all of the fancy titles we have as recruiters – talent acquisition specialists, talent advisors, search consultants, director of human capabilities – we are salespeople.
As sales professionals, our job is to make a sale and close deals. But, I challenge that thought. Our job is to serve our clients and candidates to the best decision. That best decision may not be the best for us though. A candidate not moving forward may be the best decision for them, but not for us. A client hiring a candidate they found on their own is definitely not best for us, but may be best for them.
If we have their best interest in mind, you give yourself the chance to build long term relationships. These are the relationships that can build careers.
10 – Have fun
Helping companies grow and directly impacting people’s lives is incredibly rewarding. Remember, though, that we are people dealing with people. Have fun with them. Be human. The more fun you have, the more fun your professional life will be!
Please don’t take yourself too seriously!
If you do these 10 items above, you WILL have an incredible 2022! You will have many more days where you are GREAT!
My hope that this is the best year of everyone’s life!