Five Habits to Avoid in the New Year

I don’t like making resolutions so I decided to try something new this year. Instead of setting myself up to fail by promising to do new things I wanted to flip it. Let’s instead look at the things we should stop doing.
These are the 5 habits that I will be letting go of this year. Are you ready to join me?
1. It is a waste of time
Oh, goodness.
This is something I do a lot. Although I try my best to avoid this, sometimes it takes me forever for one article to be written or for me to complete a difficult task.
It turns out that when I do finally get around to doing a difficult task, it usually takes half the time and is actually quite easy. Procrastination can be a productivity killer.
I have to be more strict with myself about not returning to the house after a cup of tea, or a biscuit, and then go back to work. I waste a lot time ‘just putting on the wash’ or ‘just checking the mail or whatever.
I will also be implementing strategies to increase team productivity so that everyone benefits.
I am now focusing on reducing my time and tidying up my clothes. It took far too much time to find matching socks. Check out my KonMari-inspired drawer. Next on my to-do list is to tidy up my hanging clothes so that they are easier and take less time to get dressed.
2. To ignore stakeholders
Although I wouldn’t say that I do this often, I do know project managers who do.
Your stakeholder management plan is put together, then you can put it in the virtual drawer and forget about.
Stakeholders can either make or break your project, so it’s crucial to create a plan and put your ideas into practice. Even ignoring one stakeholder, even if they don’t seem to be that important at the beginning of the project, can lead to problems later.
3. Reconsider success criteria
The project life cycle includes the definition of key success criteria. They are available in many formats in project initiation documents. It’s easy to ignore them completely and not set any success criteria, or to fail to check that they are being met.
I couldn’t say with my heart that all my projects in the last year met the success criteria. I even had to go back to confirm that they were hitting. It’s a bad habit!
You can read my Definitive Guide To Project Success Criteria if you are ready to break this bad habit.
4. Reinventing the Wheel
This has to stop. I am already working on getting rid of this habit. I have a To Do list for writing and blogging each month.
I also bought a new binder, which I call my ‘bible’. It contains sheets for every repetitive task I do (or will have, once I’m done). This includes dealing with foreign currency bank transfers. These are tasks that I do occasionally but not often enough to be able to remember how to complete them.
These things are too time-consuming for me to attempt to figure out each month. I hope the ‘bible,’ which contains all my work instructions, will stop me doing this. We are also moving many processes to Airtable, and creating standard operating procedures.
Standardization is the key word for the year!
5. Sloppy Meetings
I have to admit that I don’t always keep minutes. I don’t always use agendas, especially in informal meetings.
This is going to change! Although I understand that not all meetings need minutes and agendas, we should all use them when they are.
My set of templates for great meetings can help you get started (with an ebook of meeting management tips and techniques).
What are you going change? Follow me on Instagram to let me know.
This article was first published in 2016.