January 30, 2018 Practice Points

Five Tips for Starting 2018 with Success

By Linda G. Yang

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and a well-deserved break from work. Below are some suggestions on how you can hit the ground running in 2018. These are not ground-breaking by any stretch, but I hope they will help you focus on starting the new year at the top of your game.

1. Simplify your to-do list.
The list of tasks probably piled up over the holiday break. Be realistic about how much you can get done. Make a list, decide which items are the most important, and get those out of the way first. Don’t let yourself get mired in guilty feelings because you’re unable to do everything.

2. Manage client expectations.
As a corollary of the above, do a quick inventory of which clients you need to update and get to them first.

3. Be smart financially.
December was probably a short month for billings as clients were pre-occupied with their holiday plans, and you probably took some time off too. It’s a good idea to keep a sharp eye on your expenditures for January to keep you in the black.

4. Set boundaries.
Consistently working over 40 hours a week is back for your health and bad for productivity. Cutting down your work hours may be difficult, but you can set some boundaries to create more meaningful separation from work, so you can rest when you should be resting and working when you should be working.  For example, don’t work through lunch, go for a short walk during the work day, leave the office at a reasonable hour, and try not to check your phone constantly on the weekend. Develop some of these as habits to keep for the rest of the year.

5. Start or maintain a health routine.
It’s tempting to make an over-the-top, barely achievable new year’s fitness resolution. Most people tend to give up on their fitness resolution by mid-January. Don’t let that be an excuse to avoid exercise, sacrifice sleep, or eat poorly. What is one small step you can take to becoming healthier? A healthier lifestyle will ward off depression, weight gain, stress and anxiety, and a weakened immune system.

Linda G. Yang is an associate at McMillan LLP in Vancouver, Canada.

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