Bulletin Board: Office resolutions countdown
Dec 28,2007 00:00 by Amy_Winter

You spend more time in the office than any other place, so why not make changes to your workplace habits this coming year?

Rod Kurtz, the senior editor of Inc.com, says workers tend to overlook office behaviors when making New Year's resolutions.

Kurtz suggests these resolutions to improve your workplace lifestyle.

- Fight the tyranny of the urgent. Be more productive by finishing small projects. Block off a period of time each day to take care of small tasks, leaving more time to spend on larger projects.

- Clean your desk. A lot of clutter makes it harder to be productive, and a messy desk can equal a bad day. Take a few minutes each day to organize the piles.

- Don't be self-absorbed. Try not to ignore others; it may rub co-workers and subordinates the wrong way.

- Come in early, leave on time. This forces workers to plan their day rather than wasting time and putting tasks off until later. Staying late isn't always the best method.

- Go to the gym - or don't. Exercising relieves stress, but the gym isn't the only answer. Workers can dance or participate in other activities outside of the workplace.

- Don't shoot from the hip. Read through your e-mails or text messages before sending them. Make sure you know what you are saying.

- Spend more time with your family. Make an effort to be with your family. They are as important as clients.

- Thank people and give positive feedback. Try to reward a co-worker with recognition. A simple thank you can go a long way and make people feel better about their jobs.

- Take time to vacation. Taking a break from work can be good for our bodies and minds, a mental break for our batteries to charge. Bringing work on vacation doesn't count.

- Develop yourself. Be in charge of your professional development. Taking a new course or asking co-workers for help can increase your knowledge.

- Acknowledge your shortcomings. You need to realize that you aren't perfect. Recognize your weaknesses and ask others for help. This may help strengthen work relationships.

It can be hard to stick with your goals and expectations. Kurtz says workers need to be specific when setting objectives. Instead of saying "I want to keep my desk clean," make it happen by spending 10 minutes a day organizing your papers. Write down a game plan, something not too vague.

"Make it more specific to make it more realistic," says Kurtz. "It is a way to measure whether you are successful."

For more information, visit www.inc.com.


It is the time of year for parties, celebrations and vacations. But the end of the year could also be the occasion for more projects. Twenty-eight percent of respondents say their workload increases during the holiday season, according to Accountemps, a staffing service that interviewed 539 workers. And 42 percent of workers say their workload stays the same through the end of the year.

Only 26 percent will be less stressed at work during the holidays. And 4 percent aren't sure about their workload.

"In many industries, multiple projects must be completed before the close of the year, making it an especially busy period," says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Human Resource Kit for Dummies." "Many employees also take vacation days during the holidays, which can leave fewer staffing resources available.

Accountemps provides tips to help companies finish projects during the busy end-of-the-year season:

- Prepare for projects. Make sure there is enough time to plan. Develop clear goals for each individual.

- Create a vacation calendar. In order to make sure you will have enough staff members during the holidays, tell employees to write down their vacations.

- Search for interim help. Consider hiring temporary help to assist with projects.

For more information, visit www.accountemps.com.

E-mail Amy Winter or write to P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

© Copley News Service