By Ben Pettit
As we head into 2022, it may be time for you to “zoom out” of your comfort zone.
No, this is not a prediction or a command that in-person meetings are back for good and the days of seeing numerous faces on a computer screen for a meeting are going the way of flip phones and dial-up internet connections.
This is an idea that we often are so close to our everyday lives that we forget to zoom out and evaluate if what we are doing is what we should actually be doing, let alone focusing resources and time on. Here are some things you may want to self-assess for yourself or your business in 2022 in order to zoom out .
1. Cut things that aggravate your time, if you can
I’m not a fan of taking out the garbage, but I do it because it needs to be done. I know I can’t cut that from my routine. However, I do know I don’t like being stuck in gridlock traffic and that is something I can fix. I can either leave earlier or later for work, or find an alternate route. Getting rid of that annoyance can free up my day. But what if you can’t do that thing completely? Minimize it as best you can. Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
2. Take real work breaks
This may seem like an impossible task when you are working non-stop, but take an honest assessment of what you are doing during the day. Is your lunch eaten at your desk? Do you answer e-mails at 5 a.m. and then go back to sleep? Are you interrupting your production time by gossiping with co-workers? Those are more of distractions than breaks. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you such as a new hobby or exercise. Take time off. A 20-minute walk will recharge your batteries faster than a third cup of coffee.
3. Hire yourself
Look at your resume. Would you hire you? Would you promote yourself? Would you give yourself a raise? These are honest questions to ask yourself because, sometimes, feedback needs to start from within. If you feel like you are in a rut professionally, then you may want to look at your successes and failures. Finding and remembering your successes may go a long way toward lifting you out of that rut. On the other side, looking at those failings may help you build a plan to get stronger.
4. Set new goals
Nothing measured; nothing gained is more than just four words on a poster. What are your goals? Can they be measured realistically? What changes to your discipline and lifestyle do you need to reach those goals? If you can’t run a mile, making a goal of winning a marathon this year is unrealistic. Make a goal that can be achieved, and if you like that achievement then keep going. If it doesn’t bring you happiness, try something new.
5. Find your North Star
We often get so caught up in the day to day rut that we often forget to look for something bigger. Going to work to make sure your family has a home and enough food to eat is something you are compelled to do, but what are the things that could make work more enjoyable? A North Star is really just a greater overall goal that will allow you to align smaller, achievable goals to make it happen.
But even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways is something bringing greater enjoyment into your life. Focus your time and attention on things you can control.
And actually, maybe do less Zoom calls in 2022.
Ben Pettit is the CEO and founder of South Carolina-based STORY, a digital marketing agency