How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever
I want 2019 to be your best year ever.
I also want you to do as little as possible.
Here’s how to do both.
KonMari Your Career
Each year, we resolve to DO more. We make bold resolutions and set big goals. Then as the work piles up, we lose steam, get derailed, and perhaps even question our goals and abilities.
The problem? We don’t clear the clutter.
When you add new without clearing out the old, you miss the opportunity to reflect on what’s not working.
Without intentionally decluttering your career, it’s easy to end up with a string of roles that don’t inspire you, a mountain of unfulfilling work, and too much time away from the most important people in your life.
A cluttered career is like a closet filled with clothes you hate, crammed with crap that’s not your style and doesn’t fit.
Keep Only What Is Useful Or Beautiful
I have long been inspired by William Morris’s philosophy “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I’m at my best living and working with that principle in mind. It guides decisions for my home, career, relationships, finances—even how I choose to spend time.
Imagine what your career and life would look like if you surrounded yourself with only those relationships, processes, and technologies that are useful and beautiful.
What would you keep? What would you discard?
Minimize the Thoughts That Hold You Back
What’s the biggest roadblock on the path to a career with purpose? Your thoughts.
Your thoughts directly impact how you feel, which in turn determine how you move forward. They are the filter through which you view everything.
Over time, that filter gets clogged with unconstructive chatter and limiting beliefs, muddying your vision of what’s possible.
The difference between “I don’t have the right experience” versus “I know I can do this job; I just need to show them,” is directly linked to your success and the ease with which you achieve it.
Write down all your hopes and fears about your career. Then imagine them lined up in your living room, like tchotchkes on a shelf. Which do you want to guide your day-to-day? Which will you let go?
If you declutter nothing else, purge the limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
Drop or Delegate, Don’t Organize
Too often, we focus on organization, efficiency, and time management rather than simply reducing what’s on our plate.
While you’re busy prioritizing your to-do list, you’re distracted from doing the truly meaningful work that makes an impact. You’re making your clutter look less ugly rather than working on what’s useful and beautiful.
Make the hard decisions about what matters most in your job and career. Then consistently do those things. Drop or delegate everything else.
And before you delegate a task that will be as meaningless for someone else as it is for you, consider if it can be dropped entirely. You won't build a loyal, engaged team by simply handing off your clutter to them.
Make It You-Centric: Minimize What Doesn’t Energize You
You-centric means putting yourself first and taking on only those things that are in line with who you want to be.
One of the things that most inspires me about high-achieving women is that you bring the same energy, passion, and focus to EVERYTHING you undertake. This is why so many of the women I talk to, especially moms, are downright depleted, drowning in everyone else's demands.
You give to everyone else before you give to yourself. You aim to please, perfect, and ask permission rather than focusing on what you really want. This, too, is a type of busy-ness that keeps you distracted.
It’s also the road to resentment.
I already hear the objections, so start small. Pick one thing that you’re doing for someone else that doesn’t also advance your career and life goals, and Let. It. Go.
The B.U.D.D.Y System Is Your Career's Best Friend
Let’s put it all together with the exercise below (Note: I minimized the time I spent coming up with a better acronym.)
Give it a whirl, then share what you learned in the comments below.
Consider the things that occupy space in your career and life, then ask:
Is it Beautiful?
Is it Useful?
What can I Drop?
What can I Delegate?
Is it You-centric?
How To Declutter Your Career: Maximize the Best, Minimize the Rest
Minimalism is really about maximizing what’s most important.
As a leader, your top priority is to maximize the value you deliver, and you’re being watched. Higher-ups are evaluating what you contribute to the strategy. Your team is learning not only what you actively teach but from the example you set. What message are you sending? Are you leading or order-taking? Are you creating your own ideas, or executing someone else's?
Getting clear on what you want to maximize flips the focus from, “There’s not enough time to do it all,” to, “How do I choose to spend the time that I have?”
Clear Out Your Crap and Crush Your Career
This year, I challenge you to do fewer things better.
Clear the thoughts and activities that keep you playing small. Then act with extreme focus on the things that matter most.
So drop that boss that you’re constantly managing. Stop censoring and second-guessing yourself. Let go of fear. Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes. Create room to make that leap, take that risk, and exceed your own expectations. Maximize meaningful work, learning new things, and making a real difference.
Strip your career to the essentials of the present and create space for your future.
What are you ready to minimize and maximize? I'd love to hear your big, bad career goals for 2019 in the comments. You never know who's reading--who you might inspire or who might make your career dreams a reality. Share with abundance.
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