As you settle in for another year in the convention industry, this is the perfect time to think about how to make your life more rewarding — personally and professionally. However, it’s not just about what you can add in the office or at home; it’s also about what you can eliminate. Here are six habits you should aim to break in 2016.
1) Messaging rather than talking.
Trillian, Pidgin, AIM, Skype, Google Chat — there are loads of instant messaging tools that help reduce email inbox clutter. However, these services shouldn’t stand in the way of building stronger relationships with your colleagues in the cubicles 30 feet from your desk. If your exchange will include more than four or five back-and-forth messages, perhaps it’s better to consider a face-to-face conversation.
2) Arranging meetings in default time blocks.
Scheduling meetings often falls into the cable TV trap: 30-minute and 60-minute chunks. Before you hit send on your next appointment request, think about the topic you’re hoping to discuss with other guests. Can it be handled in just 15 minutes? Better yet, does it actually require a real meeting?
3) Accepting every meeting request.
It’s okay to say no. In fact, it’s good to say no. In 2016, focus on only being part of the meetings where your presence will really make a difference.
MORE: 6 Surprising Things Your Team Members Would Rather Do Than Sit In A Status Meeting
4) Failing to leave time to think.
In today’s how-productive-can-you-be business environment, it’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of checking items off a to-do list. While it’s important to get your work finished, there’s one activity you may be forgetting: thinking. This year, carve out a block in each day that will give your brain some room to stretch.
5) Letting technology rule your life.
Smartphones, tablets, apps, cords, chargers — we each count on a lot of technology to help us get through each minute of the day. However, using all those tools can create some problems.
“All our technology has big potential, but we’re getting so much information that it’s difficult for us to determine what’s truly important,” Leena Rinne, co-author of the acclaimed book “The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity and a speaker at Convening Leaders 2016 in Vancouver, says. “It’s not about having more technology. It’s about figuring out a smart way to integrate technology into our lives to make them better.”
MORE: It’s Time To Transform Your Relationship With Technology
6) Leaving vacation days on the table.
In the US, employees only use about half of the paid vacation days allotted in their contracts. The other days? They go to waste. This year, make sure you take advantage of the ability to get away from the office. Even if you don’t take a trip, take some more mental health days. Disconnect from email. Forget about your action items. Give yourself a break, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way in the convention industry.
Looking for more advice on how to feel better in 2016? Check out “These Dietary Tips Will Make You More Productive.”