Looking back and forward
As always, I would like to wish you a very happy New Year on behalf of the team at Business Spotlight. We hope that 2017 will be successful for you, both personally and professionally.
"Happiness" and "success" are, of course, terms that mean very different things to different people. For some, family and health are the top priorities. For others, professional advancement and business success seem to be the key to happiness — even to the extent of causing damage to family relationships and personal health.
A new year is as good a time as any to reflect on whether the priorities that we have set are really the appropriate ones, or whether we need to adjust our goals.
And then, there are those New Year's resolutions. Last year, I decided not to make any new ones, but to continue to try to follow the twelve rules of good management that I drew up for myself in 2014.
As usual, I didn't achieve them all, but we were certainly successful in implementing the first rule at Business Spotlight in 2016. We did have fewer and shorter meetings. I advise you to do the same. Long meetings are the biggest waste of both time and energy in modern business life.
In other aspects, I was less successful in 2016. I failed to implement my idea of the "not-to-do list" — a list of all the things you are planning not to do on any particular day. The idea was that you then reward yourself at the end of the day for not doing the things you planned not to do. OK, the idea was a joke, but still I thought it had potential.
What I did implement at times was the "done list". The problem with to-do lists is that you are always looking at things that you haven't done, which can cause stress. Try instead making a list of the things that you have successfully done each day (not just crossing them out or deleting them). This is an effective way of reminding ourselves that we often achieve more than we think.
As for my traditionally ludicrous prediction, well, that did indeed turn out to be ludicrous last year. The less said about my confidence that England would win the Euro 2016 Championship, the better. This year's ludicrous prediction is that my football team in England, West Ham, will win the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 27 May. (If you are reading this after 6 January, this prediction may already have come untrue.)
Once again, I'm making no new resolutions for 2017. But I was intrigued by one that I heard in the office this week. One of my colleagues plans to swear less. Let's see if she — yes, it was a woman — sticks to that. Sounds like a bloody good idea to me. I might even try that myself!