Each year, too many Americans do not take advantage of their allotted vacation time, ultimately resulting in stressed-out, over-worked and unproductive workers. This year, take time to plan and book your vacations (don't forget to consult your office's holiday schedule while planning) and look forward to your well-deserved days of rest and relaxation!
Rotate your workload.
Sometimes work assignments can be tedious and challenging. So, instead of plugging away at that 20-page document for the sixth hour straight, take a break and shift to another assignment. You'll use a different skill set, accomplish another task and approach your original task with fresh eyes when you return to it.
Re-evaluate your career path.
What were you doing in your professional career six months ago? How about one, two, five, ten or twenty years ago? Anytime is a good time to re-evaluate your current career path to see if you are on target with your professional goals. If you have strayed from the course or haven't defined your ambitions, plan out goals to achieve in the next six to twelve months.
Reconnect with your co-workers.
Large companies have reputations for being so large that you may never meet that person you correspond with via e-mail on a daily basis. Even if you work at a small-sized company, it can be extremely easy to not interact with your colleagues. Take time while getting that morning cup of coffee or as you pass in the hallway to say “hello” and catch up on what they're doing – in person.
Ramp up your skills.
We've all had it happen – your computer is giving you trouble, or you're not sure how to effectively present your project at an upcoming meeting. Make the most of these situations by aiming to improve at least one of your skills. Pick up a self-help book or attend a lecture or seminar to better prepare you for your next challenge at work.
Romance yourself at work.
What is it about your work or career that you enjoy or absolutely love doing? Think about what tasks give you the most satisfaction and strive to work more towards those items on a daily basis, or as part of the grander scheme of your career as a whole. There's no reason not to be happy when you do your job, especially if you enjoy doing it. In a temporary rut? Order a bouquet of flowers for your desk or buy an inspirational or picturesque calendar.
Recipe for a happy and healthy worker.
Balancing your work and personal life is a challenging task, but by taking steps everyday you can find the right balance for you. So, take advantage of flexible work opportunities such as telecommuting if your company offers it. Take your full lunch break – grab lunch at your favorite restaurant or go for a walk. Make an effort to schedule at least one “fun” activity with a friend during the week such as having coffee or seeing a movie.
Even the most super-productive and independent individual needs help from time to time. If you're in a tight spot – be it a tough deadline or an unfamiliar task – be sure to ask for assistance. Make sure your employer is aware of your situation. It's best to explain the situation you are in as it is happening, rather than waiting to deliver an item late or incomplete.
Retain your professional connections.
It's important to remember those people who have helped you find your current job or provided professional guidance to you throughout your career. Maintaining professional contacts and connections helps keep your network strong and provides a solid base for future reference. So write an e-mail, make a phone call or schedule an appointment to catch up with old acquaintances.
Remember, it's all about you!
While others can help you down your career path and assist in your professional development, remember that it's up to you to take the lead. If you are unhappy or unsatisfied at work, determine what is making you unhappy. If possible, make or request small changes in your current job so your work will be more appealing. If that isn't possible, you may want to consider changing jobs or careers altogether.
Whatever it is you resolve to do, remember that taking time to review your goals or plans can help you stay on track with your ambitions, whether it be getting a promotion, a raise or finding that perfect new job or career.