Start Well
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

The new year is almost upon us–next week is 2023! Will next year be a great year for you? Regardless of what may come to pass, you can decide if it will be a great year. Last week I wrote about reflection, and this week I want us to start putting things in motion. Let’s start with taking control of our annual calendars. Here are some strategies that I am working on right now:

  • Block out vacation time. We get so busy with our day-to-day work lives that we often forget about vacations and taking time off to recharge. When I first came to MACNY, I kept scheduling training, coaching, and events. Before long, my wife asked when we were going to take a vacation, and I couldn’t find enough free days. When what you do is a calling and not a job, it’s easy to forget about balance in your life. This morning I placed holds on several days throughout 2023 so they will be available for much-needed family time.
  • While vacations (and staycations) are meant to recharge our batteries, they can also create stress for us at work. The key to a successful vacation is to have a prep day before you go and a recovery day when you return. I know you’re probably thinking, “how in the world can I add two extra days to my vacation?” These aren’t two extra vacation days; they are focused workdays. Place a hold on the day before and the day after your vacation. On your prep day, you will be following up on emails, phone calls, and any other details that need to be addressed before you take your well-deserved time off. Your recovery day is the time you’ll use to follow up on activities that occurred while you were gone.
  • How about date nights or other family activities? As you plan your calendar for 2023, have some conversations with your loved ones to determine evenings and weekends that will be reserved in advance. If you wait for them to appear spontaneously, you will be waiting a long time.
  • Lastly, schedule quarterly reflection time. It doesn’t have to be a full day; it might be just a couple of hours. I discovered this tip in 2021, and it really helped me take my learnings to a higher level in 2022 because it brought greater focus within a shorter time frame. My quarterly reflection will also speed up my year-end reflection since nine months of the year are already documented.

If you want 2023 to be a great year, you need to start well. Taking control of your daily calendar is a great place to begin.

Next week, I’ll share strategies on how to take control of your daily agenda.