Reinvention is the process in which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new. With the pace of change accelerating as we move through the pandemic, it’s important to ask yourself:
Am I reinventing the way I do my work, or I am being reinvented?
Intentional change that solves challenges or makes something better is the best kind of change. Change that offers little benefit, or that is forced upon us, is what makes work frustrating. The key to minimizing negative change is to be proactive in improving and developing. By designing and following your own change curve, not only do you become better at adapting and evolving, but you also gain efficiency while building your credibility.
Here are practical steps to lead you through a productive reinvention at work:
- Define the future state you wish to achieve. Reflect on how you’re spending your time meeting goals and objectives. Asking yourself “If not this, then what?” when it comes to reviewing the tasks that take up much of your time and the activities you find yourself engaged in. Are the things you are doing most often still the best way to do what’s needed? What actions, process or efforts need to adjust or be discontinued all together.
- Recognize who you serve and support. Successful work requires interdependence. Identify who needs support, information, guidance or work from you on a regular basis. Seek to fully recognize what value others need from you. Then take a hard look at how well you meet needs. Find ways to serve and support better.
- Examine your schedule. How you work, and what you work on, says a lot about your productivity. Are you getting focused blocks of time to complete high-value, thinking-based projects? Do you switch and shift so much during a work period that you lose time catching back up to what you were doing before you changed task? Are you working during the hours when you can be most productive, or do you often burn out on the job and realize an hour or two slips away with little to no productivity because you’ve lost focus? Consider when and how often you need to take breaks to stay focused and refreshed. Work to recognize when overwork leads to loss of productivity.
- Imagine what you would do if you had two extra hours of uninterrupted time during your workday. This prompt will help you push your thinking toward those important, but rarely urgent, tasks that can accelerate results and deepen your impact. Making time to do what you never seem to have time to do (but know is important) can lead you to a meaningful reinvention of your work to be more on point for what your organization, colleagues and manager need from you.
Since change is constant, realize we are either making it happen, or it’s being imposed upon us. When you choose to reinvent your approach to work, you can influence and inspire the better that matters.