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Planning and Celebrating at Year End

November 18, 2010

A Letter from SMPS Boston President, Matt Hawk

What a busy time of year… and each year it gets busier! It is at this time of year that we must – I must – build into every day a moment to sit back, take a deep breath and be still.

When I am busy I try to lower my expectations or rearrange them. I don’t know if you like lists, but I do. At this time of year, I try to stop making them in the conventional way. Ever notice how long they get? They don’t just include work items, but also items from your other life or lives even. I get frustrated when a list doesn’t get completed. So from Halloween into the New Year, I stop making To Do lists and start creating a time sheet. I list all of the items that need to be done in increments of time, whether it is 5 minutes or an hour or more to complete a task.

This list is different because it helps me understand what needs the most attention, what can be done quickly and taken off my plate, and when to stop! There are tasks that don’t need to be done at the conclusion of a business day or when you finally hit the pillow, so identify and prioritize them. Don’t be afraid to look at the list and delegate, no matter what level you’re at in your career. My favorite tasks to delegate are the ones passed up the line to my manager… managing the manager! My mother had an expression whenever I was running late, “You’re already late, what’s your rush?” A list that helps you not only plan your day, but also organize it into manageable pieces will alleviate some of the pressure that you are feeling. That and perhaps a little yoga – but that’s another blog.

This is also the time of year to celebrate the joys (and challenges) we’ve experienced over the course of another year. One of the joys I would like to share with you is the 30th anniversary of the SMPS Boston Chapter, which we will celebrate beginning in January 2011. We can’t celebrate without thanking our Founders who planted the seed in 1980. This group developed the SMPS Boston Chapter, its charter, bylaws, processes, and incorporation the following year. Our Founders, Nadene Barna, Phil Valence, Lois Boemer, June Schoenfeld, Bonnie Sloan, Tom Moore, Mark Cameron, and Jean Valence, are the roots that have held the organization fast. Over the years, we have grown and branched out to be one of the leading chapters in SMPS. Join me in celebrating throughout 2011 as we put another ring around the tree… there is much more to come.

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