Last week my gym buddy said to me, with a bit of exasperation, “We’re going to have to arrive 15 minutes early for our spin class the next six weeks. It’s going to be hard to get a bike until all the New Year resolutions fizzle and the class size goes back down to normal.” A bit cynical? Maybe. But she’s an awesome workout buddy! And, she’s not off on her point. Every January, millions resolve to get healthy. They eagerly adopt a workout regime and jump in with both feet, but statistics show the vast majority fall back into their old ways very quickly. I’m going to leave the workout advice to the health experts, but I will tell you now is actually a great time to adopt – and stick with – that new process or software system you’ve been considering. Let me explain.
Why Now Is Right
I’ll start with the obvious. The start of a new year brings energy, optimism and the anticipation of good things to come. It’s a great wave to ride. Why not jump on? Who couldn’t use a little boost?
And then there is the practical side of things. A change in process creates a natural ripple effect. Nothing we do is truly in a silo. Having an easy-to-remember time stamp for the change is going to make your life easier. For example, let’s say you decide to adopt a new lead tracking system. Two years from now, you don’t want to be asking yourself, “Did we transition over in the fall? The spring? Do I need to go look in the old system, or the new one?” The New Year gives you a great transition date you can remember.
What “New” Might Look Like For You
Certainly, the process or app that is right for you is going to be the one that boosts your productivity; eases frustration, saves time, enables greater and easier collaboration or increases accuracy. Maybe it’s:
- Going paperless
- Setting up an automated emailing filing system
- Using rules or smart email boxes
- Establishing a new workflow process, such as
- An easier invoicing system
- A CRM to automate communications
- A more efficient employee or client onboarding system
- A lead tracking system
- Simply starting with a new collaboration tool for daily use
Try Evernote For Easy Organization
One of my favorite apps for overall organization is Evernote. I consider it the gold standard when it comes to organizing and sharing information. Evernote enables me to store information from all sorts of different places. I can save articles from the internet, files from a project, and even my favorite casserole recipe all in the same app. And, the information can be easily shared with others, sent out directly in-app or shared simply by email or text. Collaboration is made easy given the file-sharing dynamic. I productively “thought-mine” and idea share with others in this one portal and can easily return to our work for reference. Most importantly, Evernote is user-friendly. My technology choices, for myself and for my clients, are always going to be user-friendly. If we can’t use the technology easily, it is not going to improve productivity!
Be Realistic In Your Adoption of the Change
I want to caution you to be realistic with adopting your new process or app. Don’t attempt to transition everything from the old into the new out of the gate. Set a start date and begin with the change moving forward. Importing or updating a year or more into your new way is likely to become a deterrent to making the change.
If/when you decide to bring your new system or process up to date with older data, consider hiring an intern to do the work, and/or employ the use of technology if it is available. Know that it just might be ok to either keep the old data in the old software or export it and store it digitally for reference.
Be Patient, But Diligent With the Transition
Once you’ve made the decision to make the change, stay focused on your resolve to make the change and be patient with yourself.
Remember it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. As you transition, you are likely to feel a little discomfort. The new process may take longer as you get familiar with the details. Plan accordingly. You and your employees may need training, and some of it may be of the technical variety. Invest and schedule accordingly, and don’t forget that there is a wealth of quality software training available online at no charge. Keep the reasons for making the change in mind to keep you motivated. Clearly communicate the benefits of the change to your team.
If Not Now, When?
If the idea of making the change in process or software has been rolling around in your head for some time, I encourage you to act. Change isn’t always easy, but the rewards are yours for the taking. Be brave, be thoughtful and go for it. Now is a great time to start that new app or process. Here’s to a happy, productive 2020 through change for the better!
Sara Genrich is a speaker, trainer, and Productivity Consultant. She is also an Evernote Certified Consultant and the creator of the Organizing@Work for Success Workshop. She’s committed to providing real-life solutions so her clients have time to focus on the things that really matter.