Bring the “Back to School” Buzz Back to Your Office

by Frank Roche on September 10, 2010

in Books, Business, Careers, Change, Communication, Learning, Motivation

Remember the days when the start of September used to mean new highlighters, sharpened pencils and 3-ringed trapper keepers with bright, Lisa Frank cats on the cover? There’s something refreshing in the annual, back to school rush that can easily be lost or forgotten in corporate America. Today I encourage you to bring back the excitement of “back to school.” Here’s five easy ways to get that giddy energy back in your at-work dynamic.

Freshen up your look
Sure, you may not be in a new class with a cute TA, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a spruced-up look. Putting on a new suit or dress stimulates your mind, so you’ll be ready to propose a different strategy or look at a project in a new way.

Rethink your office supplies
There comes a time when the “crayons” are replaced on your back-to-school list with “ballpoint pens” and later, with “graphing calculator.” Look around your desk and see if you’re still using outdated tools that you’ve long since graduated from. See if there’s new software that’s more likely to cater to your job’s evolving needs.

Organize your notes
How long has it been since you’ve sorted through the papers in your filing cabinet? We mean, REALLY sorted it out? Take advantage of the changing season to get organized in a way that would have impressed your fifth-grade self. You’ll be less likely to live in “organized chaos” if you start your sorting system from the ground up.

Get a new schedule
Just because you’re not taking any new classes doesn’t mean you should default to the same 9-5 routine you’ve been using for years. If you’ve typically had a couple of meetings occur in the mornings, switch them to the afternoons, and vice versa. Meeting up with the same people at different times may bring a whole new dynamic to your planning sessions.

Brush up on your reading
Be honest with us—when’s the last time you’ve read a business-related book? Having an academic foundation in your field is as important now as it was when you graduated. And chances are, a lot has changed since then. Spend some time to Google the latest research and make sure you’re still on top of the current philosophies.

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