January is always an odd month. Whilst many of the team are extremely busy for one reason or another, there are usually relatively few client meetings for the first week or so. Consequently, it’s a time when the business has fewer reactive management needs.

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As a result, I often find that January’s a great time to think about important processes and projects that might have previously come to mind throughout the year, but never quite made it past the urgent tasks to the top of the list.

Eight working days into 2017 and it’s been an unbelievably productive start to the year, from an internal perspective. We seem to have hit the ground running, which is great news for me, as I have a fairly small window of opportunity before I jump into more intensive client work, with both feet.

This year we’ve already taken a more proactive approach to annual budgeting across the different areas of the business, also putting steps in place to lock in some major marketing projects that we’ve been itching to get underway.

We’ve taken a good look at our process for recording both deliverables achieved and time spent, and considered our hiring strategy for the next six months. Thanks to the addition of our new colleague, Nicole, we’re also taking a more proactive role regarding compliance with our clients’ contractual needs and requirements.

Finally, we’ve refreshed our core values and already lined up a great schedule of team training and cultural events for the year.

One trick that works for me in January is using the brief feeling of unfamiliarity brought about by returning from a break, in the same way that I like to work from different desks around the building; it helps stimulate new ideas and ways of approaching a problem.

In addition to the above and whilst the Christmas break is still fresh in the mind, I’ve also decided to overhaul my personal daily time-management processes. This new approach is enabling me to be less reliant on my previous systems and my own recall and as a result I’m switching between my work and home life a little more easily.

As we’re now getting into the middle of the month and client work is indeed starting to heat up, I’m comfortable in the knowledge that we should be a little better off when things do get busy, having already putting some of these steps in place. I’ll know in a week or so…