I have a sign on my desk that says “I have tried relaxing, but I’m more comfortable tense.” And, I think it is probably true. If you have been in regulatory compliance for any length of time you have probably felt the same way. For me, I have the perhaps irrational idea that if I’m tense I am more on my game. Probably not true. But, with the year we have just experienced, how could anyone relax?
As we are about to wave buh-bye to 2015, perhaps it’s time to think about how we can create a more relaxing atmosphere as we struggle to stay on top of this crazy mountain that is regulatory compliance.
Relax, you say?? Riiiiiight. It’s possible! (I think.) First, make a plan! Don’t we always feel better when we have a plan?
So, close your door, turn on some new agey-type music, put your phone on DND and think about what you know must be done in 2016. Policy reviews, new account disclosure reviews, employee training, new regs, and the list goes on and on. Create a calendar and start assigning all the tasks that you can think of for each month. See, that’s pretty easy!
Then, go to your own personal calendar and start blocking out time throughout each week or month where no one can schedule you in a meeting, and take that time to read trade publications, articles or regulatory issuances. You know, the kind of thing that you know is important but you always feel guilty doing because there are so many other things demanding your attention. (By the way, Friday afternoons are a great time for this!)
Next, think about any regulatory changes coming up during the year. Will you want to attend any webinars, schools or other activities to help you get up to speed? Get it on your calendar to look for something, or if you already have one in mind, put the dates on your calendar.
Now, what about any special projects you know are coming that you will be a part of or where you might even want to insert yourself. Get those on the calendar along with notes to yourself about what information you will need or want to provide to others.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The important thing is to get as much as possible onto your calendar so you don’t lose track of anything important.
I don’t know about you, but I feel more relaxed already just knowing that not only will 2016 be manageable, it might even be… successful! With that kind of a plan, I just may have to get rid of my sign. Who needs tense anyway?