Ok, it's a bit of a cliché but I genuinely find time away from work and the usual daily routine (aka a holiday) a spur to thinking and planning. This usually results in ambitions plans and extensive to do lists. This year, I am trying a different approach - a set of new years resolutions.
1) Spend less time on Facebook and Google:
Leaving aside the possible amount of time you can waste spend in seeing what people you used to know are up to these days there are other reasons to think about dialling back the time you spend on Facebook. As I have written before Facebook and Google and other sites have created around us a Filter Bubble. While this is great at serving up content we will like and supper relevant search results it is also potentially keeps the different view, the interesting new idea away as well.
This isn’t just bad for our own personal development, it is isn’t great for keeping us up to speed with the latest developments and thinking in our chosen fields. I am not suggesting I will shuttup shop on Facebook in 2016 (where else am I going to get my cat videos from?) or will switch away from Google - it is just too good at what it does, but I will be spending less time on both sites in 2016 to make sure my views continue to be challenged and to ensure I stay ahead of the competition.
2) and spending more time on Twitter and DuckDuckGo:
Well if you are going to spend less time with Facebook and Google others will be taking up the slack - enter stage right Twitter and DuckDuckGo.
While Twitter, through suggested and sponsored posts, are starting to introduce algorithms into the news feed the platform remains far more free and unfiltered than Facebook. Also, in its very DNA, it has serendipity built in and, for me at least is, the place I will be going to be challenged and stay up to date.
Also, if I want to stay away from Google’s personalised searchers some times, then DuckDuckGo will be taking up the slack.
3) Avoid reinventing the wheel:
More than once in 2015 I found myself presented with similar professional challenges. And more than once did I start with a blank sheet of paper to solve the problem. While, you could argue this means you will end up with a totally bespoke solution to these problems, it almost always meant wasted time and the potential for the same mistake to be made again - there is a reason, after all, why doctor and airline pilots have checklists to follow.
So, over 2016 I will be building on Hootsuite’s excellent social media templates and the framework for strategy I have shamelessly lifted from Richard Rumelt's excellent ‘Good Strategy, Bad Strategy’ and creating checklists to get the job done quicker and better.
4) Keep an eye out for those new tools:
I have recently blogged about the top tools that I keep finding myself turning to time and time again. Over recent years we have seen an explosion of free, cheap and sometimes not so cheap tools which let anyone with a credit card access the sort of capabilities which 10 to 15 years ago would have been only available to the big players, with their rooms of developers.
Ok, a lot of these new tools will 'be me too’ versions of the old favourites which won’t bring much to the table and others actually won’t do anything useful, but there are some gems out there. This year I found the following:
Canva: Template based system to create social media assets which will boost engagement through the roof.
Feedly: Feedly helps you find interesting content and builds a news feed of content that you can repost and use to inspire you.
5) But above all else, don’t forget the goal!:
And don't forget the ultimately point - remember that what you are doing is supposed to have a purpose, and that purpose is to meet your goals. If you have a project which hasn’t got a goal then stop, and go back to the drawing board.
What are your resolutions?
What are your resolutions? Any here which sound familiar? Or do you have your own set you want to share? You can via the comment box below or on Twitter via @paulsimpson1976.