Right now, the idea of kicking butt in 2013 is probably the last thing on your mind. But come January 2, when that alarm clock goes off, you’re going to feel a lot better about facing the New Year with a blueprint for success.
With that in mind, the best thing you can do for yourself in that first week is to keep your schedule light. Unless a face-to-face meeting is critical, your desk is the best place to be for maximum productivity.
Hunker down with a stiff cup of Joe, a pad of sticky notes and your favorite writing tool. Next, sift through your email inbox and delete wherever you can. Make note of contacts you want to save or update, and correspondence you want to reply to on one of those stickies.
After that, it’s onto your pile of papers. Don’t need it? Don’t keep it. This goes for your expandable planner or notebook too. Paper clip essential notes, then label with a sticky highlighting the two most important pieces of information and stash in your preferred “to save” location.
Once you’ve de-cluttered, it’s time to pimp your online profile.
First up is LinkedIn, which is getting its own facelift over the next few months. Until then, get in there and update your photo, headline, summary, skills, work history and URLs. Add details such as volunteer/community service experience or board positions, publications you’ve penned… While you’re at it, review your use of words such as creative, effective, motivated, innovative—words that don’t communicate much unless they’re backed up with examples. Most of the skills that people boast are a given, so if you want to stand out, SHOW don’t tell. This is also the time to edit your “groups,” including how you receive updates. HINT: Lose the daily digest; 1x/week is enough to keep you in the loop. Finally, reach out to your connections and swap recommendations.
Moving to your other profiles, use a consistent voice, but also take advantage of the varied word counts and content format that can add another dimension to your persona. If your online presence only includes Twitter and Facebook, then your next task is to expand your visibility on other platforms such as Google+, SlideShare, Paper.li, Storify, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest.
All this self-focus has a purpose: you are your brand’s greatest asset. Expose yourself, expose your brand. Grab those stickies, and decorate your office wall with all the topics you feel equipped to expound upon, as well as different ways to position yourself as an industry expert. These could be speaking engagements, guest blogging opportunities, being part of a panel, leading a workshop or class, hosting a Google+ hangout or a Tweetup. Mix and match your stickies to suit the outlet.
The more opportunities that you have to show off your industry knowledge (consumer needs and concerns, and trends…), the shorter your road to earning media and consumer trust. Your LinkedIn groups are a good place to start sharing your insights on the topics being talked about. Google+ also encourages deeper communication; it may not yet be as popular as Facebook, but those who participate, tend to more vocal about their industry’s hot topics.
Equally important to your overall professional image is your presentation “on paper.” Is it time for new business cards? A new logo? Bio? While anyone can look you up online, having a polished, comprehensive 1-page biography, as well as an updated company boilerplate handy is a good idea. Simply re-reading that copy will get you thinking about how the outside world views you and about how close that matches what you’d like them to see. It’s a new year, so don’t be afraid to show off the work-in-progress that you are. You might even impress yourself in the process. And, if you find you’re falling short in a few areas, there’s still plenty of “training” time to get you into butt-kicking shape.