Start The New Year Off Right

The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to hit refresh on your professional plans and goals that might be feeling stale. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running this year.

It’s almost a week into 2016 and, hopefully, after some downtime over the holidays, you’re feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new year. In case you need some inspiration to get started, here are a few apps, research findings, and tips to make the most of 2016:

Get organized. Inundated with email? Who isn’t?

Technology expert and Your Nerdy Best Friend, Beth Ziesenis, recently recommended [ASAE member log-in required] several apps designed to help association professionals meet their New Year’s resolutions, including cutting down on email clutter.

First, there’s Slack, a messaging app that allows users to send a quick message or question to coworkers, rather than clogging their inbox with yet another email. Alternatively, Microsoft offers a relatively new app within Outlook 2016—Groups—that allows officemates to share notes, conversations, files, and to schedule meetings without having to send an email.

And, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the email lists you subscribe to, there’s always—an app that allows you to easily unsubscribe or round those emails up into one digest.

Another fan of the app, Scott Oser, president of Scott Oser Associates, told Associations Now that, for him, the app helps calm unease over high inbox numbers. “Even though my digest is pretty big, I have found that it is much less stressful to have twenty-some emails in my inbox each morning as opposed to 80 or 90.”

Get ahead of your deadlines. It might help you work more creatively, according to the authors of a new book Wired to Create.

Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and health and science writer Carolyn Gregoire point to research that shows that those who admit to being motivated by deadlines show less potential for creativity than those whose motivations lie outside of deadlines.

Thus, taking pleasure in the process itself as opposed to focusing on the end results of a project might reap the most creative results, suggests a review of the book in New York Magazine’s Science of Us blog. Something to keep in mind considering January also happens to be International Creativity Month.

Get a leg up. If you have a goal to advance your career this year, don’t wait for a promotion. By preparing yourself now, you can better position yourself for career growth in the future, advises career coach Cheryl Palmer.

“Bosses are busy, and they don’t always have your career development and advancement in mind,” Palmer wrote in an article for ASAE’s Association CareerHQ. “That’s why you need to be thinking about where you want to go next and how to get there.”

She shared five tips for prepping yourself to take the leap, including explicitly demonstrating your contribution to your organization’s bottom line, advancing your skills via professional development, and seeking out opportunities to be involved in a leadership capacity. Participating in a organizationwide committee, for example, can help expose you and your strengths to management and people outside your department.

What are your tips for getting the new year off to a productive start? Please share in the comments.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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