I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It’s too easy to make big plans that aren’t achieved. However, I do find a renewed energy at the end of the year’s holidays and it is a time when I reflect on my business and my customers from the past year in order to adjust to make the future year even better. Each day, this week, I will share my thoughts for the upcoming year. Hopefully, this will help you think about your own goals for the New Year. Today’s topic is “Refocusing.”
As some of you know, I’ve tried quite a few of the social networking sites. I’ve also joined many groups in the past years: LinkedIn groups, Xing groups, and in-person groups, to name a few. Although it’s easy to join many groups, few end up being relevant or useful to me and I have “pruned” my membership to these on-line and in-person groups quite extensively. In the past, several people have urged me to stay in particular groups, telling me, “What does it hurt just to stay in?” but it does take one’s time away to even do as much as occasionally checking to see which of these groups might (or might not) have changed and become relevant/active. Thus, I try to give some reasonable amount of my time to exploring groups that I join because I do want to find all the relevant and useful areas that I possibly can, but there comes a time when I cut my losses, stop my membership, and move on to explore other more productive things.
Think of it this way: how many of you receive quite a lot of newsletters that you feel you “should” read, but don’t? And then, how many of you got organized and filtered those newsletters into a special folder or area that you will focus on when you “get the time”? And then, how many of you end up deleting everything in that folder without reading any of it and doing that every few months or so? When I get to that point, I start taking myself off those newsletters or out of those groups. Of course, it takes time to do this and it’s easier with some than others, but I realize I’ll save time in the end if I spend a little time on it, now.
One problem I recognize I had in the past couple of years was that I was involved with almost too many in-person groups (it only becomes too many if it interferes with my customer work and I did not let it get to that point). When my business was in Boston, there are so many networking groups and so many national organizations with chapters there, that it was tempting to belong to all of them – there were so many great ones to belong to that it was definitely a challenge to my prioritization skills to pick just a few. Here in the Cleveland area, it’s the opposite problem – there aren’t nearly so many organizations to belong to so my challenge will be to search for and find the right groups to belong to to continue my professional growth and business development.
One group I will remain active with, though, is the LinkedIn LIMS/Laboratory Informatics group. More comments on that on another day, though.