I’m going to share some of my goals for 2013 for a few reasons:
- Perhaps you’ll be inspired by something
- In October I can look back to see what I still need to do
- On January 1, 2014 I can take a look to see if I reached my goals or not
Focus on Productivity
The week before Thanksgiving in the US was the DEMA show. Since I reported on the show for work, that meant I was either in a seminar or walking the floor from the early morning hours until mid-evening, then it was time to meet fellow dive professionals, then at some point I was to write about the day.
I made it through that, played some catch up before the holiday, then immediately launched into our annual daily deals program. Unfortunately, daily deals are far more than just posting the deal as they always create endless questions, complaints it wasn’t their favorite item or the discount isn’t enough or just people who don’t know how to click on a link and need some hand holding.
All the while, I was doing my usual daily work, plus beginning the redesign of our site, trying to figure out another upcoming cool new promotion and dealing with server issues.
Fast forward through my birthday, Christmas, deal with all the people who either got something they didn’t want or didn’t get anything at all before finally reaching the end of the year.
In my personal life, I also decided to adopt a couple of cats and foster two more which has kept me busy at home.
I don’t list this for sympathy, but to take stock on what the end of the year is always like for me. I enjoy it to a degree, but I’m usually left completely exhausted.
In an effort to boost my productivity this year, I’ve actually started renting an office space near my home. I’ve been working from home for several years now and have been doing well, but with my plans to really kick it into overdrive at work this year and the at-home distraction of playful kittens, I need a sanctuary away from home. I’ve been here the last few days and it’s been great.
I have so much I need/want/must learn this year!
HTML5 is now officially feature complete so I need to make sure our redesign will still be as cutting edge as possible in a year.
I signed up to learn iOS app development since I have a ton of ideas, but asking work to pay for development doesn’t feel right. I have everything I need to do it myself aside from some practical application of programming skills and I’d rather use my time to develop something in case it doesn’t take off in the fickle world of smartphone apps.
While our site has a responsive design, I’m learning immense amounts with our upcoming redesign about how to actually write or modify responsive WordPress themes which is taking my CSS skills to another level.
I’m learning how to use various tools to create infographics.
In my personal life, I’m learning Spanish for a ton of reasons including feeling like an idiot when I get the occasional social media message from a potential customer at work that I can’t understand.
I’m refreshing my video capture and editing skills because it’s an area I want to expand on at work this year.
I’m constantly learning about SEO since it’s always changing.
I’m going to take Google’s Analytics training so I can take my traffic analysis to the next level.
I have to learn about server and advanced site optimization so our host doesn’t keep taking our sites down at terribly inopportune times.
All while doing my daily tasks at work. Incredibly thankful for my part time VA, otherwise I wouldn’t have 15 solid minutes to work on any one of these.
When I used to work in the real estate industry, I would berate agents who told their customers “you can call me any time, 24/7!” because I felt everyone needed boundaries. Now I’m doing the same thing I used to berate people for.
My schedule from early 2011 is pretty similar except now I skip breakfast, work through lunch, add Google+, do tons of SEO work, work on special projects (mapping system, site redesign, photo contests, etc) and now I’m doing it for two businesses in unrelated industries.
Again, I’m not saying this to complain or for sympathy, I love what I do and the challenges I deal with daily, but based on my desire to learn so many new skills, I need to streamline my process.
The new rented office should help with some productivity, but I’m going to have to continue delegating what I can to my VA and figure out any other methods I can utilize to be more efficient with tasks.
For January, I have my phone set to Do Not Disturb from 10PM to 5AM. I think it’s reasonable that I have a window where I don’t have to worry about email or social media messages. I’m going to try it for the month and see what, if any impact it has.
I have so many ideas for work I want to try out and have the motivation to implement them, so with my increased productivity, new skills I’m learning and firm boundaries, I have no excuse not to just try things.
Although we’re already the industry leader when it comes to social media marketing, there is always room for expansion.
I was lucky enough to squeeze in a couple of classes during some of our company closures this past year, train my VA in drysuit diving and show her some cold water diving, but it’s not enough.
I once took almost 18 months off from diving, but I still was more comfortable in the water than anyone on the boat when I got back in. But that doesn’t matter. I am a diver. I work in the diving industry. Even if I’m not teaching, going out diving allows me to be better in touch with what our customers are dealing with and experiencing.
So half of my diving goal is personal, half is business. It’s my escape, but it’s also another networking opportunity.
- See fewer tasks I can delegate away on my to-do list and replace them with bigger, more experimental projects
- Learn HTML5 to keep our sites cutting edge and forwards-compatible
- Develop an iOS app in either the diving or outdoor industry
- Make our site redesign incredibly mobile friendly, both in terms of responsive design as well as load time optimization
- Create an infographic for each site
- Become conversational in Spanish
- Improve traffic for both sites, search and referral
- Improve my Google Analytics skills
- Invest more time in Google+, Pinterest and Instagram
- Take a day off every week
- Go diving at least once a month
Since I know I still am responsible for my daily tasks, I think this is a reasonable list for the year. I’ll re-evaluate every quarter to see my progress. Since the online marketing world is constantly changing, I fully anticipate additions to and subtractions from this list.