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My 2010 New Years Resolutions – Internet Edition

Almost every year on New Years Eve, I watch the countdown and then remember that I forgot to make a long list of impossible resolutions that I should try and keep for a few weeks.

2009 was different. Late in 2008, I resolved that I wouldn’t let another year pass without making at least one resolution. My promise for 2009? Come up with a list of resolutions for 2010. With just 3 days to go before 2010, it looks like I’m in fine shape to deliver.

To make it more challenging, I decided to make two lists – one for online resolutions, and one for offline. Perhaps the distinction isn’t important anymore, but it sounded good at the time.

So after some thought, here is my list of online promises, my digital New Years Resolutions, for 2010.

1. Honor the Sabbath. Saturday’s will be completely offline. From the time that I wake up, to the time I go to sleep, I will not use the Internet without a really good reason. Those reasons include;

  • an occasional work deadline
  • a personal project that requires the use of the Internet, like Christmas shopping.
  • travelling for work. No reason I can think of not to fill that time with some use of the Internet.

2. Honor the work day. Work time is for work stuff. While I’m at the office, I won’t “Quickly check…” *anything* that isn’t related to work. That mostly means Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes Google Reader. This is more of a preventative measure as I can see how these social tools might quickly become massive time-sinks.

3. Schedule more. This year I am going to structure my work day more than I did in 2009. It will include blocks of time for answering email, working on projects, talking to customers on a regular basis and working with staff. I’m already doing much of this and I still have a lot that I can refine and optimize. I count this as an online resolution because my work-flow is primarily Internet-based – I’m really saying that I’d like to get better at using some of the productivity tools I use so that I can make more effective use of my time.

4. Hire an Assistant. For at least two weeks I will work with a Virtual Assistant to see if I can benefit from having an extra pair of hands to help me out. If this turns out to be useful, then I’ll turn it into a longer-term engagement.

5. Blog for work. I will write at least 25 posts for the company blog. This should be a no-brainer, but for some reason in 2009, I didn’t see fit to make the time. I did make plenty of excuses why I couldn’t blog. I should have at least blogged some of those excuses.

6. Read. I will read at least 10 business related books or papers in 2010. This doesn’t include blogs, newspapers or magazines. Is this an online resolution? Maybe I’ll use Amazon.com to order the books and read them on my Kindle.

7. Be more “planful”. Each project I undertake will have a corresponding Basecamp, and that Basecamp will include a plan and a task list before I start working on the project.

8. Stop using email as an excuse to not talk to people. Sometimes I’m being lazy, sometimes I’m avoiding something, but at all times, this just isn’t appropriate. If an email looks like it needs to be longer than 140 characters, I’ll pick up the phone or go see the person and talk to them instead.

9. Blog for me. I really enjoy writing and I can be good at it. I will restart my blog and do more long form writing. 140 characters just isn’t enough to tell a story. I will keep a file of thoughts and observations that I will use as the basis for my blog entries. My blog entries will all be written purposefully and mindfully and not out of guilt “because I haven’t posted in a while.” Occasionally I will be lazy and re-post a link, picture or Youtube video that someone sent me, but not very often – my blog isn’t a replacement for Facebook.

10. Start a journal for our child. There are already things that I’d like to share with our unborn child. I’m certain Amanda feels the same way too. I think I should start writing them down. A blog would be good for that.

Next up? My Real Life Resolutions for 2010.