Don’t wait for the New Year to begin. Take steps towards becoming the “New You” today. [TWEET]

Do you really need to wait until New Year’s Day to start making positive changes in your life? Absolutely not! New Year’s Day is not yet upon us, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about how to better yourself workwise and even personally. I recommend focusing on the following resolutions you can make today to improve your career and become the best professional you can be in the New Year.  

Improve Your Time Management

If you are the kind of person that feels as though there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, it may be time to reassess not only your schedule, but also your methodologies for allocating and managing your time. If you aren’t the kind of person that normally keeps a schedule, this may be the year to start. Having a tangible reference point for all of your appointments and meetings helps keep everything structured and ensures you don’t miss anything important. There are many smartphone, tablet, and computer applications to aid with this task, such as Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCal, to name a few. Folks who still defer to the pen-and-paper method may want to invest in a quality planner that is easy to carry around, elegant in nature, and affordable. Moleskine offers a fabulous line of streamlined, modern planners ranging in size, time range, and layout.   

Organize Your Workspace

The saying rings true that there is a place for everything and everything has a place. While it may feel like you know where everything is office, having an aesthetically-pleasing, well-organized workspace will only serve to benefit you. It also shows your colleagues and clients that you are put-together and ready to work! Stores such as Ikea, Staples, and The Container Store offer optimal, price-friendly organizational vessels, as well as other aids including label makers, Post-Its, and dry-erase calendars. Bed Bath & Beyond is also good for the budget-conscious shopper – just sign up for their mailings and emails and you’ll receive numerous coupons each month, many of which are accepted after their expiration dates have passed. If you’re on a shoestring budget, look to your local thrift store, department store clearance sections, or opt to use the “shopping at home” route to repurpose already-owned items. For inspiration, Pinterest is a fantastic outlet for finding visual representations of the organizational system you’re looking to create.

Become Tech Savvy

Are you updated on technology innovations that may optimize your productivity levels in the workplace and beyond? Staying informed of both industry-specific and broad-based technological trends ensures that you will be ahead of the curve in “working smarter, not harder.” Sites like LinkedIn, Mashable, Boy Genius Report (BGR), and others like it are all dedicated to technology product launches, social media innovations, and other items that will transform you into a beginner-level tech guru. If technology is inherently a part of your career, try using it to your personal advantage to become more organized. If not, being ahead of the tech curve will place you a step ahead of coworkers and will serve to benefit your organization’s daily functions.  

Achieve Work-Life Balance

How well do you balance your work life with your personal life? If you think you’re doing a solid job of it, you are ahead of many. If you think this area needs some work, now is the best time to fuel positive change. If you wish you had time to do the things you enjoy, rework your schedule and see when you are able to carve out some much-needed “me” time. Many professionals wake up early to squeeze in an early morning workout or use the morning bus or train commute to catch up on leisure reading.

The evening is also a great time to take a half-hour to visit the gym, catch up on grocery shopping for the family, indulge in TV binge-watching … pretty much anything that you enjoy and/or that serves to benefit your family. If you find that your workplace is asking you to perform tasks and put in work hours that fall above and beyond the expectations set forth when you initially accepted the role, it may be time to have a crucial conversation with your supervisors and team members. If you’re alright with the extra workload, but want to work smarter, talk with your colleagues and managers about process improvement ideas that may allow for you to get more done in less time.

Update Your Professional Brand

This is a hard one for many folks, as updating resume and LinkedIn profile content is one of those “to-do” list items that professionals always intend to tackle, but ultimately place at the bottom of their priority lists. This is especially true if someone is in a role with a company where career advancement is a strong possibility. The good news, though, is that there are professional resume-writing experts available to help you! Hiring a professional resume writer to update the formatting, chronology, and verbiage of your existing personal branding materials will allow you to cross off an important “to-do” item and ensure that, should you suddenly choose to commence a job search, you’ll be prepared and ready to go!

Need help? Hire a TopResume writer to help you land a new career in the New Year.