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The First Day of School

by Randall Craig on September 2, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational, Time management

Tagged as: , , ,

Remember your first day at school, after a long summer holiday? You looked forward to seeing friends again, while at the same time felt sad about leaving the summer behind. However you felt (and maybe still feel), today, many people use the summer more actively, physically and also to make changes personally and professionally.

You may have resolved to change your work habits, change your exercise regime, or treat people differently. Or, you may have decided to change your image, your career goals, or your personal relationships. Whatever your decisions, the trick is to keep these resolutions beyond the summer. Yet, when we return to the same environment, we typically will go back to our “old” habits. Here are some ideas to help your changes stick:

  • Change your morning routine: instead of buying coffee from the same vendor, try a new coffee shop. Instead of drinking it with the same people (or reading the same newspaper), do it somewhere else.
  • Work in a different spot: Remember how it felt when the teacher changed where you sat? You met different people, noticed different things on the walls, and had a new vantage point when you looked at your teacher. While you might not be able to change your desk or office so easily, often you can take your work into a conference room, library, or other special place.
  • Change how you use technology: If you are one of those people who has avoided using certain technology (Powerpoint, Instant messaging, etc), then find someone new to teach you. Not only will you learn a valuable skill, but you will develop another good relationship. On the other hand, if you use technology for everything, ask whether it is actually reducing your productivity. (One way to tell: set your email to check for incoming messages every two hours, instead of every 5 minutes. If you are more productive without the email interruptions…)
  • Change your work-life balance: Especially if you started a new hobby or sport, schedule it in your calendar throughout the fall and winter. Beyond the benefits of stress-reduction and exercise, continuing it through the “off” season means you’ll be that much better come next summer.

This week’s action item: While the first day of school brought you your friends, the year of school brought you learning, maturity, and opened your eyes to the world. While you don’t have a teacher to do this for you anymore, you can easily make it happen yourself. This week, think about the one thing that you enjoyed most over the summer, and work to make it stick beyond September. Change provides new perspective – and increases both your value, and self-worth.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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