Monday, January 4, 2016

10 Things Scientists Should Do to Start 2016

  1. Don't start doing research right away. Think.
  2. Figure out which 2015 projects are past their prime and finish/publish/kill them. Quickly.
  3. Identify projects worth developing/growing in 2016 and make a plan to do so.
  4. Think about the best way your work creates value. Are you working towards getting grants, making intellectual property, or within some business model? Focus on whatever fits.
  5. Spend some time reconnecting with co-workers that you've lost touch with, because you were so busy in 2015.
  6. Find a few good review articles of interest to you and read them.  It will help with #3.
  7. Recycle that pile of papers you printed pre-2015 and never got around to reading. Admit it, this pile exists.
  8. Identify a few good bloggers/tweeters and follow them. They often turn up hard to notice papers or science news.
  9. Develop a plan to improve your communication and/or presentation skills. Focus on the style used in good writing, TED talks, etc. If you think you're already good here, there's always room for improvement.
  10. Think about what things were a poor use of your time in 2015 and find a way to stop doing them. Usually this means delegation or outsourcing.