I'm home from my weekend excursion to Ontario for the Podcast and New Media Expo. The conference was a perfect blend of networking, learning and socializing. Returning home has also presented me with a perfect opportunity to employ some tried and true GTD strategies. Taking three days off of your typical work schedule to go and learn new things creates an abundance of backlogged work to attend to when you return to the home office. On top of everything you haven't done the past few days, your mind is overflowing with new ideas, contacts to follow up on, and leads to track down. Re-entry can be overwhelming and difficult.
I have set aside tomorrow to follow up on my conference "to do" items. These include:
- Following up with new contacts personally. One of the major motivators to attend a professional development opportunity is to connect with colleagues. I plan to make personal contact via email, letters and social networking platforms like Facebook to solidify the relationships formed at the conference and to thank these people personally for greatly enhancing my enjoyment of the conference.
- Reviewing materials from the conference. This includes, but is not limited to, reviewing things picked up from vendors at booths, from classes and seminars attended, and from the conference packet. I have collected all of these in one central location but need to take them time to process and act upon them. Classic GTD "next action" is in order here.
- Following up on purchasing decisions. I attended this conference to educate myself prior to making equipment purchasing decisions. I need to compare quoted "show specials" versus prices at an online vendor recommended by my fellow conference attendees. This needs to be done promptly so that if I do decide to purchase from conference vendors, I will make my buys before the special prices expire.
- Determining how what I learned will impact upon my work long term. I want to spend at least a few hours contemplating and documenting my goals for the future based upon what I learned at this conference. Hopefully this will solidify into some long term action plans. My work in this area needs to include David Allen's five stages model: Defining the purpose, envisioning the outcome, brainstorming, organizing and identifying next actions.
I have my work cut out for me, but I'm energized by what I learned this weekend and anxious to see the impact that attending this conference will have upon my work. Getting this stuff done may be a challenge with a busy week ahead, but I know that taking the time to follow up on these details will pay dividends and create better networking relationships in the long run.