9 things every admin needs to do this year

Whether you want 2019 to be the year you get organized, noticed by the higher-ups, or just out of a rut, use these benchmarks to sharpen your time management and business etiquette in 2019.

DUE DATE: January 30

PROJECT: Declare National Change-Your-Password Day

You’ve got too many passwords in too many places, just like the rest of the world, and they’re all vulnerable somehow. Take a day to sit down and change every single one you have en masse, just to keep one step ahead of the baddies. This will also give you the chance to streamline them and maybe cut out a few services entirely.

DUE DATE: March 30

Difficult People D

PROJECT: Join the ranks of the “Hi” people

Enough walking down the hallway and averting the gaze of people you don’t know well. You want to be remembered and respected around here? Challenge yourself on this best business etiquette practice – say hello to everyone as you pass, from the CEO to the cleaning staff. Doing it every day might mean a difficult personality change, but picking at least one day in particular and going from 9 to 5 on a “hello spree” is within anyone’s grasp.

DUE DATE: May 30

PROJECT: Seize the ultimate commodity

That would be time, of course. Co-workers who have slighted you in the past keep taking more and more of it from you when you gossip, complain or just privately obsess about them. Make a goal this month to let it all go and move on!

DUE DATE: June 30

PROJECT: Offer your services where they’re not expected

Who in the office have you never helped with a project? The next time you speak with them, ask them what they’re working on, and offer to help if needed. They’ll be impressed with your friendliness and your dedication, and new doors just might open.

DUE DATE: August 30

PROJECT: Nail that elevator speech

Write a seven-second job description for yourself and memorize it. Make it impressive, something that can really sell you to others, no matter what you do and no matter who asks the question.

DUE DATE: September 30

PROJECT: Take the No-Negativity Challenge

That’s right, for one day you don’t get even the slightest margin for error on this task. If you don’t have something nice to say, keep it inside till the clock strikes midnight, and then remind yourself: This is how really happy people operate all the time!

DUE DATE: October 30

PROJECT: Buy the most valuable paperweight a person can get

Go out and get yourself a dictionary—no, not the online version! A real book that sits on your desk at arm’s length is a constant visual reminder to grab it and look up a word you’ve just heard and should probably know. You’ll forget about that word in seconds unless the dictionary is at the ready.

DUE DATE: November 30

PROJECT: Make your commute into a classroom

You’ve listened to your entire music library 500 times, so this is the month you download an audiobook about a subject that might help you on the job. It doesn’t have to be anything too job-specific; there are thousands of fascinating books about the world of business itself and how we live in it that have much to teach.

DUE DATE: December 30

PROJECT: Reach out to someone who’s been laid off

Everyone knows somebody who got cut off from the job unexpectedly. You don’t have to offer any specific help or suggestions to a laid-off employee; just check in and ask how they’re doing. And don’t let the fact that you haven’t spoken in months dissuade you from being the kind of person who doesn’t stop liking a co-worker just because the cubicle is now empty.