2014 is Done – Time to Kick-Start January
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All our efforts to hit our goals and achieve success for 2014 have come down to these last few weeks. Some may still be pushing to tie off loose ends or “finish up strongly.” Others, though, may already be succumbing to “holidayitis,” where tasks and commitments start to slip to “January.”
Avoid Holidayitis: Dedicate your remaining working days in December to setting up January for success.
Back when we managed our time in Daytimers and other paper-based organizers, one of the keys to success was reviewing each day the night before, getting all mental notes written down, and symbolizing the end of the day by zipping the organizer closed. This was supposed to give you peace of mind and a good night’s sleep.
The intent (if not the actual result) was spot-on: Stay ahead of your schedule, fill gaps in materials or data beforehand, and avoid last-minute crises that raise your stress level and lower your rate of success.
This same mindset applies to the rest of this month: If you find yourself saying “I will get that done after the holidays,” stop and reassess:
- Are you overloading that first week back?
- Is there any way to start a process now that might make post-Holiday re-entry smoother and less stressful?
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
This hackneyed cliché must be your mindset. Make the first part of January much more pleasant: Do not make it a dumping ground for all the stuff you “just don’t have the energy to get to” over the next five-ten business days. See how these actions strike you:
- Set up January meetings now. Be the first on the calendar of the people you need to meet.
- Finish up paperwork that isn’t really due until January 31.
- Have kick-off meetings about 2015 with staff before you all break for the year. Set a January agenda with each of them.
- Revise and get recommitment now for projects that must continue into the New Year. Work with interested parties to set new milestones and timelines. You are not asking them to get new stuff done before December 31. You are asking for commitment on what they can get done starting January 5.
In short, stay forward-thinking and action-oriented. Frankly, we think this will give you a head start in January that others will not have if they don’t adopt this mindset.
What do you think? How can you best use the time left in 2014 to set yourself up for a nice, fast or fresh (your preference!) start in 2015? Let us know.
And let us know how we can help kickstart your team into higher productivity in Q1-15!