By Moira Dunne
It’s back to school season and we’re all trying to settle down after the summer distractions. For the kids it’s a time of new beginnings: new teachers, new schoolbooks and most importantly new pencils! It’s a time to reset and start again.
But for adults a feeling of panic can set in. The reality is there are only four months left in 2018. And still so much to do! All those objectives we optimistically set in January, all those plans we made. Where have those nine months gone?
TIME TO RESET
Well September can be a time of new beginnings in work too. It provides a chance to review our year so far and prioritise what can be achieved in the remaining months.
You can refocus, replan and reset yourself for a productive end to the year. How great would it feel to achieve your important goals and finish 2018 on a high? Here are some tips to help you do this.
First identify the most important things you need to achieve. Then ask yourself the following:
- What do I have to do to complete this work?
- Can I break my goals into sub-goals?
- Do I need help or input from anyone else?
MAKE A PLAN
To help you plan the work to do, break your goals into smaller sub-goals. Brainstorm each sub-goal to list out the actual tasks or actions required. Now decide what to do when.
- Are some tasks inter-related?
- Do some tasks depend on the completion of others?
- Can you identify milestones or achievements to tell that you are on track?
Now get a 4 month calendar and plan out what to do when. Use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Excel or simply create a planner on a white chart or board.
DON’T OVER PLAN
Be realistic about how much time you have. You are already busy so where and when can you create “extra” time for these tasks?
Build in some slippage because life always throws up some unexpected things. Also be practical. December can’t be treated like a normal month because of all the Christmas activities. So aim to finish your plan mid-December.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Capture the date you complete the work so you can compare your Target Time with the Actual Time.
It helps to share your plans with a colleague or friend. This introduces an element of accountability and motivates you to keep going when your enthusiasm is low.
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Like all our productivity tips at beproductive.ie we recommend that you modify our suggested approach to find what works best for you. Stretch yourself so you can achieve more.
Have a productive Autumn and let us know how you get on.