Getting ready for 2010
I love this time of year because people seem generally more thoughtful, less harried, and there somehow seems to be more time. Typically, I try to carve out a few days to help review the past year and get set up to improve my work in the upcoming year. Here are a few things I find are invaluable:
1. Stopping to assess the past year. What did I set out to do and how did it go? Reviewing my objectives and the results of my work not only reminds me to celebrate the good work, it helps me remember to be realistic about what’s beyond my control.
2. Looking ahead and setting objectives. Taking a bigger picture view of the year to come, what do I hope to achieve? How will I measure these objectives? What should I anticipate now in order to be successful? I like to write down my personal and professional objectives and then tack them up somewhere I’ll be forced to see them regularly. I also share them with others so I’ll be forced not to ignore them.
3. Review the calendar. Before the year commences, I map out timelines for the big things I plan to work on. When should that new piece go out? Or the new website launch? When do I need to start that new project given the summer vacation I hope to have? You get the point. Looking at the calendar months ahead helps me avoid working reactively because I’m blocking out time to work on my objectives rather than reacting to all the day to surprises live will inevitably deliver.
4. Clean out my email box. (You heard me: now do it.) Here’s a great video that might help– watch it with colleagues. Nothing makes me feel better than a clean email box. Except, perhaps, a clean diaper. But that’s another story.
5. Lastly, I rethink my organizing systems. David Allen’s famous “Getting Things Done” system is easy to digest and a quick read. Use it to set up a system that will help you stay organized- with support from software systems like Omnifocus (for Mac only) or Lotus or Outlook if you’re a PC. I adapted it to a day-to-day planner I made. Obsessive? Yes. Useful? Definitely.
I’d love to hear how you dust off the cobwebs and prepare for a new year- please leave your thoughts in the ‘comments’ here.
Here’s to getting ahead and other wonderful things in 2010!