12 weeks is all you have.
This is how much time is left before the Christmas holidays.
It’s a realization I have literally every year, but it still always takes me by surprise. It can’t be, the summer was still happening just now.
However, I’ve learned that arguing with a calendar is futile. So rather than investing time in that, I have a small “year-closing countdown” ritual instead. Here it is.
I first look at my annual goals and take a moment to celebrate how far I’ve come. There’s value in recognizing your wins.
I then review everything on this list. I take stock of the progress and figure out what’s still on track to get done and what’s in the red.
And then comes a crucial point.
I make sure I reduce the rest of my year’s load by about 20%.
The start of the year is where you plan with optimism. And if you’re anything like me, you sometimes get tempted to add something to your plate in the middle of the year. Or maybe an important project comes up that just needs your attention. It can be anything. But the truth is you can rarely get everything done. So now’s the time to make some mindful cuts. This is where you prioritize and strategize.
I like to do a quick reality check by roughly spreading the remaining work across the next 12 weeks – just to see if it all fits. You don’t need to get all specific, but get a feel about it. Or, if you want, make a more structured plan.
In any case, I make sure I have the priorities for my next two weeks set down. And at that point, I feel really ready.
There’s one more trick I like to use when doing my 12-week “year-closing countdown” plan. And it’s to start something new. I know it sounds counter-intuitive. But it’s very effective.
It’s usually something small and often something on my personal list. And it’s useful in two ways.
First, it gives me an added energy boost. It’s something new to look forward to.
Second, it’s something that I start now and will actually double down on in the coming year. So when that moment comes, I will have a flying start into that new goal, and it’s less intimidating to begin the year.
All in all, this planning process doesn’t boost my productivity on its own. But it gives me focus and makes the end of the year less stressful.
So, what’s on your plan for the next 12 weeks?
✂️ P.S. We often speak about productivity in terms of doing more. But it’s sometimes about priorities and doing less. What will you cut from your 2023 goals to focus better?
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📁 From the Archives
If you take me up on the “start something new” point from the intro, you may be interested in learning something new. The good news is that, with the year coming to a close, some companies still have leftover learning and development budgets and are looking for ways to use them. This post will show you how to ask your employer to pay for a course to develop your professional skills. It’s easier than you think!
P.S. If you feel like you want to get my content marketing and brand messaging course, here’s something extra – use code 12WEEKSTOWIN at checkout and get €50 off. Works for both the VoD course and Group Training options by October 5.
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🔥 That’s a wrap! Before you go…
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