Welcome to the end of the year! For those of us in positions focused on calendar year end results, this is the time when the magic happens.
How do you make the most of the last 2 months of the year? Let’s get right to it!
1. Get organized.
Define your list of open items. This includes to-do’s, initiatives, key projects, open deals. Don’t leave anything out on this first round ~ not even items that you have been procrastinating for the last 2 months. The more this information is front and center, the more likelihood of it not getting missed.
2. Cut the fat.
Now, get rid of any unnecessary items. These are action items that you won’t do or are not very important, valueless metrics you may be in the habit of doing, or initiatives that haven’t moved the needle. This is the where you will have to be ruthless to get to your actual priorities that do make a difference.
3. Determine your priorities.
Remember to establish this list by how you will be judged (in terms of performance). This would include finally closing that sale, doing what it takes to get to revenue recognition, completing a project, or finishing a campaign. Use software tools like Evernote or Wunderlist to stay on top of this list for the next two months.
4. Rally the troops.
If you are part of a team or running one, maximize your success by getting folks inspired. Unexpected breakfasts/lunches, visits from higher ups, and recognizing past wins are all tools to motivate. And most importantly, show them they are valuable…not just workhorses. Give the extra emotional support that is needed. Tell them that their focused energy will lead the firm to be triumphant in the end ~ potentially impacting others’ bonuses. Share the burden/wealth.
5. Lead by example.
It all starts with you. Tackle the difficult client, close that tough project, & make the hard decisions you’ve been avoiding. This is no time for ambivalence. The whole idea is to move forward, and if your team sees how hard you are pushing through, they will do the same (we hope)!
6. Make it their ball.
Efficiency is all about accomplishing items quickly and simultaneously. Making calls first thing in the morning or at the end of the day gets you taking the first swing so that people can work on items and get you a response by the end of the day or the next morning. If you get into the habit of making your calls all in a row in the morning, you will have a wealth of information by afternoon that is actionable.
7. Define a timeline.
If you are waiting on decisions from customers, peers, etc., define a timeline. Get them to commit to a decision by x numbers of days or by the end of the day/end of the week. This pushes them to make the hard decisions as well.