Time's running out - how to get your business back on track for 2012
In two weeks time we’ll be halfway through the year. Halfway! And where exactly did those six months go?
Every year it’s round about now that I have a little panic. I think of all the stuff that I wanted to get done by the end of the year and all of a sudden it feels like there is so much to do, and so very little time to do it in.
To get me back on track I give me and my business a little pick me up. Here’s how I do it.
What to do
- Book yourself three hours out of your business, before 30 June to do some planning. This might sound extravagant but it’s not at all - it’s a fabulous investment of time.
- Dig out the notes you made at the beginning of the year of your goals for 2012 (or think about what your intentions were if you didn’t get round to writing them down).
- Planning time works best for me if I go somewhere neutral to do it. Home/office is too distracting. I actually go to a library because the quiet makes me concentrate. Cafe’s are too fun for me.
- Kick off your planning time by looking at the original goals you set for 2012. Be honest with yourself and ask how close you are to achieving them. Most of us set goals that are rather a stretch so don’t feel bad if it looks like you’re not even nearly halfway there.
- Jot down on a piece of paper up to 10 reasons why you haven’t got as far towards your goals as you had hoped. Lots of stuff gets in the way of our best laid plans, but it’s good to know what sort of stuff is veering us off course.
- Now think about all the things you have accomplished in the year so far. Pop an asterisk by the extra stuff that you’ve done that you didn’t set out to do.
- Look at your asterisked accomplishments and give them a tick if they were useful things to have done …...and a cross if they were disappointing distractions. How many ticks and crosses have you got?
- With all your answers to points 4, 5, 6 and 7 in front of you answer these questions:
- Were your 2012 goals realistic or did you bite off more than you could chew?
- Have unexpected circumstances (such as personal reasons) prevented you from making more progress?
- Have you changed your 2012 plans because other opportunities came up with were better?
- Have you got a little distracted? (Confession time: this happens to me)
- Are your 2012 goals still achievable?
- If you don’t think your original goals are do-able set some new ones for the rest of the year. If you are inclined to pop too much on your to -do list cut it down. It’s hard to take stuff off the list but being effective is about prioritising. If you changed tack during the year just set more relevant goals.
- If you got a little distracted in the first six months of this year, set little goals for each of the remaining six months. It’s much easier to keep focussed if you’re working towards small near-term goals.
- Finally, if you really want to keep on track, find a business buddy. Catch up with your buddy once a month and tell them how you are progressing on your goals. This little bit of accountability is so easy to do, and works surprisingly well.