There are only a few weeks left until 2015 dawns, and those weeks are going to be busy: Shopping, get-togethers, wrapping up work projects and planning, maybe even travelling as people see family over the holidays.
Here at VXSuite, we wanted to help maximize your efforts for a strong finish to 2014, and help you start 2015’s race with a bang!
Today’s post is the first in a weekly series that will run until the end of the year. We hope you enjoy them.
It is vital that you be strategic about how you spend your time and resources.
The nature of our workdays is such that we spend much of our time in ‘reaction-mode’, reacting to situations and resolving crises. When this is the case, urgency becomes a thief of importance.
Today, let’s take 15 minutes and focus on Strategic Scheduling, an exercise to help you plan for everything in your business (and personal) life so that nothing falls through the cracks.
This time of year is rampant with rush! Trying to chase down key people to wrap something up with before the end of the year, or trying to find time to finish a strategic project or year-end deliverable. With vacations, parties, etc., this can be an almost impossible task.
This morning, rather than work on the very first item on the top of your to-do list, stop, take out a piece of paper, and then write down ALL the people you really need to talk to before the end of this year. Or, everything you MUST accomplish (of course this can change but today is a starting point).
Carve Out Time – Then Protect It!
Print out a calendar, and schedule in those critical meetings, and book time for yourself to work on those important tasks. Make sure the people you need to meet with or need help from can join you during your scheduled times, and then protect the times you’ve booked for these conversations.
Paperwork can wait—you can always catch up after-hours, or during quiet time, but face-to-face meetings, scheduled in between now and the start of the holidays, are invaluable.
We all know how difficult it is to schedule meetings around everyone’s commitments, so once you have time blocked off, do whatever it takes to make those meetings happen. This type of Strategic Scheduling is much easier than trying to “catch” someone before they leave for the holidays
Start Booking January
The second part of this exercise is to be realistic about which companies or people you work with that seem to all but disappear for most of December. Sometimes, you just won’t be able to book time with folks in December. One of the most powerful tricks I learned in Griffin Hill Sales Training was to have the first week of January pre-booked with 15 to 20 appointments before the second week of December rolled around.
While this isn’t ideal for the end of year goals it does help launch 2015 in a very strong way. When people tell you they are too busy to meet this month, lock in time with them instead for first thing next year.
Strategic Scheduling in December is crucial to success. Having a specific goal of what you need to accomplish is powerful. What do you do to make the most out of the insanity that is December each year?
Read part two, Pay it Back and Pay it Forward, here.