Before You Eat That Turkey, Eat That FROG!

At this point, we’re more than a week into November, and even though you’ve probably still got leftover Halloween candy sitting around the house, before you blink, Thanksgiving preparations will be upon us. Then, it’ll be holiday party after luncheon after happy hour after greetings and cards. . . which will carry us in an eggnog-induced blur to the end of the year. And while we ought to enjoy the upcoming Holiday season, it is important that we GET DONE THE ESSENTIAL STUFF WE NEED TO FINISH UP THIS YEAR!

Go ahead and spend 10 minutes RIGHT NOW (well, I mean, AFTER you finish reading my short article) and make a list of all the stuff you should complete before holiday food coma sets in. In fact, make 3 lists: (A) Big Stuff That MUST Get Done Before End Of Year, (B) Big Stuff That Needs To Get STARTED Before End Of Year, and (C) Smaller Stuff The Must Get Done Before End Of Year.

Hopefully, list “A” is pretty short – a couple of big bets that we need to nail down. This is BIG stuff, so let’s give it the focus it deserves. Block off some time in your calendar over the next few weeks to make sure you knock this stuff out before vacation rolls around. (How much time depends on your schedule and upon the initiative – one hour per week? One hour per day?) Just one question – did you put “2019 Business Planning” on this list? Because if you haven’t done that, you should REALLY try to get at least your SMART goals for the year down on paper before the end of the year. Otherwise, you’ll spend half of January trying to figure this out when you could already be well on your way to achieving your goals.

List “B” may also be short, and the thing is, these are tasks or goals that we don’t necessarily need to complete by the end of the year, but if we’re gearing up to really make a lot of progress next year, we need to get some key milestones accomplished now. For example, thinking of a big marketing campaign next year? When do you want it to start – first quarter? If so, you need to start nailing down your vendors, advertising / sponsorship opportunities, etc. in advance, so that when first quarter comes, all you need to do is execute.

I’m going to challenge you a little on List “C”. We said this was smaller stuff – well, how small is it? Is it stuff that actually NEEDS to be done before the end of the year? I’m glad you wrote this down, but now I want you to go through each task and see what can be postponed, delegated, or maybe even eliminated altogether. If you’re able to dump a bunch of the tasks from this list – which I’m betting got pretty long – then you can focus that time you freed up on making sure your “A” list really gets done!

Getting your list in place gives you a strong sense of control. Having just that sense of control starts to give you momentum. It is an almost palpable feeling as though you have already begun to accomplish some of these tasks. Keep that momentum going by making sure you’re making progress on your list at least a little bit each day. Then, once Thanksgiving rolls around, and you’re enjoying your turkey, cranberry sauce, string bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, you’ll have that much more for which to be thankful! And you’ll have yourself to thank, for getting a jump start on things NOW. So remember, be prepared, be insightful, be thankful, and whatever you’re going to be. . . BE OUTSTANDING!

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