As I write this entry, there are only 7 Fridays until Christmas. How did that happen? Well I know how it happened, it happens this way every year. Yet every November, my heart seems to race a little faster.
Have I achieved everything I want to in business this year?
Have I planned next year properly?
Have I stretched myself enough?
What else can I squeeze in between now and Christmas?
These are the questions that race through my mind this time every year. When I catch up with clients and colleagues, they often remark that Christmas is nearly here again - so I know that I'm not the only one who really wants to be on top of it, but always seems shocked when the calendar rolls over to November.
So what can we do between now and then?
Here are my top 7 pointers (one for each Friday) to help you squeeze everything you can from 2017:
1. Plan your work, then work your plan.
I know it's old - nothing new in this pointer. But we often get so busy this time of year, that we are busy being busy, but not necessarily productive. Plan your work so you are working on the right tasks.
2. Take time to touch base with staff.
The annual Christmas party might be the place to do it, or better still, get around to chat to each of them personally. Thank them for their efforts this year! Happy staff are more productive staff.
3. Take time to touch base with clients.
Don't just send them the standard bottle of wine slash Christmas card slash Christmas cake, take time to see how 2017 has been for them and their plans for Christmas and the new year. It's the perfect time to put some love in the bank with your clients and not sell to them.
4. Plan for 2018.
Yes, I know this list is about productivity between now and Christmas, however once you plan out what you are doing in January and February, you will identify tasks that need to be completed now, so then you can get them into your diary.
5. Review your annual goals.
What have you achieved so far? If you haven't quite ticked them all off, and the remaining few are too big for the next 7 Fridays, cull the list and give yourself a revised target. You are better to make a conscious decision about what to leave off, rather than arrive at Christmas Eve and be surprised about what you didn't get to.
6. Get stuck into promoting Christmas activity, especially if you are a retailer.
If this is your key time of trade, stop wasting time reading articles on-line and get to it! If you are not a retailer, is there a season or reason to promote your business anyway? If your customers don't flock to your door before Christmas, are you best directing your efforts to next year? Whatever the answer - get to it.
7. Give yourself a pat on the back!
There are only 7 Fridays to Christmas and you've made it this far! You are on the downhill slide now.
However you choose to spend your next 7 Fridays, I hope they are productive and positive!