Today’s article is short and sweet because you should be enjoying Christmas day. But . . . tomorrow it will be time to get back to work and start thinking about how you want to start the New Year.
Here is an idea for finishing up 2013 and preparing for a prosperous 2014. I’m fairly certain that Santa uses a similar process to keep track of the many deliveries he must make today.
Identify Your Projects
Spend a couple of hours this week assessing all of the projects on your plate.
Projects are undertakings that require multiple steps to complete. You can’t finish a project in one sitting.
You might not be actively working on certain projects, but they are on your radar. You want to stay on top of them.
Here are some examples of projects:
- Overhauling your website or blog
- Creating a new series of work
- Organizing an exhibition
- Planning an opening
- Arranging an event
- Marketing campaigns
- Writing an article or book
- Teaching classes or workshops
- Scheduling travel
It’s likely that you have 10-15 projects or more at any one time. Each exhibition is a separate project. Each article is a separate project. Each teaching gig is a separate project.
This first step is simply to capture all of your current and future projects in one place. You can do this on paper, in a document, on Evernote, or in a project-management system.
It doesn’t count to do it in your head. You must write them down.
Add The Tasks
After you have a good idea of your major responsibilities for the year (and beyond), you can add the tasks associated with each project.
Remember that a task is a single action, which might be dependent on an earlier action. Be sure you drill down your tasks so that each one requires only one step.
Add deadlines to your list.
This is a running list that you will update continuously in order to stay focused, so it’s worth checking it twice.
If you’ve done a thorough job, reward yourself with a good night’s sleep. You’ll rest easier knowing that you have everything in one place.
There is no doubt that peace of mind is the primary benefit of this exercise.
And who knows? If you do a good job – and if you’ve been nice – in 12 months you might get a call from the North Pole asking you to throw on a pair of green tights and assist a bearded VIP with his very important project.