If you are like me, the summer vacation works as a cleansing bath for the thoughts regarding your job.
If so, just like me, you think more clearly about your job after a few weeks of the holiday has passed, when you have gotten perspective on what you are so immersed in every workday for the rest of the year.
Isn’t it as if that which is usually whirling around you in your workday settles and you are able to see what is important and what is merely noise?
I would like to compare it to a snow globe, the orb of glass in which the snow whirls about the characters within when you shake it. When you go on vacation, you set the snow globe down and gradually everything that has whirled around you falls to the ground and the visibility improves.
Take advantage of clarity
Now as summer is coming to an end, when you are about to get things going, shake the globe again, make sure you take advantage of the clarity you have acquired during your break.
Let us say that it has become clear to you what you want to focus on for the next six months.
It can be about you as a professional, as a businessman or ‑woman, but it may just as well be about the organization you are working in or leading. Perhaps it is about how you manage your e‑mail, maybe about the new product you are supposed to develop, perhaps about what direction you wish to cultivate your skills and competence in, or about on what market you want to establish your business next.
Since none of this is something you can do in a blink of an eye, in a single go, you will need to define everything you want to put your energy into as a project, i.e. a to-do-task which consists of several steps.
- Take out your project overview, that is, the place where you can see all the large and small projects you are involved in at the moment simultaneously.
- If they are not already there, add the projects you want to invest time and effort in, in the next six months to the overview.
- Make sure to formulate every project concretely and in terms of how you desire the situation to appear when the project is complete, for instance, “Open the first German office”, “Launch product X”, “Launching of the new organization”, “Succeed in holding a 24 hour deadline for responding to e‑mail for a month “or the like. This is intended to ensure that you easily can determine whether the project is completed or not (and if you therefore can remove it from the overview).
- Give the projects you have chosen a unique position in relation to everything else on the overview, so that you can focus on them easily. For example, label these with a specific color, place them under the heading “Autumn 2009”, hide all other projects which you do not want to focus on in the next six months, or use some other method which suits you.
- The last thing you should do before letting this exercise go is to define a concrete, next step for each and every one of the projects you have selected.
- Make sure that these next steps are formulated as clear to-do-tasks which you can complete in a single effort.
- Put these to-do-tasks on your to-do-list, and take action!
In spite of the whirling winds around you, focus
Since you are focusing on a few projects as opposed to trying to have a go at absolutely everything whirling about you, the likelihood that you are successful in what you have set out to accomplish increases. The fact that you have clearly determined what to concentrate also increases the chances for success, and it makes the way to getting there more inspiring.
How do you do it?
What is your method of taking maximum advantage these epiphanies, the moments of clarity when everything falls into place? Leave a comment to let others know!