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07 Nov

Set milestones and goals until Christmas

Datum: 2023-11-07 10:00
A stark white obelisk-like structure stands out against a dark, stormy sky, overlooking a path through a field leading to a distant copse of bare trees.

Here we go again. The fall is here and before we know it, it will be Christ­mas. For some of us, the autumns usu­al­ly go by fast and con­tain intense peri­ods of work. More often than we would like to we real­ize that it is Octo­ber already, the dead­line is next week and the hol­i­days seem to be approach­ing unusu­al­ly fast this year.

When it comes down to it, it is dur­ing these hec­tic and stress­ful times when mul­ti­ple dead­lines are approach­ing simul­ta­ne­ous­ly that both the qual­i­ty of what we need to deliv­er and our ener­gy lev­els suffer.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Now is the time

If we want to be ahead of our­selves and on top of our game, then this is the time to make sure we get to work with bet­ter fore­sight through­out the fall — at least in terms of things, tasks and dead­lines we are able to predict.

I assume you also have a num­ber of activ­i­ties, events, due dates and dead­lines through­out the fall that stick out”, and which imply you have to do some­thing out of the ordi­nary rou­tine. These may be things that are hap­pen­ing or that need to be done by a cer­tain date, and which you need to spend a bit of extra ener­gy on. They stand out, and can there­fore be regard­ed as a kind of mile­stone lead­ing up to the holidays.

In the every­day hum­drum of all those lit­tle, quick tasks we need to do often, it is easy to post­pone those larg­er and more extra­or­di­nary tasks for lat­er, until after that one urgent thing that just fell into your lap, and we keep think­ing I still have plen­ty of time” — until we no longer do.

What mile­stones will you pass?

Clar­i­fy the mile­stones you know are com­ing your way in the next few months and get an overview of when they will occur right now, at the begin­ning of the sea­son, hence giv­ing your­self bet­ter fore­sight. You will be bet­ter pre­pared for them (and less sur­prised as they approach) due to get­ting an overview of all these mile­stone ear­ly on, and also because you then can make sure to at least once a week define what next steps and tasks you need to take and do in work­ing towards accom­plish­ing them.

Do this

If you want to give your­self a head start and bet­ter fore­sight through­out the fall, then do this:

  1. Look through your cal­en­dar and notice any major events or tasks you might regard as mile­stones” com­ing up between now and Christmas.
  2. Make note of them some­how (I made a list in an emp­ty doc­u­ment just to make it as sim­ple as possible).
  3. If you haven’t already, enter these mile­stones as projects on your overview of projects and more exten­sive tasks.
  4. Write the first step of each and every project as a task and add it to your to-do-list.
  5. Write up any oth­er steps you can think of that you will need to take. You do not have to give them due dates if you either do not want to or do not know when they need to be done, but if you still want to be cer­tain of what steps to take through­out the process you might as well cre­ate the tasks now.
  6. You will now either decide on when you will do every first step you just defined, or you can trust that you will spot any uncom­plet­ed tasks as you are brows­ing through your projects every week, look­ing for tasks to acti­vate, mean­ing giv­ing it a due date to ensure that it gets done.
  7. There you are! You have now pre­pared your­self a bit more for what’s to come, and you can get start­ed on doing those larg­er tasks due lat­er this fall now and feel great know­ing that you are well ahead of schedule.

Many small steps often

If you make it clear what mile­stones, mean­ing major tasks, events and so on, you will work towards through­out the fall it will become eas­i­er to do what needs to be done before they are due, with good time mar­gins. You are more like­ly to get stuff done on time or with time to spare, since you have made it pos­si­ble to at fre­quent inter­val remind your­self to take small, con­crete steps in the right direction.

How do your give your­self foresight?

What do you do right around now that helps you through­out the rest of the fall? Let me hear from you. Share your tips and ideas, please!

(By the way, I have found six more ways to give your­self bet­ter fore­sight.)

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