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.
If you want to give yourself a head start and better foresight throughout the fall, then do this:
- Look through your calendar and notice any major events or tasks you might regard as ”milestones” coming up between now and Christmas.
- Make note of them somehow (I made a list in an empty document just to make it as simple as possible).
- If you haven’t already, enter these milestones as projects on your overview of projects and more extensive tasks.
- Write the first step of each and every project as a task and add it to your to-do-list.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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