Hopefully you are now settled back into work and are refining or developing your plans to ensure you have a great year.
A pivotal question is whether you are clear on the “Two things” that will have the most impact on making the year successful?
Why two? Well, the truth is this is a bit arbitrary. In his book The One Thing, Gary Keller advocates that you should focus on “one thing”. He argues that the question you should ask is “what’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else would be easier and unnecessary?”
There is merit to this approach and I highly recommend the book, but I think the reality of the annual planning process is that you need to identify and then focus on 2-5 “key projects” that are really going to make a difference. I like two because in my experience, the usual chaos and limited resources makes it difficult to get traction on more than two strategic projects. After two I think you start running the risk of fragmenting your resources and compromising results.
A simple way to help you clarify what your key projects are is to take ten minutes and quickly write down all of your goals for the year.
Then jump forward to Friday 19 December 2014. It’s 5pm and you are about to walk out the office to take some time off to enjoy the Christmas break. You’ve had a fantastic year at work. Now take a look at your list. What were the two things that you focused on that had the most impact? What were the things that had to change? They’re the projects you need to make sure you spend time on. And by that I mean, blocking time in you diary to do the work, regularly reviewing progress and holding yourself and others accountable for any slippage.
And you could do a lot worse than adopting Keller’s approach as you plan each week and ask yourself: What’s the ONE Thing I can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier and unnecessary?
Have a great week.