WP Remix

Archive for June, 2010


If you work for an organization that operates on a traditional July 1 to June 30 fiscal year, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’ve got good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that you’ll find out very soon just how your year ended. Are you up? Down? How’s that participation rate looking? You’ve done your work for FY10 and if the check isn’t already in the mail or in your lockbox, there’s not much you can do about it. Perhaps a few more gifts will come in online today, but for the most part you can relax. Your work is done.

The bad news is that FY11 starts tomorrow, all your metrics have reset to ZERO, and you have a million things to do RIGHT NOW!

Or maybe not.

June 30 is always a special day for me. I get to hit the ‘reset’ button. Try it!

I have some rituals I’d like to suggest:

  • Take your ‘to-do list’ and set it aside. Make it clear that it’s an OLD to do list. It’s time to start over.
  • Take everything on your desk and move it to the floor. Every file, every report, every envelope, EVERYTHING. This might be a good time to dust off your desk while you’re at it.
  • Clear out your email inbox too. Either respond, delegate, or delete. For those very special items that have carryover into 2011, we’ll give a bit of flexibility, but mostly you want a clean slate.
  • Get out a clean ‘to-do list’ (paper, electronic, whatever you choose) and transfer ONLY the really important items from your old list to the new. Anything that is a true ‘must do’ moves over to the new list. Everything else goes away with the old list. If you hadn’t done it yet, and it isn’t important, you probably shouldn’t focus on it anyway.
  • When you’re done with the new list, put everything back on your desk one item at a time. Review everything before you return it, however, and decide if it deserves to be there. Again, this is a good time to delegate or destroy. If it makes it back to your desk, it likely deserves a spot on your to-do list as well. I hope your desk looks less cluttered than it did before.
  • Next, on a clean sheet of paper, write down the 3-5 things you’re most proud of in FY10. What really worked. New strategies, new programs, etc. Do the same for what DID NOT work or that you struggled with.
  • Close your door, turn off your phone and spend the rest of the day thinking about that sheet of paper and what you NEED to accomplish in FY11. What are your top goals? Where should your focus be? STARE AT THE WALL AND THINK. You don’t get enough time for that.
  • Just before you leave this afternoon, check that to-do list again. How does it match what you’ve been thinking about? Are there quite a few items that are just busy work? Are there items that don’t fit the ‘focus on this’ category? If there are, delegate or delete again.
  • Finally, make a pledge to yourself that you will maintain focus in FY11. You’ll spend your valuable time on the right things, rather than just keeping busy. This is a promise to yourself. Say it out loud. Don’t be shy. LOUDER!
  • Go home. Don’t take any work with you tonight. Play with the kids, read a book, watch TV, mow the yard. Spend tonight thinking about how your work-life balance could be improved.

Tomorrow is a new day. The beginning of a brand-spanking-new-year. Hopefully, if you’ve done a good job of determining your focus and deleting the messy to-do items that really don’t impact your work, you can start the new year on-track and promote a good work-life balance for yourself. If you keep focusing on the right things, you’ll also do BETTER work while you’re at it.

The first few weeks in July are easy. Sticking with it for the whole year is the hard part.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog