We have just a few weeks left of 2018. How did you get on with your goals and aspirations for the year? If you’re like the vast majority of people the year won’t have gone entirely as you might have imagined back in January. Some things harder or easier and stuff that showed up that you wasn’t expecting.
There’s an exercise that can be worth investing some time in so you head into the Christmas and or new year celebrations with a refocused plan. Helping you to achieve the peace of mind required to give it your all with family and friends. I call the activity Decision Making – 4D Style. I developed this as part of a more comprehensive approach when working with people to get a better grasp of their unruly inboxes.
So what are the 4Ds?
First, spend a little time bringing together all your outstanding commitments for 2018 and then separate into the 4D categories.
DO. The things you really are going to commit to achieving before the end of the year. Be objective here. Take into consideration what real capacity you have and also who else you might rely on. The final few weeks of the year typically see a dip in your capacity as you and others will be spending time partying, attending events and preparing for the actual holiday period. It’s common, particularly in projects and programmes that there’s an overestimate of what’s possible.
DELEGATE. Acknowledging you are unlikely to have all your capacity, be creative about who else you could get involved. Done well this is a terrific way to create ‘extra’ hours. It may also give others the opportunity to learn something new. A word of caution here. Be sensitive, the people you might be delegating to are also prepping for their holidays.
DEFER. The end of year boundary provides a useful opportunity to renegotiate deadlines and goals. I’ve already been in two meetings this week where participants were unconsciously doing this. Another word of caution this category can be a real haven if you’re a procrastinator. So make sure you’re deferring the things that you genuinely can’t achieve. Talking this particular list through with a third-party can be a useful way to hold yourself to account.
DITCH. This is perhaps the easiest thing to understand and for many the hardest to do. Assessing the stuff that was once relevant to see if you still need to do them. Over time things have moved on, and therefore you no longer need to invest your time and energy to achieve them. Often we have an emotional tie to something. Be ruthless. It will help you start 2019 with real purpose.
Conduct this exercise over the next week to ensure you have an objective and focused plan to finish 2018 on a high.