How to maximise outcomes between now and Xmas

“The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance” - Brian Tracy

Depending on when you read this, there’s only 14 work days or less until Xmas. That’s great news if you’re on schedule or if you’ve already reached your targets – you can enjoy this time of the year and even look at making some inroads into getting ahead of next years’ goals. But it’s a completely different situation if you’re behind schedule.

I find it startling that almost 20% of workers cancel or postpone a holiday because of their job (Source: CCH Human Resources Management). I get it how some people have really busy jobs with what seems like a constant stream of unreasonable demands. Therefore, what do you do if you find yourself with more to do than the time available?

Start by understanding what needs to be done and categorise the work as:

  • Must do – these are the non-negotiables
  • Should do – these are important but not critical (you can get by if it’s not done)
  • Could do – these are the things you would like to do if you had the time

When strapped for time you need to be very deliberate with what you do with the hours available. Therefore, focus more on where you’ll make the greatest impact. While it’s not a linear equation, start with the must do’s and then the should do’s. In all likelihood you’ll need to ignore the could do’s.

You’ll need to be able to plan, prioritise and communicate expected outcomes. Therefore, establish a plan to determine what will be done in the days up until Xmas. Supporting the plan will be a daily schedule that will specifically state when outcomes will occur. Be realistic with what will be achieved within the schedule and allow for some wiggle room for unexpected new demands.

It’s important to manage expectations by communicating the plan and schedule to your manager. A side benefit of doing this is it might lessen the inclination from your manager to allocate more last minute urgent work onto you.

The key to success is to be resolute by sticking to the plan and cutting out interruptions or anything that’s unnecessary. Imagine being able to carry this momentum forward as the new way you work? That’s why productivity can support you to make meaningful progress and get more important work done each day and week.