Five steps to a productive year-end

What are the key things you planned to do this year? Have you even started them? What should you prioritise for the next six weeks? With a little planning, this can be your most productive time of the year. You can finish the year on a high and move into 2020 feeling motivated.

What do you want to achieve?

You must first evaluate any existing goals. Are they still relevant?

Then ask yourself these questions:

  • What will it look or feel like to achieve the goal?
  • What work do I have to do?
  • Do I need help or input from anyone else?

Make a plan

The only way to get going is to make a plan for what you need to do. Start by thinking about what goal you’re trying to achieve. Break the goal into sub-goals if required, and brainstorm each sub-goal to create a list of tasks needed to complete your them.

From here, make a plan by looking at the tasks and deciding when each task needs to be done. Are some tasks inter-related? Can you identify milestones or achievements along the way so you can keep yourself on track? Work that into the plan.

Don’t overbook yourself

It’s essential that you are realistic about how much time you have to work on your goal. You are already busy, so think about how to ‘create’ extra time. What in your daily work schedule doesn’t need as much attention before 2020, and can you complete your goal in that allocated time?

Remember to be practical when looking at your schedule. You can’t treat December like a typical month because of all the holiday activities. Aim to finish your plan by mid-December.

Measure and track progress

You’ll want to stay on track, so be sure to have targets to hit on the way to achieving your goal. Create a target time for each task completed and compare it to the actual time each task takes along the way. If you miss a target date, does it have a knock-on effect on the remaining targets? Readjust your plan as required to be sure you hit your goal.

Acknowledge what you achieve

By prioritising and planning out your goals, you have a higher chance of achieving them. Celebrate if you do end 2019 on a productive high! And, even if all the work does not get done, you will have completed more than if you had no plan at all. Because of your detailed plan, you know what tasks you must complete first thing in 2020 – and that is a great way to start a new year.

Source: Moira Dunne (