We now have about 60 days until the end of the year so now is the perfect time to be considering what you will do to finish 2018 in strong style and make the impact you want on your world.
Why does 60 days matter? Why is the end of the year important anyway? In some ways it isn’t. I could have picked 152 days or Valentine’s Day as the date that the period ended. The date isn’t the point. The existence of an ending is the point. A major influence on my productivity and time management thinking is Mark Forster, and he introduced me to the idea of “the end effect”.
In the week before you go on holiday, or before a major deadline, do you find that your productivity rockets – as you work hard to get so many tasks complete before that fixed deadline or a trip to the airport? How does that contrast to the first two weeks back from holiday, when it seems all your project deadlines are miles away, and progress seems slower?
I am constantly telling clients that the enemy of greatness is drift – the fact that so many projects can be done tomorrow, or next week – and so they get done much later than we might have hoped. Whether planning retirement, getting a business ready for sale or decorating the back bedroom, they all get left, because there was no deadline – and so no end effect.
Back to 60 days
For most of us the turn of the year is a noticeable event – festivities, mince pies, family, perhaps some time off work. At the very least, we have to learn to write 2019 every time we write a date! A perfect opportunity for setting up some end effects. And if we split those 60 days into manageable chunks, we have two clear 30 day challenges!
Now, the king of 30 day challenges is a reader of this blog, Chris. He is truly inspirational in taking up (or putting down) a range of activities – mental, physical and spiritual – for a period of 30 days to challenge his mind, his lifestyle and his physical limits. We can all learn from Chris. Thirty day challenges work.
What would your 60 day plan include? What could your 30 day challenges be? Don’t just pluck things out of thin air. Previous newsletters have encouraged you to think what you want from life – to have a bigger plan. I’ve also previously explained how that bigger plan can be broken into steps to get there.
So, your 30 day challenges can be to execute on some of those smaller steps to make your dream come true. And if you haven’t done the plan, or identified the chunks, there’s your first two 30 day challenges right there…
Other top tips for making a 60 day plan successful:
Write it down. On paper. This is far more powerful than it just being in your head, or on a phone/computer. Trust me.
Tell someone. Make yourself accountable. You can tell me if you wish. (I am good at keeping secrets.)
Keep focussed – don’t have 32 projects on the go. One or two themes will be far more productive.
Get started. Don’t fall into the trap of perfecting the plan and taking no action (a vice of mine). Do something today, and every day, that takes you forward.
Celebrate success, or redouble your efforts. As you make progress, notice the fact and enjoy it. If you fall behind, just keep going, don’t drop by the wayside.