It’s time to get serious about your 2012 to-do list

With less than 100 days of 2012 to go, will you finish the year as you hoped when it started?

There are less than 100 days to go until the end of the year: only 96 in fact. So that’s 96 days left to do all the stuff you wanted done by the end of 2012. How does that sound?

Let’s think about the answer to that question in a little more detail. By December 31, 2012, will you have done all these things?

  • Will you have won the new work that you budgeted for at the start of the year?
  • Will you have got the new ‘system’ up and running?
  • Will your staff have all had their annual performance reviews?
  • Will the new product be launched?
  • Will the new senior hires be made?
  • Will the new processes in ‘purchasing’ be in place?
  • Will your customer retention rate have hit its goal?
  • Will you have acted on the past six months’ customer feedback?
  • Will you have that succession plan in place?
  • Will you have reached your financial goals?

Often by this time of the year we’re not as on track as we’d like to be. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is that we’ve got just the right amount of time left to change it: 100 days.

The human brain likes periods of 100 days (or thereabouts) it’s enough time to get stuff done but a short enough time to create a bit of urgency. If you give yourself much longer than 100 days you tend not to get started as you feel that you’ve got ages in which to do your projects. Much less than 100 days and there’s not enough time to accomplish big projects.

So this week’s tip is to get together with your management team and put together a status update on the year so far. Think about:

  • What projects are on schedule?
  • What projects are behind schedule?
  • What projects need reinvigorating?
  • What projects need prioritising?
  • What projects need to be put on hold so that the more important work can be done?

And finally, the big question: What else do we need to do to make sure we reach our 2012 goals?

Come December 31, you’ll be pleased you did it!

Julia Bickerstaff’s expertise is in helping businesses grow profitably. She runs two businesses: Butterfly Coaching, a small advisory firm with a unique approach to assisting SMEs with profitable growth; and The Business Bakery, which helps kitchen table tycoons build their best businesses. Julia is the author of “How to Bake a Business”  and was previously a partner at Deloitte. She is a chartered accountant and has a degree in economics from The London School of Economics (London University).




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