I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that most of us tend to put off what we know we ought to do until the clock starts running out on us. And then, as the clock winds down, we tend to get really focused and produce at a higher level (think, “The day before vacation,” or “The last two minutes of a football game”).
Well, to do that in business, I keep a timer utility on my lap top that has a countdown feature. One of the settings is for the end of the year (12/31 at 11:59 p.m.). As of the time I’m writing this post, my timer utility is telling me that I have exactly 102 days, 10 hours, 51 minutes and 47 seconds before the end of the year. When I see that counting down, it causes me to realize, “I better take action NOW!” Not tomorrow. Not a week from now. Not a month from now. NOW!
In other words, time passing before our very eyes has the power to change our behaviors.
Well, believe it or not, if you’re reading this blog post on the day it’s posted, you have only 101 days left in this year. Did you catch that? Only 101 days left!
So, what should you do? My recommendation is, “Create a 100 Day Plan!” I write about this every year at this time of the year because I believe it’s that important if you want to finish well. Far too many business owners and CEOs tend to write off the rest of the year at this point of the year (especially if their product or service has a long sales cycle).
But 100 days is a very long time. In fact, it’s roughly 30% of your year. And since what we believe influences our behaviors, why don’t you change your beliefs so you can drive massive growth during this last third of the year? Why not create a 100 Day Plan to finish this year well? Why not believe that your best days are in front of you, not behind you?
Note: If you’re reading this at any other time of the year, just create a plan for the number of days remaining in the year (200 days or 65 days or 87 days).
Now, to create your plan, there are a couple of guidelines worth remembering.
1. Focus on your growth accelerators. In other words, what are the three to five most important things you need to get done before the end of the year that would have the greatest impact on your business. You can’t get everything done by 12/31, so what are the three to five most important projects/initiatives/tasks etc. that need to be completed by the end of the year if you want to finish well.
2. Focus on what can drive additional revenue and profits by year end. This is the key. You’re on the 20 yard line. You’re within striking distance. The 2:00 minute warning has been sounded. So get focused. Where can you quickly drive additional revenue and profits before the whistle blows on 12/31? Don’t let other items get in the way. The end of the year is too close.
3. Focus on a few projects that have been dragging along that “never” seem to get completed. There are few more enjoyable moments then checking something off a to do list that has been hanging on there forever. For example, that website redo that was supposed to happen back in March–wouldn’t it feel great if you knocked it off before the end of the year?
4. Focus on what will set you up for a great next year. In other words, you not only want to set yourself up for a great year end finish, you also want to set yourself up for a great start to next year as well. Or to put it another way, you don’t want to be so short-term focused, that you hurt your first quarter of next year. So, what needs to happen this quarter to set you up for a great first quarter of next year?
Then, once you have your 100 Day Plan, you’ll need to push yourself and your team to make sure it gets done. Put your plan up someplace where everyone can see it. Create some key metrics. Keep them visible. Report on them daily or weekly. Put some incentives into your plan for your people. And keep talking about your 100 Day Plan ad nauseum.
You only have a few days left in this year to make it remarkable. So, don’t waste any of them. Create a 100 Day plan. Work your plan. Evaluate the results you’re getting. Then keep adjusting your plan until you get the results you want. Remember: January 1 is not that far away.
To your accelerated success!
P.S. This is a great exercise to do with your top team!
P.P.S. If you’d like a template for creating a 100 Day Plan, click on the following link to get a pdf of a 100 Day Plan Mindmap for you to fill in.
P.P.S.S. Don’t forget to add your thoughts below in the comments section (or click here >> if you’re reading this by RSS/email)