Okay, I confess I’m NOT a nun by any stretch of the imagination -just ask people who know me personally! But I couldn’t believe that I haven’t posted a blog since AUGUST! What I’ve been doing is way too long to list here, but I also realize that I was getting a bit burned out by trying to write a blog every single week. So I’ll be posting a little less frequently this year – either every other week or every month. Please accept my apology for being invisible for so long.
But I think it’s a good time to remind everyone that we all need to reflect, now and then, about what worked for us last year, what we could have done better, and what we didn’t need to do at all. NOW is a good time to do that.
There are more than enough people around who can make simple things complex (think of your worst college textbook), but I’ve found a lot fewer who can do the opposite. I like keeping things simple and I like translating complex ideas and concepts into simple ones, too.
So you don’t need any fancy project management tool, a specialized app, a therapist. What you DO need is your calendar from last year.
Here’s your “Reflection 101” guide:
- On what did you spend most of your time last year? Those of you who’ve read my blogs before know that I spend a HUGE amount of time networking. But I really want to track my ROI on all that time and money I spend. So I use categories to see what I do. I’m attaching a copy of the template I use to keep track of my activities: ACTIVITY TRACKING TEMPLATE When I review these, I can see pretty clearly what I’m spending too much – or too little – time on. I use the same template to break down the main categories I want to track – like Networking and Marketing.
- What seems to have been the most lucrative or has the most potential to be? I realize that we all have to actually DO work – we consult, we review, we analyze, we (fill in the blank with what you get paid to do). But all of us have to make sure we continue our business development activities because of normal client attrition. So we want to keep doing those things with the biggest potential of eventually having a payoff for us.
- How do I kick those things that worked up a notch? “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” It’s not enough to rest on your successes – REAL success is building on your successes.
- What do I need to STOP doing? This reflection will help you see where you’ve wasted too much time, effort, and/or money. We want to stop doing those things which have little or no short-term or long-term potential.
There’s a final – crucial – question you need to ask yourself when you’re done with this reflective activity: HOW AM I GOING TO KEEP MYSELF COMMITTED TO BUILDING BUSINESS?
Unless you can clearly set some goals and either hold yourself accountable or get someone else to hold you accountable (the reason I use a business coach, too), nothing you say at this point will have any lasting benefit. The hardest part of making plans is not the execution – it’s the continuation.