I received an advert from Home Depot this week informing me that ‘Doing Season Is Kicking Off’. While I don’t plan to be doing any home improvement soon, I agree with them. As we transition from Summer into Fall, doing season is upon us. Family holidays fade into the past and our focus shifts to getting things done at work before the end of the year. How you approach this time can have a very big impact on the results you deliver.
It is very easy to get caught up in the game of doing as much as possible. That may sound like the right thing to do, but in my experience it doesn’t yield the best results. Instead, this is the time you need to focus on doing the right things. Here are three things to help you deliver the best possible results at the end of the year:
Clarify Your Goals
Before you roll up your sleeves, make sure you know what success looks like. For each of your goals, check what is expected and how success will be judged. Understanding what you need to do isn’t enough. You need to be very clear on what a great outcome looks like to the person who will judge your success. I also recommend checking to make sure each of your goals is still relevant. As you know, things change quickly and you don’t want to work on something that is no longer important.
Assess Progress Made To Date
For each of your goals, step back and assess the progress you have made to date. Are the actions you are taking delivering the progress you expect? This is where you need to be critical of yourself. What evidence do you have to back up your assessment? Continuing on a path that isn’t delivering results is at best a recipe for disappointment.
Recommit To A Plan Of Action
Map out what needs to happen to achieve your desired end of year results. That could be continue the plans you’ve followed to date. If you haven’t made the desired progress, now is the time to update your plans. Be very specific about what you will do and what impact you expect to create. Alternatively, you may not be making the progress you expected. In this case you need to renegotiate what you can deliver at the end of the year. Senior leaders don’t appreciate surprises. If you have bad news or concerns to share, do it now. It won’t get easier over time.
If you follow the three steps above, you will give yourself the best chance of delivering the most value at the end of year. Do that consistently and you will cement your reputation as someone who can be relied upon to get things done. I would much rather be that person than being seen as a very hard worker who delivers mediocre results. Don’t be a casualty of ‘doing season’.