Recently, I have been writing about the benefits of planning, prepping, or getting things done in August or early September to have an easier fourth quarter. See this LinkedIn post, this one, and this one too.
The common thread through these posts is doing the work of planning or completing tasks now will make the end of 2021 easier and more enjoyable. Plus, the quality of your work will be better because you can dedicate more time to it.
It’s been mentioned to me this is easier said than done.
Here are ideas and inspiration for helping you get ahead of yourself for the fourth quarter.
- Take 5 minutes to write down all activities, issues, or challenges that typically arise for your organization during the fourth quarter. Then spend up to 10 minutes jotting down all the ways you or external counsel can help or plan for those.
- Prep your team. Meet with team members - especially newer ones - to see if they are prepared for what happens in the fourth quarter. Listen to their needs and concerns to see how you can help them prepare. Set expectations around prioritizing work, changes to workloads, and staffing around the holidays.
- Create email templates or canned messages for correspondences you expect to be repeatedly sending or questions you anticipate being asked.
- Writing holiday cards should not be left until December, when they become a burden. Write those cards now. Write with the joy and gratitude that will come from not being under a deadline. At the very least, get your recipient list is current.
- Update the often-negotiated provisions in your company’s standard form sales or vendor contracts to tighten up the language or pre-emptively address common redlines. A few hours of work now could save days spent on calls, negotiations, and revisions.
- Look after yourself. Create blocks in your calendar to work for extended periods, deeply, thoughtfully or without interruption. Also schedule time for meditation, exercise, social time, etc. Protect that time. You will need it.
- Gather and organize materials now. If it looks like your company might be taking on an investment or financing or might be sold, get ahead of any due diligence matters now. Gather and organize the contents for a virtual data room. Chase down the missing pieces, such as signatures. Due diligence request lists are standard. If you don't have a list, contact your external counsel or if you don't want to tip your hand to them, contact me and I'll hook you up.