If so, you can use this time to help make 2011 a great year. By getting ready now, you can hit the ground running on that first day back to work after the new year and not waste any time figuring out what to do. You’ll want to work on both your big picture plan and some detail items as well.
Here are some ideas to help you do some planning for 2011 right now:
If you haven’t done any planning for 2011, aim for a simple plan since it’s already December 16. Next year, you can start earlier and be more detailed and complex. Start by looking at a calendar (electronic or paper) and write in all the big events you already know about, including both personal and professional. Some ideas to get you started: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, yearly family events, school events, community events, business events, medical issues and big personal projects like home improvement.
Knowing these events and date ranges ahead of time will help you know when you may be less available to work or simply less productive. Schedule your major business projects around these events. Look at what you want to accomplish in the year and set some time frames. Consider what projects need to be done before others. Look at how you can use yearly events in your marketing – think “back to school sale” or “summer seminar.” Make sure to schedule prep and marketing time before any events or products you launch.
Planning can be done on a much greater scale, but doing just this much should give you a good overview of the year. Knowing the order in which things are happening will help you prioritize what needs to be done first, and will help you know where you are in your yearly journey.
Along with planning, you’ll want to set some numerical targets for the projects you are planning. If you are doing a list-building project, how many new subscribers do you hope to gain? If you are doing some SEO or traffic building, what numbers would tell you you’ve been successful? You don’t always need specific numbers – sometimes just an idea or a direction will do. If you have 500 subscribers now and more than that after your list building project then you know it worked to some degree. If you’re trying to save time on something, the hours spent should be going down.
In my next post, I’ll tell you about how you can prepare your space and files for the new year.