September is a stressful month. It’s back to school and back to a hectic pace at work. Here’s how to handle the ‘mayhem’. 

It’s back to school season, and we’re all trying to settle down after the summer distractions. For the kids, it’s a time of new beginnings: new teachers, new schoolbooks and most importantly new pencils. It’s a time to reset and start again.

But for adults, a feeling of panic can set in. The reality that there are only four months left in 2018. And still so much to do. All those objectives we optimistically set in January, all those plans we made.

Where have those nine months gone?

“Build in some slippage because life always throws up some unexpected things.”

Time to reset

Well, September can be a time of new beginnings in work too. It provides us with a chance to review our year so far and prioritise what we can achieve in the remaining months.

You can refocus, replan and reset yourself for a productive end to the year. How great would it feel to achieve essential goals and finish the year on a high?

“Get yourself a four-month calendar and plan out what you can do when.”

Prioritise

First, identify the most important things to achieve. Then ask yourself the following:

1. What do I have to do to complete this work?

2. Can I break my goals into sub-goals?

3. Do I need help or input from anyone else?

Make a plan

To help you plan what needs to be done to break down the goal into smaller sub-goals. Brainstorm each sub-goal to list out the tangible tasks or actions required. Now decide what can be done when.

1. Are some tasks inter-related?

2. Do some jobs depend on the completion of others?

3. Can you identify key milestones, so you can tell that you are on track?

Now get yourself a four-month calendar and plan out what you can do when. You can use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Excel or merely create a planner yourself on a chart or board.

“It helps to share your plans with a colleague or friend.”

Don’t over plan

Be realistic about how much time you have. You are already busy so where and when can you create “extra” time for these tasks?

Build in some slippage because life always throws up some unexpected things. Be practical. December can’t be treated like a typical month because of all the Christmas activities. Aim to finish your plan mid-December.

Track your progress

Capture the date you complete the work so you can compare your ‘Target Time’ with the ‘Actual Time’.

It helps to share your plans with a colleague or friend. This introduces an element of accountability and motivates you to keep going when your enthusiasm is low.

Find what works for you

Like all our productivity tips at beproductive, we recommend that you modify our suggested approach to find what works best for you. Stretch yourself so you can achieve more.

Have a productive Autumn and let us know how you get on.

moira dunne

Contact us if you would like to arrange a ‘Planning & Prioritisation Workshop’ to help your team excel this Autumn.

Article by Moira Dunne, BeProductive.ie.

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