The obvious choice for the most important milepost in our annual circle of life is January 1. But Labor Day may be even more significant.
At the start of the New Year, you have 365 (or 366) days of open water ahead. The holidays are done and you are focused and renewed. Your goals and visions for the year are clearly defined and optimism is the rule.
But as September begins, there is a real sense of urgency. It’s time to evaluate what’s been accomplished so far this year and what remains to be done. As the distractions of summer (recreation, vacation, etc.) are replaced by new distractions (school activities, holiday planning, etc.), take time to zoom in on the most vital aspects of your professional and personal lives.
With Labor Day approaching, here are some things to consider:
- Catch up on record keeping. File away loose receipts. Organize those stacks of letters, business cards, invoices, etc. in your workspace.
- Delete emails that you are clogging up your inbox. Scroll through those that remain to make sure you didn’t miss or forget something.
- Review your prospect lists. Was there someone you gave up on in April that may be worth a revisit? Is there someone you’ve been courting all year that you need to stop wasting time on?
- Revise your projections. Did you add or lose a significant client/customer that affects your income and tax obligation? Have the heat wave, the drought and gas prices been factors in your income through the year’s first 8 months? Is it time to terminate a part of your business that is not profitable?
- Are there commitments you made earlier this year—to clients or to family members—that need to be fulfilled? This could be as simple as following up on a vague “let’s do lunch” or as complex as completing a languishing long-term project.
- Take note of your positive outcomes. Ask satisfied clients to write letters endorsing your work. List achievements on your website and your resume.
- Plan ahead for the holidays. If you plan to travel, book now. If you are planning to give big gifts or do big entertaining, take action now.
- Regarding your personal health: Have you gained or lost weight since January? Do you need to schedule medical/vision checkups?
- Take inventory of your time and how you budget it. Should you spend more or less time at the gym, networking, on social media, watching TV, taking a college course, solidifying your best relationships, patching up your worst relationships? Should you devote more time to your job, your family, your health, your community, your yard, etc.?
After Labor Day, we have just 119 days left in 2012. The pressure is on. Let’s roll.
Note: Next new post is this space will appear September 6.