Recently, I quit drinking alcohol for 90 days. I was on the one year no beer podcast and the hosts challenged me to abstain from beer for three months.
During that time, I tasted a particular alcohol-free beer that had a very strong finish.
That’s what I’d like to focus on in this piece today. I want to offer up two ways that will help you have a strong finish to 2016.
1. Start Right Now
When you’re done reading this piece, go into your email settings and turn on your autoresponder. Give yourself what I call a gap day. A gap day acts as a buffer between the day when a holiday or vacation starts and the day before it is set to start. Here’s a sample email that you can use (just add particulars after copying and pasting it into your autoresponder or canned response area of your email program):
*Thanks for your email. I’m going to have limited availability for the next X days as I ring in the new year/go on vacation/will be out of the office. I’ll start replying to emails when I return, but since there will be a backlog I expect it will take me up to 3 business days from the date I get back to work.*
Feel free to add things like who to contact while you are away or to call you if absolutely necessary, but the key is to set the autoresponder now so you know emails are being responded to automatically while you wrap up what you need to do before the end of December.
2. Identify Your “Need To Do” Tasks
Either after work today or first thing tomorrow, make a list of everything you need, ought, and want to do before the week wraps up. You don’t need to break them down into individual tasks – just get them out of your head for now.
Categorize them in columns or put the corresponding letter next to the task (N, O, or W). I’ve placed an example of my own below:
– Send out emails to all Productivityist Coaching clients – N
– Complete all Marker replies for The NOW Year™ Action Plan customers – N
– Get US cash out for trip to Texas next week – O
– Record next week’s bonus podcast for Productivityist Podcast Patreon supporters – W
– Put away video equipment in office – O
Then focus only on the items you’ve marked with N until they are done. Try to segment them out using modes that promote flow. My two “need to do” tasks involve me being in Email Mode, so this mode will make it easier to push through them. Batch your “need to do” tasks by mode where possible to keep things moving forward as well.
If you happen to get through your “need to do” tasks, then move on to the “want to do” ones. Skip the “ought to do” ones because they fall further down on the importance scale.
That’s it. Take the necessary steps so that you can finish strong…just like a good whiskey.