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There is no Q5:  5 ways to take control of your 2018 results before it's too late

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 12/6/18 3:37 PM

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There is no Q5!  I saw this headline on something this morning and I almost spit out my coffee.  It's obviously true but I know many people who keep waiting for that magical time.  You know the time that they finally jump on the work necessary to achieve their 2018 goals.  And the thought of this year quickly fading into the past will come as a real surprise and painful reality.  So, if this rings true, don't let the last 3 weeks slip away on you.  Here are 5 ways you can not only end 2018 on a high note, but also start 2019 with some amazing momentum:


  1. Make some White Space

If you've fallen into the habit of being completely reactive or stuck in meetings, the first thing to do is stop the insanity.  Go block off non-meeting, non-reactive time every week until the end of the year.  I'd suggest 20% of your week, but if it feels completely impossible, start with 10% for now and then increase it as you begin the new year.  This may mean planning it further into the future and not waiting for what's left after everyone else has carved up your calendar.


  1. Deep Dives & Sprints

Now that you've freed up a little space, use some of it to take a deep dive into an area that has been holding you back.  Deep dives are interruption free chunks of time where you really dig in and either create, problem-solve, or learn in a massive way.  Remember studying for finals?  Get your coffee, go to your happy place, and surround yourself with everything you need to really dive into something.  Do yourself a favor and save the last 15 mins for your action plan.  What did you learn that you can take action on? 

 Sprints are a little different than deep dives.  Think speed over depth.  Setting your intention on moving through a quantity of work in a set period of time can also be invigorating.  If you have work that’s been hanging because it feels less of a priority but now it's built up into a mountain, you need to get after it so it doesn't kill your morale.  For example, this might be audits you are responsible for or catching up on your expense reports for the year.  This might even be performance appraisals or end of year planning.  For sprints to work you need to set aside a chunk of time and a concrete quantity goal.  For example, 3 performance appraisals in an hour or auditing 5 accounts every day for a week until all 25 are done.    Make it fun!  Challenge yourself to crank it out and then reward yourself with some of the work you enjoy the most.


  1. Create your "Not To Do" List

While everyone is creating there to do list, do just the opposite.  You know what the most impactful things are that you do.  The challenge is making more time for it and it means saying no to your lowest impact things.  What can you delegate to others or flat out refuse to do?  As a young engineering supervisor many years ago, I felt bogged down by a bunch of administrative work and couldn't convince the company I worked for to get me help.  I knew in my heart that I could accomplish so much more if I had the time back in my day.  I felt so strongly about it, I hired a temp out of my own pocket to work at my condo every Saturday for 5-6 hours.  I wish I'd had better influencing skills back then, but I refused to let that stop me from succeeding.  Do what you need to do.


  1. Set your Goals for the next 12 months

Now is the time to create your plan for 2019.  People who know where they are going and what they want to accomplish are just more focused.  That's the simple truth.  I have been doing this for 35 years and honestly believe it's been the most important element in living the life I want to live.  My goals are sometimes audacious and sometimes completely realistic, but they have always made sure I was heading in the right direction.  In fact, if you share this belief and would like to join me in this process, I'm happy to facilitate a free goal-setting webinar to help you craft a set of motivational goals that will power you through the year next year.  We'll focus on both personal and career goals.  If you're interested in participating with a group of like-minded professionals, just shoot an email to me at and I'll include you in the invite.

Mark Cuban wrote, “Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you.”

Where will your future take you? 

Happy holidays!

Topics: Productivity for All

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