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10 Steps for a Productive 4th Quarter

And like that… October is upon us. It being the first Monday of the month we spent some time planning, evaluating, and readjusting. If nothing else, 2020 has taught us that readjustments are vital. How about you?

If you haven’t yet tackled your Q4 planning, now’s the time. Take a piece of blank paper and make three columns: Need to do, Should do, and Would Love to See Done before 2021. This is a brain dump, so blue sky it. Don’t think about what you’re writing down. Nothing is wrong or outrageous. You’ll edit and prioritize it in a bit. If you have lists from prior quarters or months, pull those out. Abandoned list in Trello? Open it. Asana? ToDoist? Take them all out and review them. Anything that is not complete add to one of your three columns or cross it out/check it off/archive it.
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Next, pull out your 2020 business plan, marketing plan, goals, communications plan, etc. Review them. Do these still make sense given COVID-19? If not, consider how to amend them. Determine your goals for the next three months; write them down.

Back to your three-column list! Highlight or circle each item that correspond to the goals you just wrote down. Prioritize based on Need/Should/Would love and then refine them into Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not important, Important/Not Urgent, and Not Important/Not Urgent.

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So armed, you’ll be able to productively plan out your next three months. Scan your quadrant Monday mornings to remind yourself of your year-end plans. It will help you stay focused when you find yourself going down fascinating but completely unnecessary rabbit holes!

10 Steps for a Productive 4Q2020

  1. Three columns: Need to do, Should do, and Would Love to See Done
  2. Review all old 2020 lists and add to your columns (or mark done)
  3. Review all 2020 plans: business, marketing, strategic/goals, communications, etc.
  4. Evaluate and readjust as needed.
  5. Set year-end goals.
  6. Highlight items on three-column paper that correspond with year-end goals
  7. Prioritize
  8. Make a priority quadrant: Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not important, Important/Not Urgent, and Not Important/Not Urgent
  9. Plan next three months
  10. Scan priority quadrant Monday mornings to stay on-track.

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