When I was more actively pursuing my fitness, I noticed something interesting. At 2/3 of the way through any training workout, I knew I could complete it. The repetitive and incremental nature of training left me with an understanding of my physical and mental capabilities, and with only a third of the workout left I was generally able to describe how the workout had gone. I still had a full third of the workout left, but there were no surprises left in it (well, barring an injury or accident).
It’s the first week of March. The quarter is two-thirds done. If that pattern holds, there are no surprises left. You know how this quarter is going, you know what is coming in the remaining month. So now is a good time for a checkup.
If your workplace, like mine, uses a system of tracking against goals every quarter, now is the perfect time to review your goals from top to bottom. Have you made progress against them all? Are the assumptions that fed the goals still valid, and if not, do you need to change your goals before it’s too late? Is there something you need to do which you haven’t started on? Do you need to shift your priorities?
You’ve probably had your annual performance review by now. Why not take it out and read it again? You probably had some thoughts when you first got your review, maybe some changes you wanted to make, something you wanted to focus on. Did those thoughts fade away or are they still there? In theory, you are one month out from your next year’s review being 25% complete. If you were thinking about doing something differently this year and have made no progress on it yet, you should step back and review your plan.
Bonus Management Work
Are you a manager? Feeling proactive? Do the same thing you just did for yourself for all your team members. But do your own first. Nobody else is going to do this for you.
It goes without saying that you could repeat this exercise every quarter. You could repeat it every month, and a version of it every week, if you had the inclination and discipline. But you should do it now. It’s on my agenda for this week. It should be on yours.