How a Productivity Season Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Goal line on football field

Reaching your goals is like reaching the end zone

Sunday night, the NFL season came to an end. What started at the end of July with 32 teams in training camp, finished with one team holding the Lombardi trophy. Those 32 teams, if they haven’t already, will soon start working towards the 2018 season.

 

I often use sports analogies when helping my clients improve their productivity. For example, I compare clients’ goals to a sports team’s goal of winning a championship. When my clients are setting their goals, I often ask my clients to define their season as well.  Football has football season, clients have a productivity season. Defining a productivity season helps put a time limitation on goals, and also provides a foundation for planning, executing, and reviewing those goals.

 

How do you define your productivity season?  A season can be any length (calendar year, fiscal year, quarter, month, etc), as long as it has a specific start and end date. Whatever time period you select should include your peak or busy season, that time of year when demands are highest. Most businesses have a busy season. For example, the busy season for many retailers is the holiday shopping season starting on Black Friday. For tax and accounting professionals, it’s January through April 15th. Think of your season like football season. There’s a preseason, a regular season, a postseason, and an offseason.

 

Preseason – a period prior to the beginning of the regular season which is devoted to training and preparation

Preseason is the time for determining your goal for the upcoming season and establishing and getting used to the systems and tools you’ll use. If you’ve decided you’re going to use Quickbooks to track your business financials, preseason is when you set it up and learn how to use it.

 

Regular season – the portion of the year in which regulated games are in session in order to determine which teams advance to the postseason

During the regular season, you’ve started to use your systems and tools to make progress towards your goal. It helps to have benchmarks or milestones along the way to make sure you’re on target for meeting your goal and whether you need to make any adjustments to your systems before the busy season hits.

 

Postseason – the period after the end of the regular season during which additional games are played, especially to determine a champion

The postseason starts when your busy season kicks in. In the postseason, the competition gets tougher and challenges get bigger. The higher demands of the busy season often push your systems to the limit. All or most of your adjustments to your systems should have already been made because there’s no time for big changes in the postseason. At the end of the postseason/busy season, you’ll know whether you’ve succeeded or failed to reach your goal.

 

Offseason – a time of suspended or reduced activity; the time during which an athlete is not training or competing

The offseason is the time to recharge and review. After the demands and stress of the postseason, it’s important to recharge both physically and mentally. Once you’ve recovered, then take time to reevaluate. Ask questions. If you failed to reach your goal, figure out why and what you need to do differently. If you succeeded, still ask questions: Why were you successful and you consistently replicate that success? The answers to those questions will help you as you cycle back into a new preseason with new goals, tools, and systems.

 

Using a productivity season helps many of my clients and can help you consistently set and achieve goals to increase your productivity.

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