Time to Get Ahead

The week between Christmas and New Year’s can be restful since lots of people take time off, but this year I used the time to get ahead.

Between now and the middle of the month I am booked almost solid with appointments, trips and meetings. But I have also set a goal to be more consistent in both my blog posting as well developing a new weekly newsletter, the Weekly Course of Action. So instead of just relaxing as I would normally have chosen to do, I got ahead of the curve.

Getting ahead of the curve has long been a goal, but rarely a reality. The challenge for me is two-fold. The first problem is I rarely give myself enough time between when I have an idea and when I want to start implementing it. The second is being motivated when the “real” deadline isn’t for several more weeks.

Creating a buffer between when you develop an idea and when you plan on implementing it seems easy enough, but it can be surprisingly difficult. Either we get excited about an idea and want to share it with the world as soon as possible or we give ourselves a buffer only to let that time be taken by other tasks. The trick is to give yourself some buffer, but not so much that the preparation time loses priority.

By changing a mindset, the “real” deadline is no longer just before the post is scheduled to go up, but instead, it some number of days or weeks in advance. Although it takes effort to get ahead of the curve, once you are ahead, the effort to remain there is significantly less. In addition, if you are working with others, it reduces stress of everyone involved. Activities can be scheduled instead of just acted upon at the last minute.

Of course, this “getting ahead” thing continues to be a work in progress. It is easy to be lulled into a sense of security when things are ready a few weeks in advance. But without warning, plans can get disrupted and all of a sudden you are no longer ahead. So the question remains, how far ahead is far enough? When I get an answer I will let you know!

In the mean time my plan is to have the newsletter go out on Sundays. I have already written up the first 7 or 8. My goal is stay 3 – 4 weeks ahead at any point. Tuesday blog posts will be scheduled and focused on topics I hope you all find valuable. I still need to get a few more of these done since my goal is to be 3 weeks ahead at any point in time. And of course, if you have a question, just drop me an email so I can get it addressed. The Friday blog posts that are part of my “Show Your Work” experiment will happen bi-weekly unless something truly inspirational happens that just has to be shared. Because they are a discussion of process, they really can’t be written ahead of time.

As we begin 2016, I have high hopes for what the year will bring. My most important goal is to help others share their ideas and find or build the confidence they require to make a difference in the world. We can do this, and I look forward to being on the journey with you.

Welcome to 2016 — it is going to be a great year!