Q4 · 2017Control the heat of the year end3 areas to focus on to not only have a strong, but also a fulfilled Q4

The year is drawing to a close and for some of us this means looking back and reviewing what we wanted to achieve and what we could have achieved. For others it means that procrastination must come to an end and hidden energy must be mobilized to get things done – before we reach 2018. We managed to get through all our tasks and overcame many challenges so far, so we will somehow also make it through Q4 too. Right?

Have you taken your whole life into account?

Most of you tell me that Q4 is the busiest quarter in the year: things need to be closed out before the year-end, the planning of the new year, year-end appraisals for your team members etc. You have a lot on your plate, on top of your «normal» performance. So you invest more energy to get things done in time – at the office. And then most of you are looking forward to the holidays to recover. But what most people do not really consider in their planning of Q4 is their «whole life», not just work.

Let’s be honest: how much time – and, much more importantly, energy – is left for you, your family and your friends in this period BEFORE the holidays? We focus so much on ending the year strongly at work that we rarely carve out time to carefully plan in moments with our loved ones. We put this off until the holidays.

Of course, the holidays ARE a great opportunity to get together and spend some quality and peaceful time together. But this year, why not have a different mental approach and aspire not only to ending the year strong, but also fulfilled, rather than tired and exhausted?

Make a difference this year: 3 areas where you can have an immediate impact

How about making a true difference this year: instead of somehow making it through this busy quarter, turn things around and put yourself in a different mental position and not only aspire to end the year strong, but also fulfilled. Focus on the three following areas where you can have an immediate impact:

1. Purpose

Think about your core values, who you really are, and what you stand for – professionally and personally. Understanding your core values is the basis for creating an inspiring vision leading you through all kinds of decisions. What made you who you are? What were your most important life decisions based on? And what are you doing it all for? Now plan concrete actions for the upcoming weeks where you can make a true and distinct difference in your job and in your personal life. Make sure these actions are not an abstract mishmash of what you should do, but laser sharp single tasks that can be executed immediately.

2. People

Find out who matters to you the most – in your job, your family and among your friends. A network with people inspiring you and reminding you of your strengths, values and drives can provide you with insights and new perspectives. So retain energy for your family: responding to their stories and issues adequately is a key performance moment in your private life. In this particular intense year-end period, be a «giver». Research has shown that executives who «give» more than they take achieve more success professionally and have a more fulfilling life.

3. Progress

On a daily basis, keep your motivation up by making progress on the things you most want to succeed. Establish habits and routines that enable you to be mentally, emotionally and physically at your best – not only at work but also at home. Define moments, events and steps that signify valuable progress, proving your productivity. Carve out two 45-minute periods of «focus time» where you do nothing except working on one specific, crucial topic – and remember that rather than managing your time, manage your energy.

I wish you all a successful Q4 and a fulfilling year-end, not just starting when the holidays begin, but right now.

Best wishes,