As the summer heats up in the city, the pressure to meet all of your start-of-year objectives is probably the last thing on your mind. Catching up with friends or colleagues over an afternoon Jamba Juice and finalizing the trip you’re taking in August with your significant other are probably more pressing matters. But now that Independence Day celebrations are over, you have probably completed your mid-year review process. If you were diligent, took good notes, and had a productive two-way conversation with your manager, you should have a pretty clear roadmap for what the organization expects from you through year-end. The question now is, how are you going to make sure that you put that feedback into actionable steps, realistic goals, and reachable results? Below are three tips to help you compose a strong game plan to keep you on track.
Set realistic priorities
The first step in allowing yourself to turn your mid-year feedback into action is to prioritize your goals. Time will be extremely limited as you move forward toward the end of the year, and you have to know what projects, if not completed on time, will not derail any promotion or bonus. You and your manager should have a pretty good idea of what really needs to get done. Make sure you are both on the same page and agree to upcoming action steps.
Schedule check-in dates with your manager now
Go to your Outlook or Gmail calendar and plan out specific dates where you and your manager can meet to discuss your progress. Force yourself to have tangible, measurable results for each of those meetings. The bigger the project, the more critical it is to break it down into digestible pieces so that you can see positive momentum. Planning out these meetings also communicates to your boss that you are taking full responsibility for your product quality and career.
Communicate your goals to a colleague who can hold you accountable
Keeping your goals to yourself is an easy way to rationalize procrastination. Taking a page from anyone who has ever tried to live up to or maintain a diet, getting a buddy involved can be a strong motivator. Let your friend know where your development areas are based on the meeting you had with your boss and encourage that person to keep you on your toes about what you are doing to get things done.
Implementing these three steps can be helpful come the fall, and as the summer moves into August and September when things can slow down, not taking the initiative now can prove rather costly to your overall efficiency. Take advantage when you can and ensure that you’ll be putting your best foot forward come year-end.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.