The idea is simple. If you’re planning your business goals around the belief that you have 52 weeks to work on them, you may need to rethink things.
When we begin to account for how much time we (rightfully) commit to living a full life outside of our work lives, it becomes clear that we do not have 52 FULL weeks to accomplish our business goals.
To give us the clearest picture of the time we have, we need to account for our vacations, short weeks due to a holiday, weeks shortened due to juggling personal and work commitments.
This comes into focus around the end of each year for me. In the US, the Thanksgiving holiday occurs in the third week of November and kicks off a very holiday-packed period.
Even if you don’t celebrate all of the holidays, your clients, customers, vendors, and contractors may. So, they may not be as available over the six to eight period from mid-November through the New Year. And truthfully, for many people, things don’t settle in until around the second week of the New Year. So we need to plan for this.
As I noted in “Success Frames,” there are many other things we may need to plan around throughout the year. If you are a parent, there may be school vacations that will disrupt your normal flow.
Here’s a summary of how you might approach using this very simple template..
There are four columns: Date, Full, Partial, and Off.
The date for each of the 52 weeks starts on Monday. You can change the top date and the formula will do the rest.
- Start your annual planning by prioritizing time with family or friends.
- Mark any weeks you will be off.
- Look at weeks that may be shorter due to holidays, school vacation, or weeks of transition. By planning for them, you can plan around them.
- Mark and weeks that would be considered partial.
Everything that is left can be marked as FULL.
As you look at the results you want for next year in your business, you now have a clear picture of the time resources available to commit to achieving them.
One last thought… I was recently reminded by my friend Robbie Grayson who emailed me with this beautiful addition.
“It would make sense to include dates that carry emotional weight as well.”
He’s right. And I shared this story with him.
While we are sure we will never forget those dates, I know from personal experience they have a way of sneaking up on us years later.
My mother, sister, and I have talked about how even decades after my father’s passing, we would find ourselves just feeling…off for several days.
We may be more emotional, disorganized, or generally out of sorts. But we did not understand why that was. And then, we’d realize it was the week leading up to the anniversary of my father’s death.
It’s almost like an ‘unconscious rhythm’ (as Robbie later put it) stirs up those feelings. So, yes, it makes a lot of sense to include dates that also carry emotional weight.
I hope this exercise is helpful for you and if your year is anything like mine, you probably have fewer weeks to work with than you thought.