One of the powerful features of technology is the ability to refresh or restart whenever needed. It cleans up the mess and starts everything over fresh. It would be nice to have a refresh button on our lives sometimes. For many years, I have used the first week of December to be my Annual Refresh time. Let us look at three specific areas and see how an Annual Refresh can energize our year.
I go through all my files and trash all the unnecessary or unneeded files or papers. This alone keeps the files drawers weeded to a manageable size. Try it. Set aside a day and with a large trash can in hand, open up the file cabinet and start with the first file folder. Ask yourself is this a file I need to keep? If not trash. Can I get this information elsewhere if needed in the future? If so trash. If you need to keep the file then look through the contents and see if any of the contents can be trashed. Continue from A to Z. You will feel great when it is done. If you are scared you might be trashing something you really do need. Then place all the removed files in a bankers box. Store them for a year. And next year when you do the Annual Refresh throw out the previous year’s file. If you have not needed the information you should be comfortable in trashing them permanently.
The first week in December is also a great time to take a long term look at your life. As David Allen says you need to occasionally look at your life from 50,000 feet. If you are using the RoadMap for Change™, this is a good time to look beyond your three year vision and consider your legacy and relationships. Set aside a morning away from the office, a library or coffee shop works well. Then ask yourself what are the long term things you want to accomplish? What is going on in your life and relationships? What do you want your life to look like in twenty years? Start to storyboard the movie of your life. If you are visual draw a picture or close your eyes and see your future. If you are more analytical, write out the summary of your desires. Later in the week you can connect this to your current projects and set next actions.
This month is family time, make emotional deposits into the live of the ones you love. Remember your team extends beyond the ones you work with every day. Look at the section on Ten-Month Planning in my book Attract Clients. This is a great time to commit yourself and your team to accomplishing twelve months of projects in ten months. It works.