Skip to content
PEAK Grantmaking

Fend Off Post-Summer Panic Before It Even Starts

Summer is upon us, and while you might be dreaming of sunny beaches and lazy summer days, you might also feel anxious about the progress you have not yet made during the first half of the year.

Wasn’t it just January when you were making plans to change the world? And here we are at the midpoint. How much progress have you made in your personal and professional goals? If you are like many of us, not as much as you hoped. Yikes!

With the busyness of summer — family vacations, packing the kids up for camps and activities, and projects around the house — it can be hard to imagine finding the time or the energy to accomplish anything. Once September comes, that post-summer panic quickly sets in and we realize we have less than four months to meet our 2019 goals.

Take a breath, review the numbers, and make a plan to get things done before that panic sets in.

Let’s Get Started

First, take the next few days to plan for success, and the next few weeks to get those plans well underway. Ask yourself some of these questions to help quickly catapult you from your current state to your desired future state.

  • What progress have you made, and what lags behind? Make a list. You might have made more progress than you realize. Feel good about what you HAVE done! Now, get crystal clear about which goals you haven’t tackled.
  • Why have you not made more progress toward the goals you’d like to accomplish? Consider what’s holding you back. Whether it’s needing to involve someone else, waiting for a meeting with a grantee, or not getting approval quickly enough. Address these needs in the next 30 days.
  • What are you trying to accomplish and what is the fastest way you can accomplish it? Make a list of what needs to occur by September 1st to keep you on track, and figure out what you will need to ensure that happens.
  • What’s the 20% of effort that will drive 80% of results? Re-think your commitment to perfection. My rule of thumb is “If you’re 80% there, you move.” The remaining 20% will take 75% more time and not provide much value. You can always tweak and course correct along the way.
  • What could you eliminate in the next 90 days? In order to make progress, we often need to shed the things that hold us back or are no longer needed. Look at your calendar for the next three months and highlight everything that does NOT help you implement your goals, or that you dread doing. Can you eliminate it, delegate it or shorten it? Go for it. Your time should be spent on activities that help you quickly achieve your goals, not drain your energy.
1

Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a global philanthropy expert, advisor, and award-winning author, who helps ultra-high net worth donors, celebrities, foundations and Fortune 500 companies dramatically increase the clarity, speed, impact, and joy of their giving. I’m the author of Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders. I also write about philanthropy for Forbes.com, Alliance Magazine, and others.