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July Action Item: Mid-year review

Mid-year is a logical time to review, retool and recommit.

Mid-Year Review

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Take a look back at the what you did during the first half of the year. What worked? What didn't? What were the big learnings? What could you change to increase the odds of success in the second half of the year? Capture these thoughts in writing, preferably by hand. Putting these thoughts on the page makes them more concrete. Doing that by hand slows down our brains, which increases the opportunity for deeper reflection. Learn more about why writing by hand is helpful.

Mid-Year Retool

Entrepreneurs and founders work with Margot Lester

Brainstorm strategies for operationalizing your learnings and creating tangible to-dos that move the ball on those odds-increasing ideas. Then identify a couple of processes that you can streamline -- maybe using technology or maybe easing bottlenecks. Create a definition of done for each item on these lists -- an important step that helps us figure out the steps necessary on the road to successful completion. Get as incremental as you can. Related: Stop valuing craft over process

Mid-Year Recommit

Increase content marketing output with The Word Factory

Prioritize the items on your Retool lists (I like the weighted, shortest job first model from Agile) and assign deadlines to them. Then take all those incremental steps and create deadlines for them, too. This is your backlog (another Agile artifact) I like doing this on a separate calendar at first to uncover logjams when too many increments are due at one time, or to address competing priorities. Once you've got the workflow optimized, integrate it into your main calendar and recommit to knocking this stuff out.

Taking time for these activities may seem like a luxury during a short holiday week. But a small investment of time here at midyear will produce downstream benefits later in the year.

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