There’s a natural impulse at year’s end to review and assess events and achievements. Goal-oriented people like to measure progress in order to make adjustments, review what they’ve learned, and decide how they want to move forward. Often, though, our view is colored by recent events, and/or we focus on whatever didn’t meet our standards and forget about everything else. While those two data points are important, they do not tell the whole story.
This is where what many dub their “freak-out” file becomes invaluable. This is the file where you’ve been putting all the “atta boy” emails, your notes on the results of projects you were responsible for, and random nice comments you’ve received over the past year. Not only does this information help you appropriately assess your own value, it allows you to easily construct case studies for future projects and performance conversations. It will also help you when you’re feeling down or unsettled at work. This simple action provides one of the biggest payoffs you can get, yet many neglect to do so. Do yourself a favor and start this habit today.