Welcome to the last What’s on the Workbench post of 2023! We made it! The year is at an end. (Some) projects, campaigns, and budgets are wrapping up and about to start fresh in the new year.

Both in the workshop and in my office, I like to use the last week of the year, between the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Day, as a time to take stock of what’s around. It’s a great time to do some cleaning out of things that have piled up, clean where needed, and start things fresh for the new year. Overall, in both spaces, it helps me feel like I’m starting things off well organized when new projects commence on January 2.

Inevitably, as I’m cleaning out, I come across notes and to-do lists for projects throughout the year. Sometimes I can make sense of them, sometimes I can’t, but it’s always interesting to try and place what was being done at that time.

With 2024’s strategic plans written, containing shiny new goals and updated tactics, looking back can seem counterproductive. But I would argue that sometimes it’s helpful to understand where you’re coming from in order to better get to where you want to go.

Hence the title of this post – checking the rearview. While it’s not always helpful to stare into it – lest you fail to see what’s right in front of you – a check every once in awhile helps out.

Do you have a year-end routine at the office? What do you find helpful to prepare you for the new year and the fresh slate of projects ahead?

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and new year. Here’s to bringing on 2024!