1 – Get Ahead – to be successful

To get ahead means to be successful in your career or life; to make more progress than others:

You need to make lots of connections in order to get ahead in this industry.

2 – (Not) Measure Up – (not) satisfactory

If something doesn’t measure up; it means it is not satisfactory; it doesn’t compare well with the standards.

This designer’s work just doesn’t measure up to the quality we’ve come to expect.

3 – Zero In On – focus closely

To zero in on something means to focus closely on it.

We’ve tried a lot of strategies, but we need to zero in on what’s actually working.

4 – Pencil In – unconfirmed appointment

To pencil in an appointment means to set the appointment, but not confirm it as final.

Let’s pencil in a lunch meeting next Wednesday – but I’ll call you later to confirm it.

5 – Sign Off On – give official approval

To sign off on something means to give official approval for it.

The manager signed off on the revised budget for 2015

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