Surviving the End of the Year

Posted on Dec 1, 2011

It’s now just a short matter of weeks until Xmas and it’s been another busy year. And whilst it will soon be time to celebrate with family and friends, I imagine you still have a lot to get through.

So how do you survive the end of year wrap up and stay motivated – when really you’d rather just go on holiday right now!

Take a deep breath and follow these 5 steps:

1.  Do – write a list of everything you need to do before the end of the year, but avoid piling on everything in the race towards Xmas – you’re only human! Scribble your list on a piece of paper or whatever’s easiest for you and don’t think about any of the items whilst you’re doing this. The main aim of this exercise is to get everything out of your head and where you can see it, so you can start working through it – trust me it will relieve some of the pressure. And if you’re already starting to think about next year start another list to record those items, but avoid putting off too many items until next year. It may seem like an easy way to postpone some work and 2012 may still seem far away, but the last thing you want when you return from holidays is a big to do list. Deal with as much possible now.

2.  Edit – now that you’ve got your list, delegate anything you can, remove anything which isn’t achievable before the end of the year and ask yourself these questions with every remaining item – does this add to my bottom line, cover a compliance issue or strengthen my business? If it doesn’t, save yourself the trouble and remove it.

3.  Plan – now you know what you need to do, break it down into smaller chunks so it’s not so overwhelming. Don’t worry about how you will get through it all, just start planning as best as possible when you will do each item (taking into account how long it may take). If you use an electronic calendar, schedule it in there or any other way which works for you. And when you’re done scheduling pick one small thing that’s easy to do right now and do it – you will feel like you’re making a start and it will give you a much needed positive boost!

4.  Dream – the new year is a time to achieve new things so take time to dream a little. This isn’t about listing all the jobs for next year. Think about what you’d like to do and what would make you happy – when’s the last time you asked yourself that? Whether it’s a personal or business dream write it down and get excited about it! The new year is an opportunity to start fresh so try to focus less on the work the new year brings and instead upon the new opportunities it presents.

5.  Relax – even if you’re unable to take time off over Xmas it’s still a time when
things are usually slower and there’s extra public holidays. And let’s be clear – it’s okay to feel worn out and lacking motivation after a year of hard work – don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve put in a lot of effort and had a lot of challenges, so make sure you find a way to switch off and release some tension these holidays. For me personally turning up the music really loud at home and singing at the top of my voice works for me (and yes I am admitting to that!). Find your special way to relax and recharge.

Lastly and most importantly raise a glass to yourself this Xmas for completing another year in business and for all that you’ve achieved – Cheers to you!