A Year End Sanity Strategy

Person under crumpled pile of papers with hand holding a help siThe end of the year is slowly creeping up on me. I find myself enchanted by the beauty of fall leaves, blissfully thinking these balmy days of sunshine and color will last forever. Yet year end and holiday madness lurk on the horizon, waiting to pounce once Halloween is over.

October and November are the time to gear up to deep dive into uber-time and priority management. No other season of the year puts such pressures on us. The business side bombards us with year-end goals, quarterly number targets, budget submissions and the dreaded annual performance reviews. The personal side has families, friends, entertaining and more.

Let me share with you my time-tested Year-End Sanity Strategy to maximize time management and minimize stress. This system is based on some thoughtful goal setting, then using the goals to guide your decisions around priorities and what to let go.

  • Set 2 – 3 achievable business goals that you can use in the weeks ahead to focus your energies at work. Look at your business plan. What must happen by year end? What would you like to complete? What can you defer to the first quarter of 2013? Write down your goals and post them visibly.
  • Now look at your non-work life and identify the 2 to 3 goals you want to achieve. My bias – makes sure that they focus on people, not tasks like cleaning, cooking and shopping. People are what the holidays are all about.
  • Lastly, look at yourself and set 2 to 3 goals around managing stress and staying healthy. Gear these goals to reflection and renewal. What do you need to do and accomplish to preserve your health and mental well-being? Write these down; add them to your schedule. Make a commitment to look after yourself then keep it.

Use these goals to set your priorities for the next few weeks. Make any action or activity that brings you close to achieving these goals top of the list. Place all the seasonal busy work that drives you crazy at the bottom of the list. Take a deep sigh, pour yourself a glass of your favorite libation, relax and enjoy.