The holiday season is here, which means your calendar is probably jam-packed with festive gatherings, last minute gift shopping, and kids' concerts. It also means your energy for actual work is probably flagging.
You're not alone. On his blog recently entrepreneur Justin Jackson reports that his company's Slack channel is filled with confessions of employees who are struggling to muster the motivation to get much done.
"I felt in a bit of a slump for a few weeks," confessed one, which prompted a colleague to chime in, "I've been feeling that way as well. Usually happens this time of year for me." While a third admitted, "I seem to have started winding down in October. Maybe my battery is running out." All of which sounds super familiar to me (and also, I should note, is borne out by Productivity research - December is far from the most productive month of the year.)
So is it inevitable that you'll end your 2017 with a whimper instead of a bang? Or is there something we all can do to wring at least some accomplishment out of these last few weeks of the year? Jackson insists it's possible to make something of the scraps of 2017.
While it's natural to take a breath, reflect, and count your blessings during the holiday season, it's still possible to also end your year with a feeling of real accomplishment, so that you'll start 2018 on a high note rather than with a horrifically backlogged to-do list. To wring the last bits of productivity and insight from the year, Jackson suggests this simple three-step process:
Choose one project to finish. You're not going to complete everything before 2018. Look at your project list, and pick one thing you can reasonably complete.
Write a mini year-in-review. Take out a notepad, and write: "What are three things I'm thankful for this year?" In bullet form, list three things. Under that, ask yourself: "What are three things I'd like to improve next year?" Write out a few ideas for 2018.
Do one thing to prepare for 2018. Now is a good time to connect with your coach, or your accountability group, and share your year-in-review. Let them suggest some practical steps you can take in January.
Not only will these steps help you use the last two weeks of the year to their fullest potential, but they'll also help you enjoy the season's festivities, he believes: "Instead of feeling guilty about not getting enough work done, or being stressed about the new year, I can relax."
If you know you've done your utmost to squeeze whatever insight and productivity is possible out of the end of the year, hopefully you can too.