It’s the end of year! Hooray! Holiday parties! Family visiting from afar! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
This year many of our cherished end-of-year rituals are cancelled (except for pesky work deadlines—I’m looking at you, year-end close.) But even without “all the normal stuff”, December still somehow feels busy as ever. We’ve been through enough this year. No one needs more stress. So, here are few ideas to help you survive the December hustle-and-bustle with your sanity intact:
Think in sprints, not marathons
Take stock of everything you need to do, break it into manageable chunks, and create a battle plan. Slot in each task with extra hours for padding so you don’t get overwhelmed. (It’s a fact that December hours fly by faster than normal hours, so plan accordingly.) Celebrate little victories as you complete each task, and before you know it, you’ll be toasting 2021.
Create “strategic partnerships”
Even if you’re hunkering down at home, chances are you’re not really alone.* Make strategic partnerships with the people in your life—your co-workers, your kids’ teachers, or your family members. Collaborate with these “partners” to help each other get through coming weeks successfully. Work together to set expectations, tackle projects, and create innovative ways to 2020-ize meaningful traditions.
For real, be realistic
This year isn’t going to be the same. It just isn’t. Also, you’re probably not going to get everything you wanted to do done. And, that’s ok. There can still be magic and joy—even you don’t check off everything on your to-do list. In fact, you might as well celebrate your freedom from the to-do-list tyranny now.
Don’t give up on fun
Just because the world is nuts doesn’t mean you can’t take time to relax. Spending just 15 minutes doing something you enjoy is proven to lower your stress and make you more productive. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic, when we all had zoom meetups with our friends on the regular? Schedule some more. Not your scene? Pencil in time to read a great book or take a long bath. Run around barefoot in the snow and send the “shocking” videos to your friends in California. Whatever you enjoy, take some time to do it.
Focus on the future
2020 has been a year of opportunities and obstacles. Whether you noticed or not, we’ve all gained incredible strength and resilience. Now we get to be intentional with defining 2021 and setting the stage for a successful, even better year. The work we do now will define how we are set up for this in the future in all areas of our life.
Obviously, these are just a few ways to make December manageable. This month (actually, all of 2020) I’ve been reminding myself that with my “partners”, a little bit of planning, and great, big dose of hope—we can all work together to make the future bright.
Let me know what tactics are helping you survive December!
At Salo, we match senior consultants in HR, finance, and accounting with organizations that need their help. If you need help with year-end finance and HR tasks, let us know. Our expert consultants can help.
*2020 has been isolating for many people and many of the normal social outlets aren’t available. If you feel truly alone over the holidays, don’t be afraid to ask for help.