15 Dec Top 10 Tips to Have a Productive and Successful End of Year
It’s easy to be overwhelmed during the last weeks of the year when the busiest holiday season coincides with the pressure of so many end-of-the-year tasks that need to be completed. In a recent poll, an incredible 88% of respondents believe that the month of December is the most stressful time of the year! Without a good plan, you might find yourself low in both productivity and holiday cheer. Here are our top 10 tips to have a productive, successful, and joyful end of the year.
Tip 1 | Make a List
Santa is not the only one who needs to live by a list this time of year! Sit down and brainstorm all of the things you want to accomplish by December 31st. You can categorize them by areas of your life, like personal tasks and work tasks. You could also sort them by type of tasks such as phone calls, emails, projects, errands, and appointments.
Tip 2 | Check it Twice
Next, take a page out of St. Nick’s playbook and revisit the list. This time, be brutally honest with yourself about what are critical tasks and what you can realistically expect to get done between now and the clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve. If your pared-down list still seems like more than you can handle, see what you can delegate to others.
Tip 3 | Time Blocking
Once you know what tasks must get done, figuring out when to get them done is the important next step. One of the best productivity tools is time blocking. To do this, pull up your Artful Agenda’s week view, and after making sure that all of your appointments and engagements are recorded see what time is available for accomplishing your year-end tasks. Then block out those time slots on your calendar for the different types of tasks on your list.
Tip 4 | Block Out Distractions
Think about your work environment and what distractions tend to get in the way of your productivity and take steps to reduce them. If there is too much chatter going on around you to concentrate, close your office door, or maybe you can do some work from home. If having to get up for water or coffee interrupts your train of thought, use a large insulated bottle or mug to minimize trips for refills. You could also turn off your notifications and put your phone out of reach while you are doing deep-focus work. Lastly, give serious consideration to one of the biggest distractions of all, meetings! Of course, some meetings are important, but often they are not the best use of your time when you’re up against a deadline. Decide if you are better off skipping a meeting and use the time to grind through your task list instead.
Tip 5 | Declutter All the Spaces
There is probably some physical, mental, and digital baggage that you don’t need to take into the new year. Spend a few minutes a day decluttering all the spaces. Look around your home and office for old items that are ready to be tossed or items you hardly used that can be donated. What about emails, texts, images, and files that can be deleted or archived? Decluttering in different areas of your life can help to give yourself a fresh start and potentially provide more mental clarity!
Tip 6 | It’s OK to Say No
Even if you would like to attend every event you are invited to, volunteer for every worthy cause, and participate in every heartwarming holiday tradition, saying yes to something inevitably means saying no to another. Prioritize what is most important to you and your family and practice a polite “No, sorry I can’t do that this time around.”
Tip 7 | Schedule Rest
One of the best ways you can finish up the year is by resting up. Sleep is crucial for self-preservation especially when you are getting pulled in many directions over the holidays. If you are repeatedly not getting enough rest, motivation will inevitably wane when you are tired. Scheduling rest and making it a priority will help you store energy up to get going with your year-end goals!
Tip 8 | Get Outside
The short, dark days of late autumn and early winter can affect your mood and your productivity. If possible try to get at least ten minutes of sunshine every day. It can help you clear your mind and brighten your outlook, which in turn will give your productivity a boost.
Tip 9 | Embrace the Art of Hygge
It is hard to be productive when you are uncomfortable! If all you can think about is how to get warm it will be difficult to focus on your current project. The Danish practice of hygge, or creating cozy, comfortable spaces that foster a sense of well-being and contentment can enhance your productivity as well. So keep your space toasty and add scents and textures to your environment that give you that cozy feeling.
Tip 10 | Start on Next Year’s Goals
Finally, one of the best ways to finish the year strong is by getting ready to hit the ground running with your goals for next year. Start a list in your Artful Agenda in the List tab with all of the goals you want to achieve in the following 12 months. Then after the new year, you can begin to assign them to any of the Monthly or Weekly goals sections, or even to your specific task boxes in the day view.
If you haven’t yet experienced the huge boost in productivity that using a digital planner that is both functional and fun can provide, you can take advantage of our FREE two-week trial and end the year on a high note and set yourself up for success for next year!