I really hate to sound just like everyone else but I can’t believe it’s December! It’s such a cliché to talk about ‘how quickly time is going’ but sometimes I think the reason it’s such a conversation starter (filler?) is because it’s only when we look up from what we are doing, or it’s brought to our attention because our monthly bills have come out of our bank accounts, that we realise it’s happening. So, what happens when we are hurtling towards the end of the year and we are hit with the panicked thought of ‘what did I even get done?!’.
For the last few years, I haven’t enjoyed the global fascination with checking off the days until Christmas. That’s because for me Christmas = the end of the year (no one really does anything between Christmas Eve and New Years Day, do they?), and, instead of it being a ‘wahoo! End of the year! Come at me, New Year’ moment, for me it’s a ‘oh my god, what’s happening, why am I getting old, did I get the things done’ moment.
This year, I’m trying to look at things differently. Not just because I actually want to enjoy the anticipation of Christmas (some would argue that the anticipation is the best bit. I am some) but also because I’ve realised that my business and my life don’t actually need to have expiration dates.
Of course, I’m not saying that I don’t have regular deadlines – far from it. In my business, I have daily, weekly and monthly deadlines that I need (try) to meet in order to grow and to inch closer to where I want my business to end up. But, I’ve started to realise that focusing too much on our deadlines and giving every task a specific ‘must be done by now’ date can do more harm than good.
When you’re running your business, or a department or a project at work, you need to remember that your biggest and most important ‘deadlines’ are most likely going to be constant, running things. You can’t make a useful to-do list if you only list things that will realistically take a year or longer to complete (hint: ‘have a successful business’ is not an item to have on your list – when would you check that off as done?). Instead, you need to focus on the small things you can get done that will take you one step closer to your big goals. This is the best way to overcome the end-of-the-year panic.
So, with 3 working weeks left until Christmas Eve, how can you make the most of them and end 2018 feeling accomplished and ready to take on the New Year? It’s time to do a Santa and make a list (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
The difference between this list and, if you’re like me, every other to-do list you’ve ever made is that this one should contain only those few things that you can legitimately get done in 3 weeks that will put you in a good position come January. As an example, here’s my list: – create 4 pieces of content for my business website’s blog – do an hour a week of the two training courses I signed up to – make a plan for the things I want to do in January.
It doesn’t seem like much but I know that I can get these 3 things done between now and December 21st (when I’ll stop for Christmas) and that, by doing them, I will feel less antsy about the end of the year and more motivated about moving into 2019.
What 3 things can you get done by the end of 2018? What 3 things can you do that in the remaining 3 working weeks of the year that will move you closer to where you want to be in 2019?
Trust me, friend, I know it’s hard to focus on the small steps. I get so overwhelmed sometimes, it’s crazy. So join me, let’s make a new tradition – let’s do what we can now and then chill out and enjoy the festivities. I really believe that you can do this; all you have to do is try.I’d love to know your 3 things and if you have any other tips; let me know in the comments!