Gift-wrapping season is here! But before we go full-on festive, we bet you still have a few loose work ribbons to tie up to finish the year strong. The last thing we want is a lack of closure and a pile of unfinished tasks waiting for us in 2023. That’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out for you. Here’s an easy plan to help you end the year feeling accomplished and excited for what’s next!
Why It’s Important to Finish The Year Strong
Finding proper closure at the end of every year is crucial for a smooth headstart to the new one. This is rooted in our psychology as temporal landmarks (also known as the fresh start effect) (1).
A study in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that people were more likely to meet a six-month deadline if it began in June and ended in December than if it started in July and ended in January (2). The new year divides time; deadlines before it are more pressing than those after it, which appear distant. Hence, whatever projects you have left in the coming week might be worth that one final sprint!
Not only that, when we wrap things up nicely before going off on our holidays, it helps us “close the books” and start fresh. This process also allows us to reflect on our achievements and let go of the regrets from the past year. And we all know that starting with a clean slate gives us that extra motivation to improve and do better.
Your Ultimate End-of-Year Checklist
In a few days, 2022 will come to an end. This can feel overwhelming since it feels like there’s still so much work to be done. But no matter where you’re at, here are a few tips to help you finish wrap things up as you head into the holiday season:
1) Tick off that final to-do list
We get it. There’s just too much to do. That’s why we encourage you to double down and prioritize the vital few. Create a realistic master to-do list that’s shared across your team. Sticking to that list means knowing what to laser into and what distractions to avoid.
Doing so gives everyone, including yourself, clarity and motivation to finish before closing the books. Checking off that one big project will also be a source of relief - kind of like an early Christmas present to everyone.
2) Finish strong with the team
To finish the home stretch with a bang, we need the whole team to stay focused and run towards the same direction. Everyone plays a role in keeping comms extra transparent and doing their part to help the team finish strong.
Managers and team leaders can also promise post-project incentives to keep everyone’s eyes on the prize. That may look like an end-of-year luncheon or mini getaway. These get-together sessions are a great way to set everyone up for a positive and productive New Year too.
3) Clean your workspace
This goes back to the clean-slate effect. Unless you’re inspired by clutter, give your workspace a good declutter before ending the year. Clear out your desk drawers, and give your desk a wipe. Polishing up your physical space does help you go into the new year feeling lighter mentally.
The same goes for your digital workspace. Set aside some time to organize your email inbox too, electronic files, and browser tabs. Consider setting up an auto-responder during these busy times and as you go on leave. This takes the mental load off by automatically letting people know you’re out-of-office or that you’ll respond after crunch season.
4) Acknowledge wins, forgive mistakes
Tis’ the season for celebrations - this includes celebrating all you’ve achieved this year. Acknowledge what you’ve done well and replicate or build on them next year. Taking stock allows you to identify the things that have been most meaningful for you.
It also helps to think about any challenges or regrets that you’ve faced. I’m sure 2022 was no short of difficult moments. This is a good time to extract all the valuable lessons, forgive yourself, and leave those regrets behind. Doing this exercise sets the stage for the goals you want to achieve in the next year too!
5) Finally, rest up
After you’ve done all of the above, don’t forget to recharge those batteries. You’ve worked your butt off the past 12 months. And we want to see you start 2023 feeling refreshed and ready to slay those shiny new goals.
So, go to that holiday party. Catch up on that Netflix show you’ve been putting off. Have a few more family dinners. Do whatever you need to do to sit back, relax, and spend some quality time with the people you love. You deserve it!
It is easy to fall into the twilight zone and fall into a slump as we anticipate the final weeks of the year. But finishing your work year on a good note is more important than you think. And it’s never too late to make a difference for the better. So, let’s create some positive momentum so that we can charge into a happier and healthier new year!
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