I was reflecting the other day as to just how different the end of the year feels to now.
It reminds me of something David Allen says in his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – “Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others.”
I’d say it’s a universal impulse to want to have things done before we close up for the end of year holidays. I’ve noticed that my clients, my friends, and myself definitely prefer to come back to a clean workspace, a clear direction, and an empty inbox. It drives us to tie up loose ends, to get on top of things, to action tasks that we’ve been putting off. It’s an amazing spurt of power!
So how can we bottle this up and use this feeling throughout the year?
By cleaning up, closing up, clarifying, and renegotiating agreements with yourself and others WEEKLY. Not just yearly but weekly. Review your priorities and tasks weekly. Our brains are great for having ideas, not so much for holding on to them. By reflecting and reviewing what’s on your plate you’re setting yourself up for a successful following week.
The holiday mode sauce is also a great way to overcome procrastination. Work as though you had only one day to get your most important jobs done AND that you’re heading off somewhere fabulous at the end of it! If you were leaving town for two weeks, what would you make absolutely sure that you got done before you left? Whatever your answer, get to work on that task right now!
Forward planning is something I love doing. And I work with clients to help them learn how to do this too. We review their current priorities and get the ball rolling on projects that they find they aren’t getting to. We review their upcoming week and start scheduling in exactly when they will do tasks. This way it’s no longer wishful thinking, it becomes reality.
And it’s actually fun to do too! A client recently left this testimonial:
After my first session with Christie, I had the most productive week in years! And it even included a 3 day holiday with my family. Christie taught me how to plan my time in advance, and to create a visually appealing and balanced calendar combining work, family and fun. It’s got me excited about my days and keeping me productive and present.