Finish the year on top of your business
I am curious as to why so many people get so worn out in the final weeks of the year. We get tired, routines are lost, work becomes unstructured, and endless break up events. I have been that exhausted person many times, sore throat, headaches, and running on five hours sleep. But I now regulate my energy so much more consistently and effectively and the difference is amazing. It helps to release old habits and do things differently. It helps to plan ahead and have time blocked for critical end of year tasks. And it helps to preserve routines and self-care. Let’s take a look at each of these:
Releasing old habits.
Have you ever asked clients and referral partners what, if anything, they really want at the end of the year? I suspect that many have piles of sticky notes attached to what to read during the summer break. Think about your own reading pile, my guess is that it is growing by the day and includes items associated with your own family. Our tendency to write up annual summaries and labor over (and over) notes are perhaps residual attachments to our medical model past. I may be wrong, but if you are delivering a person-centered program within the context of a family and school, then the likelihood is strong that you have communicated effectively for weeks on end about your client’s status. In addition, when the summaries are read monthly, they may not be current later.
Preserve your time.
Yes, hear I go again about the default diary and having tasks blocked in across your week. The end-of-year is the most important time to do this, otherwise you reallocate your precious management minutes to a new client, a quick school visit, an unexpected meeting. And, voila, midnight management creeps in and you lose another evening and weekend on the catch up! It just may be OK to say NO to some competing requests. Several of my coaching clients have a 60-minute slot in the calendar for unexpected clinical events, this is all that’s offered as available and they preserve their management time blocks.
Self-maintenance and routine.
When you are stressed, you need routine, exercise, nutrition, and sleep the most. Yet these items are often the first to be compromised. The end-of-year is a classic case of applying your own oxygen mask first. If you are in suboptimal condition, it is highly likely that your family and business will be depleted too. It’s OK to say No so some invitations in preference for quitter time and maintenance of routine. You’re encouraged to kick-in the exercise program, perhaps engage an exercise buddy or trainer to keep you aligned with your self-care aspirations. Prep up meals prior to busier than usual weeks, order groceries ahead of time online, bag up super snack packs for home and work. The walking meetings I have written about previously, give them a go. Just as we explain to our clients, all the little bits add up.
What would happen if you planned ahead and released some old habits?
How can you preserve your time this end-of-year?
List the self-maintenance activities you won’t compromise this end of year.