Whilst 2020 has been mostly s#@t and normally at this time of the year we’d be into the Christmas season, looking forward to a relaxed lunch with business partners, having second thoughts that agreeing to a client breakfast and lunch invite on the same day really was such a good idea, all the time hoping the morning coffee is strong enough to banish the lingering effects of that “quick drink” you had after work with your colleagues.
Whilst most of us are still working from home giving little chance of meeting anyone for after work drinks let alone a lunch, there are still a few positive things to do before the festive break that will help get you energised for 2021. Here are seven ideas of things to fill up the time before signing off for the break.
1. Sweat the small stuff
Write a list (no not one for Santa), jot down the little tasks you’ve been constantly putting off and don’t forget to include those things you did finish but would benefit from a little polishing too. Then crack into them to get them done, you’ll feel satisfied and accomplished when you finally check them off
2. Celebrate your success, own your failures
As things quieten down over the next two weeks set aside time to look back at all you have achieved over the last twelve months, remind yourself how awesome you felt with the successes. Also consider the lessons learned from your failures, how did you change because of them? Use this knowledge to help you think through your plans for the new year
3. Re-prioritise projects
Go back over your outstanding projects and give them a good clean them up. Update tasks with manageable deadlines, remove items that you know won’t get done and ones that are no longer needed. Stop following projects that you’re no longer involved with and offer your skills to help others with their projects, you could even set that as one of your goals for 2021
4. Be a better team player
Share what you are doing with your team, provide an end of year status for your projects highlighting what still needs to be completed and let the team know if you’ll need their input to complete them.
Avoid scheduling a bunch of meetings for basic status updates by using project dashboards open for everyone and invite the team to share their comments and feedback via them
5. Learn something new
It’s never too late to learn a new skill, if all you need it time and resources then the next two weeks is the perfect opportunity to get started. There are hundreds of business training resources available for free from the likes of AWS, Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn and many more. You know that you’ll struggle to find the time for learning next year so grab the opportunity now
6. Slow down to go faster
Now is a great opportunity to take advantage of the time you’ve got back from not going out for those seasonal lunches to stop and take a look at your activity in typical week, think particularly about those tasks that you do every day. Consider how, if you didn’t have to do them, you would reinvest that time to make a positive impact on your business, then ask yourself;
“What is the positive impact to the business of that task?” If it’s just Organisational Drag and not making an impact why are you still doing it?
“Can I automate the task?” Work smarter not just harder isn’t just a saying, it’s likely there is a tech solution available that can do those repetitive tasks which would free you up to focus on making that positive impact
Remember the mantra of the US Navy SEALS ‘Slow is smooth and smooth is fast’
7. Manage expectations
Share your plans for the holiday period, if colleagues can see when you aren’t working, they won’t expect any response to questions until you’re back. Leaving you free to kick back and enjoy that mince pie, sausage roll and glass of fizz
The more of these seven ideas you can action over the last weeks of December the easier the start back in January will be, but even if you only find the time to do one of them you can go into 2021 feeling a little smug with yourself knowing that you didn’t spend all that time you had freed up reading lists like this one.