Christmas is just around the corner and there are only a handful of working weeks left to complete our 2021 projects, tie up all those loose ends, and begin planning for the first few weeks of the new year. If you’re craving the opportunity to entirely switch off from work so you can enjoy some much-needed time off with family and friends over the festive period, it’s time to look at what you can do NOW to finish the year on a high!
In this blog, I’d like to share my top 5 tips for ending the year feeling satisfied and prepared for what 2022 has in store. I hope you find them helpful!
1. Learn from the year
2021 has been another roller coaster of a year. January is always a bit of a depressing time with credit card bills looming, long, dark nights and that post-Christmas melancholy. But this year was even more difficult, starting with lockdown number three, which I think took its greatest toll on our mental wellbeing.
When you look back over your year, what have been your biggest professional successes? It’s worth taking the time to review what’s gone well, so you can jot down a few actions you could take in 2022 to replicate these accomplishments or even improve upon them!
We can all gain a little wisdom by looking at our failures or things that didn’t quite go to plan. What went wrong and how could we prevent it from happening again?
If you haven’t already scheduled an end of year 1:1 with your line manager, I recommend booking one in if possible. Then, use this vital conversation to find out how you’ve performed in 2021 and begin setting clear objectives for the forthcoming year. That way, when you return in the new year, you’ll be ready and raring to go!
If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled in your career or crave a healthier work-life balance, a new year is a fantastic opportunity to start afresh. Again, it may be helpful to reflect on what you’ve enjoyed about your career in 2021 and what’s leaving you feeling frustrated or exasperated!
For more information on how to pull yourself out of a career rut, I think you’ll find my previous blog helpful.
2. Review your networks
Some working relationships come naturally, whilst others take patience and understanding. One thing is clear though; solid professional relationships are the key to business success.
Here are a few steps you can take to review your professional networks:
- Make a list of individuals whose contributions have had the most significant impact on your performance. Why not send them a quick email or pick up the phone to thank them for their hard work, collaboration and support? Helping someone else finish their year on a high will give you a boost too!
- Identify the connections that are failing to live up to expectations or deliver to their full potential. If you can then pinpoint the obstacles or issues, you can begin to outline the steps you can take to improve these working relationships in the new year.
- Decide if you need to expand your networks and pledge to up your networking game in 2022! This could be using LinkedIn to your advantage or creating networking opportunities within your current organisation.
3. Catch up with your team
If you manage a team, get them together to review how they feel the year has gone. In an ideal world, this would be a face-to-face Christmas lunch or a team-building exercise. But if this isn’t possible, technology can play a part in ensuring that everyone can ‘see’ each other virtually, and there are plenty of online games and quizzes to inject an element of fun!
Discuss your highlights and lowlights as a team, and brainstorm ideas on what they’d like to see done differently in 2022. Although we’re all pros when it comes to working in a post-COVID landscape, it’s still challenging at times. Vocalise your appreciation of the hard work, commitment and perseverance of your team during 2021.
Use the last few weeks of the year to declutter mentally and physically. Organise your workspace and shred or recycle any out of date or unwanted paperwork. Tidy up your email inbox and delete or file any emails into relevant project folders.
How many newsletters and junk emails do you receive a day? Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from any groups or websites you’re no longer interested in. It’s amazing how liberating this can feel, and your 2022 self will thank you for it!
Are there any feelings or events you’re carrying around with you that you need to let go of? Take some time to reflect on why you’ve been carrying this baggage with you, and then make a conscious decision to move on.
Review and declutter your to-do list, prioritise the tasks you must complete in the new year, and delegate or park tasks where possible.
December is such a busy month, especially if you have children! On top of everything we do in the other 11 months of the year, there are Christmas raffle tickets to pay for, presents to buy and nativities to attend!
Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is rest. It feels counterproductive as we feel like being on the go all the time will get our to-do list done. But that’s simply not the case. If you’re starting to feel burnt out, give yourself the night off! Have a bath, read a book or get an early night. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and find that things are a lot easier to tackle the next day.
Do you want to start afresh in 2022?
If you’ve reviewed your year and feel like you want to make some changes in 2022, please get in touch with me to book an introductory 30-minute consultation for January, where we can discuss your plans and goals for the year ahead!