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Olle Lindholm

The Final Stretch: How to preserve your peace at the end of the year

published3 months ago
3 min read

There are only 41 days left of 2022, and I have a kazillion things on my to-do list.

Just me? I'm guessning no.

Waking up to the reality that the year is almost over can cause a bunch of anxiety and stress.

At this time of year, I like to revisit My Three Words and core values, to guide my efforts and help me stay focused and calm.

Here are a few tips that can help with that.

Pick one thing to get over the finish line

When I look at my own list of projects and goals, I feel like a five-year-old reciting my list to Santa.

I want alllll the things!

And who knows? I might get everything on my list done. But I will not get them all done in this calendar year. And I'm cool with that.

It's painful to even think about choosing a single project to finish. But once you make the decision, there's a real sigh of relief that happens.

Your task list stops looking like a bucket of funfetti and starts looking like something that could actually get done.

You settle down to wrap up the hard parts (or the parts that seem like they might be hard). A lot of the time, you realise they weren't as horrible as they seemed like they were going to be.

And instead of a stack of 90% finished things, you have a stack of those and one thing that is finished. Which is an amazing feeling.

Your extra project

Whether or not you commit to a single project to finish, I'd love for you to adopt this one:

Take really good care of yourself.

That probably involves moving your body in a way you enjoy, whether it's a walk in nature or a dance party in the kitchen. (I'm a fan of both.)

And it involves saying No to people, events, and activities that jeopardise your health or peace of mind.

None of us is perfect about this. But as you're looking at your priority list, I'd love for you to get taking good care of yourself on there.

Tactical: what's the thing before the thing?

My favourite tip for getting things done, especially the hard things, is figuring out the prep. What's the task that needs to get done so you can start to move forward?

Consider:

  • Can you set up all of the tools and resources you need to do the work?
  • Is there an easy task you can knock out that will give you some momentum?
  • ... or maybe a new tiny habit you could cultivate?
  • Could you get over your insistence on doing everything yourself, and actually bring on some help for the hard part?
  • Can you call a friend or join a coworking session, to sit down with a friendly face and power through the step that's got you stuck?
  • Would it help to just sit down for 10 minutes and brainstorm what needs to happen next?

Get real about your calendar

November and December are often full of Other People's Obligations. Family stuff, maybe some work events, end-of-year deadlines.

You probably have commitments that you want or need to respect. So your calendar for the coming weeks is probably less flexible than usual.

Consider sitting down this weekend and mapping out the time you'll realistically be able to spend on your priority project.

Then, get time to work — including that easy prep — on your calendar now, while there's still any room there.

Putting it on the calendar doesn't guarantee it will happen. But not getting it on the calendar is an almost perfect way to ensure that the time will get away from you.

What could you not-do?

This is an excellent time of year to make a not-to-do list.

  • What can wait? How long can it wait?
  • What can get done by someone else? How will you connect to that person?
  • What could just get quietly crossed off? If it hasn't happened yet ... maybe it would be ok if it didn't happen at all? You're the only one who can answer that question.

Need help crossing the finish line?

Sometimes, we get stuck on the final 10% of the project. We get bogged down on the details and just struggle to finish.

If you've got an important project that needs some input, let me help.

Just reply to this message and we can set up a time to chat.

I'd love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Cheers,
Olle