The end of the year can be a busy and overwhelming time for many people, with holiday preparations, work deadlines, and personal responsibilities piling up. To manage this hectic period, it can help to establish a routine to stay organised and minimise stress.
- Set Realistic Goals
To prevent burnout, it's essential to avoid overloading your schedule. Realistically assess what you can accomplish in a day or week, and jot down your goals for added motivation. Include self-care as one of your goals, making sure you prioritize adequate sleep, healthy eating, and activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation.
- Divide Tasks Into Smaller Steps
Divide tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, regardless of their size or complexity. This approach enables you to concentrate on one step at a time, keeping you on track. Additionally, utilising time management techniques such as focused intervals with short breaks can enhance productivity and alleviate feelings of overwhelm.
- Prioritise Tasks
Create a list of tasks in order of their urgency and importance. Prioritising your tasks will enable you to manage your time effectively, meet deadlines, and reduce the stress associated with high-priority items. For example, if you're aware that Christmas shopping tends to stress you out, tackle it early and check it off your list to proactively avoid additional stress. Planning ahead is a key strategy for reducing stress and staying organised.
- Create a Schedule
Using a planner or digital reminders is beneficial for completing daily or weekly tasks. Schedule specific times for work, personal commitments, family time, workouts, and grocery shopping. Reminders are effective in preventing your brain from feeling overwhelmed. According to research and author George Miller, our central memory can retain only about 5 to 7 items. Staying organized reduces clutter and enhances mental clarity.
- Set Boundaries
Learn to say no to extra commitments or responsibilities that could needlessly burden you with stress. Reflect on your priorities and conduct self-assessment at the end of the day to realign yourself with your achievable goals and intentions for the coming year.
- Celebrate Achievements
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool to enhance motivation and boost morale. Consider rewarding yourself once you've completed tasks on your list, especially those you might not be looking forward to. Whether it's treating yourself to a meal out or something new for yourself, a reward serves as an incentive to keep you motivated and dedicated to tackling your to-do tasks.