How is it that in September it feels like there’s so much time left in the year, but when October rolls around the panic sets in? Your mind begins swirling with everything you still want to accomplish, but the path is blocked by plans for holiday after holiday.
I know this, because I feel it too. While I’m well-organized and consistent with layouts, I’m barely treading water on photo management and Project Life. I’m also already thinking about all the things still to come, which is distracting.
It may feel daunting but you can get a lot done before the end of the year. A combination of mindfulness and planning will help you finish the year with finesse… or as they say on Peppa Pig, with grace and beauty.
In this post we’ll tackle how to approach the last three months of the year, with a focus on your mindset. How you think about finishing is half the battle. Then next week I’ll return with Part 2 and we’ll take the next steps with planning.
Note: You can look at this exercise with more than just scrapbooking in mind. It’s your call.
Step 1. Celebrate your victories. Your mind is unsettled, in part, because you’re focusing only on what’s undone. When you take time to identify, record, and celebrate your achievements (big and small), you’ll feel your mind open and your heart soften.
I like to keep a running list throughout the year of milestones met and projects completed, but don’t sweat it if you’ve not done that. Write it down on paper, in an Instagram caption, on Facebook – anywhere – to set the tone for the next three months.
In other words, remember that you rock!
Step 2. Take a snapshot inventory. The balance of that uneasy feeling stems from having the big picture out of focus. You can’t begin to feel in control of your time without a clear view on what you want to achieve. A “brain dump” is the first step.
Our free Quick Start guide includes a simple exercise to help you list and prioritize the projects and activities you’re working on. It provides helpful clarity and a foundation for getting things done.
Don’t stress about being exhaustive, simply start with what’s in your head and give yourself permission to add to your list as you remember other items.
Step 3. Clear your plate. Not being realistic about your time, motivation, and energy to make progress is the fastest way to burn out and frustration. In all likelihood you can’t get everything done before the end of the year.
And that’s OK.
When you eliminate any ideas or obligations that can wait until 2015, you can start fresh right now. Next week I’ll share some ideas for re-building your plate with what matters most, but for now I have one more step that will keep your mind at ease.
Step 4. Focus on next actions. Many of us are household managers, so it’s normal and natural to always be thinking ahead. Unfortunately, you can get in your way by mentally existing in that future time instead of the right now.
The trick is being able to return your mind to the present day. Yes there will be lots to do later, but what do you most need to do today?
When I get stuck in a loop of brainstorming and pre-planning (often with a touch of anxiety), I force myself to pause and think about what’s important right now. Focus on the concrete actions you can take right now to make progress. Often those tasks have nothing to do with what you’ve been thinking about!
Do you get in your own way at the end of the year? Leave a comment and share your experience with getting things done during the last three months of the year.