How to Finish the Year with Finesse | Part 1

by | Productivity Advice | 5 comments

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.

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.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Daniella Alencar

    I specially can relate to the loop of brainstorming and pre-planning moment. That’s when I feel anxious because I don’t see myself doing and there are lots to be done. I like the exercise of pausing and thinking about what’s important right now. Thanks for that post.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Once you recognize that behavior Dani, the easier it is to pull yourself out of it. Can’t wait to hear if it helps!

  2. Carmelle Landreville

    I like to take a pause…. that a good thing for me…. First time, I’m following ideas to scrapbook in order and knowing where I go and what I have to do next.
    I like your useful ideas. I organise 3 big boxes of black and white photos and tomorrow I’m going to get them printed. Now I can see what’s ahead of me and have a better idea what I want to do with my pictures.
    I’m so encouraged with all I did and hoping to be able to continue that way.
    I’m more realist with my scrapbooking.. I know I have lots to do because I’m alone with a house since dh pass away; I have lots of work and things to be done every season like fall principally… But I am enthousiast doing my scrapbooking because you help me a lot with all your class for listing, organising and let me think about what is important in my life and in doing scrapbooking. The anxiety and the frustration for the work not done are gone away… Thanks a lot for all that…. I’m ready to finsh my year in beauty… Carmelle xxx

  3. Dani

    I organized my project lists and another list for all things that still need to be done in October and then started doing what needs to be done right away and also organized some digi files for about an hour, because they are part of my projects and I’m taking some time here and there to declutter digi files and make eveyrhing faster and easier to search and use. Then, I took some time to spend with the family. I feel so much better now.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Yay, so glad that you’re feeling clean and clear!



  1. How to Finish the Year with Finesse | Part 2 - Simple Scrapper - […] Part 1 of this series, I introduced the idea that a combination of mindfulness and planning can help you…

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