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5 Tips for Staying on Track During Year-End

I awoke this morning to an opinionated toddler, a basket of Halloween candy on the counter that needs tossing, and a vacuum that needs to be run before my in-laws arrive tonight. And of course, I need to get some real work done, too! It’s that time of year when there’s so much happening in our personal lives and professionally, that being ‘overwhelmed’ can feel like our new norm.

Of course, this will not be our new norm – it’s merely the excitement of all the wonderful things happening this time year. In only two short months, we’ll be celebrating another successful year and (hopefully) taking a well-deserved break before we dive into 2019.

In the meantime, we thought we’d share some of our favorite tips for staying focused and on track during the last two months of the year:

  1. Declutter your workspace.

Spend just a few minutes organizing your desk. This doesn’t need to be a deep Spring-cleaning type of clean, just a quick decluttering of your workspace. Toss or recycle what you don’t need and keep the rest in organized stacks or folders. You might try organizing by daily to-do stacks (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.) or by project (Giving Tuesday, Annual Appeal, Donor Cultivation, etc.).

  1. Highlight your ‘5-minute’ tasks.

Go through your to-do list and identify anything that will only take you a couple minutes. Highlight those tasks and spend 30 minutes knocking out as many as you can. Checking off multiple items on a to-do list feels great – and shortens your list!

  1. Add deadlines to your to-do list.

At a certain point, staring down an endless list of things that need to be done becomes too overwhelming. Add deadlines – or color code by deadline – all your tasks so you can quickly prioritize what needs to get done now and what can wait.

  1. Block out project-time on your calendar.

Inevitably there are times when we get pulled in many directions at once. Block out project-time on your calendar, shut your door, place your phone/email on silent (if you can!) and devote an hour to one project that needs your undivided attention.

  1. Schedule time for self-care.

All the excitement and flurry of activity can often make us feel rundown. Make sure you set aside some time for yourself to disconnect. A few of our favorite cost-friendly ways include reading before bed, turning off all phone/email communications at a certain time, or even just meditating for a few minutes each day.

What are some ways you stay focused this time of year? We’d love to hear from you!



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