Advance Performance | Five Tips to Clear Your Desk Before the Festive Holiday
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Five Tips to Clear Your Desk Before the Festive Holiday

Five Tips to Clear Your Desk Before the Festive Holiday

It’s the week before Christmas, and all through the office…..

There are deadlines to meet, projects and reports to finish, figures to check, phone calls and meetings to fit in between others’ social gatherings, as well as finish – or even start – your Christmas preparations at home. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this festive season brings Bank Holidays, and many businesses close for a week between Christmas and New Year, so we need to be organised for the close of 2017.

Here are five techniques to manage your time and achieve before you break for the festive season:

Set your SMART goals – write down a list of your tasks, projects, meetings, and contacts as SMART goals which you must complete before a festive break. Prioritise them with date to be completed, note them into your schedule to do in the next week, and check them off as you finish them. If you have a complex project to complete, break it down to smaller more manageable tasks. Set yourself your end-of-week goal as an affirmation as you want to see yourself – your work completed, a plan for 2018, and feeling satisfied and calm before the festive break.

Delegate – If you do not need to be the person who completes a task, and you can delegate it, do so! Don’t be a martyr, but ask for help or pass a task to someone else so that you can concentrate on the tasks which are your top priority. This will enable you to achieve your goals, and you can be your best at a stressful time of year.

Update Your Clients – if you are planning to take off the “festive week” or your company closes for the festive period, make sure that you let your clients know with at least three days’ notice, and also the date you will return. Ensure that you leave any project at a point that is agreed between you and the client, and you are both clear the date you will continue. If your position involves emergency contacts, make sure these are sent out with clear instructions for the festive period.

The art of saying “No” – When you are struggling to complete every task within a very limited time, having the confidence to say no to extra tasks which others could complete, or abstaining from Christmas drinks to finish a task show you are in control of your workload and priorities. Think of your values as a person, as a professional, and how you want to be perceived by clients and colleagues. If it is important to accept a task or invitation then you may need to say no to another. So, ensure you have put your priorities in order, and can manage your schedule to the best of your ability. Listen to our podcast The Art of Saying “No” for more support and ideas on how to be positive in not saying “yes” to everything.

Evaluation at the end of each day – take the last fifteen minutes of each day evaluating all your tasks which you have worked on and completed, and prioritise again the tasks which need to be completed the following day. Ensure you have a checklist for your final day before the festive period which includes any phone calls, emails, and other communications which you need to complete. Make a list of tasks and prioritise which you need to work on first when you return after the break so that you have already set out your schedule.

When you look at your list of completed tasks before your festive break, give yourself a pat on the back! You have achieved a lot during this busy month and all year!

And finally, Switch Off from work if you do not need to be on-call! Be kind to yourself and your loved ones, and give yourself a break and celebrate because you deserve it!