Make yourself a promise - reduce stress and be happy at work

While there may be a hum of excitement around your workplace as people look forward to some rest and relaxation over the festive season, it’s no secret that the weeks leading up to the end of the year are often extremely busy.

If you’re looking for tips on working efficiently to meet all your end-of-year deadlines, and want to ensure your team avoids burnout in the busy weeks leading up to Christmas, check out our four-week plan! It’ll help you get through the pre-holiday rush with your sanity and festive spirit intact.

Week 1: Communicate

The first step to reducing your stress levels and working more efficiently over the coming weeks is to ensure you’re bringing your communication A-game with your boss and colleagues. This will guarantee you’re all on the same page in terms of workload and expectations, and will also make you feel less alone in your quest to meet all your deadlines before the end of the year.

Have your team meet early in the week, and get clear on everyone’s outstanding tasks. Allocate these evenly between team members or groups as appropriate, and agree to meet briefly once or twice a week until the end of the year to track your progress and reprioritize as required.

Week 2: Collaborate

After a week of knuckling down on your key tasks, regroup for half an hour to assess what’s left on the collective to-do list. Focus on collaboration and teamwork this week to share the workload while keeping your spirits high.

Working collaboratively can give you the motivation boost required to work efficiently during peak times. It can also make the process of nailing those deadlines more enjoyable, and help keep stress levels in check. Plan brainstorming and strategy sessions over a shared lunch, go for a brisk walk with your colleagues while you talk about progress, and set up fun rewards as people achieve targets.

Week 3: Track Success

This week should be all about finalizing your scheduled projects, to allow your remaining week at work to be dedicated to last minute and urgent tasks. While you’re busy beavering away at the last of your priorities, take half an hour out mid-week to collectively track and celebrate your success.

Stress can be compounded in busy times when you feel like you’re climbing uphill with no end in sight. Acknowledging how much you’ve achieved and your positive results is a great way to remind everyone that progress is being made, and to help keep momentum going.

Week 4: Plan Ahead

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the final week of the year! Your focus for the coming days will be on finalising remaining tasks, so remember to communicate, collaborate and celebrate your success to work as efficiently as possible. You may feel like you’re running on adrenaline as you count down the days until the festive season kicks off, so keep stress at bay by allocating a half day, or even just a couple of hours, to get together with your colleagues and make a brief plan for the year ahead.

Like acknowledging your success, planning for the coming year can promote feelings of excitement and positivity, and help combat feelings of anxiety. Make it a fun and relaxed exercise where everyone can contribute ideas, feel great about all the positive results achieved this year, and look forward to another productive and successful year in 2016.

Like acknowledging your success, planning for the coming year can promote feelings of excitement and positivity, and help combat feelings of anxiety.