We’re half-way through October with November and December itching to take their places front and center on our calendar. What tends to happen mid-fall is a bit of a lull sets in. Year-end seems far off. It seems like the kids have just gone back to school and are now full swing in activities. Football season has kicked into gear. Baseball season is nearing the World Series. Basketball season is waking up. If you’re fortunate, the weather has started to cool off, which usually causes an initial slow down in work drive and a returned interest into nesting.
But before long, work will pick up into high gear as people realize how much work is left to finish tasks, projects and deliverables by year-end. During this increase in work focus, personal needs often get set on the backburner or pushed away completely. However, there are some important personal needs that should remain in focus for you until they’re completed.
Consider these possibilities in creating your Year End To-Do List:
Schedule self-care appointments with yourself through the end of the year. This is the most critical component of good health and time management, yet it’s usually pushed to the wayside during the busy end-of-year / holiday season.
Exercise, movement or stretching?
Map out your family’s plans and schedule through the end of the year:
Family relaxation time?
Medical needs and expenditures:
Are there any doctor’s appointments you said you were going to make but haven’t yet? (e.g., If you haven’t gotten your mammogram or prostate exam yet this year, it’s time!)
If you’ve met your deductible or out-of-pocket or if you have any remaining FSA funds, are there any tests, labs, exams or appointments you can make to take advantage of this (if this applies to your insurance plan)?
Thinking back on your medical needs during 2023 and your anticipated needs in 2024, what type of medical coverage will be best for your situation? (Open enrollment starts soon!)
Have you tossed out your expired cold, flu or allergy medicines and restocked for the upcoming season?
Have you made appointments for heating and plumbing checkups?
If your home relies on gas, have you arranged for winter deliveries?
If there’s a possibility of a freeze, do you have weather proofing supplies on hand?
Are your emergency supplies ready in the event that you lose power due to a freeze or snowstorm?
Some portals (e.g., doctor, CPA, financial, etc.) display records for only one year. If you received important appointment information, documents, results or decisions via the portal, have you saved those in an electronic format (PDF) you can access on your own device or cloud storage?
Are there any investments or donations you want to make by year end?
Are there any other tax incentives you wish to pursue?
This might seem like a lot to consider at all at once, but it’s less overwhelming to think and plan for these important personal needs than to attempt to address all of these items at the same time at the last minute.
Knowing that you’ve got a plan for what’s important in your life will give you the mental and emotional bandwidth to be even more productive.
For additional planning tips that will improve your productivity, take a look at The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.