With my out-of-office officially on, I’ve got to admit that I’ve been feeling like the cat that got the cream; ambling to coffee shops in off-peak hours, admiring the shops dressed up to the nines’ in their festive garb, cracking jokes with Papa Daisy and enjoying some oh so hygge slow mornings at home, tightly wrapped in a blanket with a pup at my feet and several Netflix Originals to burn through, that I simply didn’t have time for before. The year-end wind down has begun – for me, at least – and I’m having the best time recounting the year in hand and looking forward to beginning another one.
By the way, just how great is it that 1st January 2018 falls on a Monday?! I’m sensing something great to come…
Before that though, I thought I’d share a few ways to wind down and wrap up your year that aren’t cheesy nostalgic look-backs at the things you’ve done.
Two lists; the great and not-so-great
Let’s begin with something a little cliche: list writing. More specifically, recounting your best and worst moments of the year. I think it’s really cathartic and useful to have a good think about the good and bad from the past twelve months in order to set yourself up properly for the next.
Try and list five good things and three ‘bad’ things and make a note of them. Then, tear the page up and throw that shit away. This way, you can give praise to yourself for the things you’ve achieved, done, seen or tried, and work out where you could improve or even forgo completely in 2018. I’ve been working on my own lists, lately, and it has been so eye-opening, that’s for sure!
Take 30 minutes out to set-up new folders on your laptop
Something that I take great pleasure in is setting up my laptop for a year anew. It’s so nerdy but it really helps to amp up productivity and just generally allow me to begin the year with a clean slate. I always create a new main folder for my blog and another for my business, before dividing them into more useful sub-folders, such as: ‘Beauty’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Outfits’, ‘Stock Photos’, ‘Post copy’, ‘Contracts’ and other categories of similar ilk.
I’d also recommend downloading or installing apps and programs to elevate productivity. I love using Toby, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to group tabs up into collections that can be easily opened up (this was a godsend when planning my gift guides!), and Slack, a communications app that lets me easily reach my clients.
Indulge in an entire morning in bed
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is pretty much a write-off and if you’re lucky enough to have a few days off, why not indulge in an entire morning in bed?
If you’re anything like me, you might feel guilty spending any time away from your phone or laptop. Running a blog, even just part-time, means that I feel an incredible sense of responsibility towards being ‘available’ or ‘online’ all the time. Any spare time I have, I’ll be scrolling through Instagram and Twitter to see what’s happening and I rarely manage to even watch a TV show or read a book without picking my phone up.
Just once, before the year is up, indulge in an entire morning of lazing around. You might feel guilty, but bury those feelings and just soak up a lazy few hours before the grind picks up again.
One last digital detox
Hand in hand with my previous point, why not have a digital detox?
I enjoyed two weeks sans phone earlier in the year and I can safely say it was the most invigorating feeling: no guilt about not replying to messages instantly, no worries about what to share next on Instagram, no need to reply to Mum within 30 minutes… The week after Christmas is an ideal time to leave the phone at home and soak up some quality IRL time with your loved ones.
A hard reset from work
Both now as a freelancer and when I worked full-time, I’d make sure that my last day before the year ended would be spent wrapping things up. Of course this isn’t always possible, depending on deadlines or the nature of your work, but I find that closing the door on the year work-wise and aiming to begin the new year with good intentions, a clear mind and clean slate does wonders. It’s cliched, but it’s a brilliant way to really try and nail your goals and let go of the stress from 2017.
Of course a fresh notebook, clean desk and new set of pens is totally key to resetting at work, but so are implementing new routines, new working methods and a refreshed mindset and attitude towards your job.
How will you be prepping for 2018, if at all?