Push to finish the work year strong

Here are a few tips to help you maintain control of your workload and make the most out of 2017 from the start.

The end-of-the-year holiday season is upon us. Don't let it affect your workflow too much. Getty Images / Caiaimage
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The new year is lingering around the corner and it is normal for professionals to feel a little overwhelmed at this time. Performance reviews are awaiting, forecasting and budgeting for the next year must be done and any other uncompleted tasks cannot hold any longer. So this is a time when stress and tears may be seen. But it is also a time of celebration and recognition and for keeping check of your career map and pushing yourself to finish strong. A year under the belt is something to be proud of. It is a significant period of time that is loaded with hard work, challenges, rewards and developments.

Working around a busy holiday season can be an exhausting period for employers and employees alike. But it can also be easily turned into a highly rewarding period that pushes everyone further on the path towards success. Here are a few tips to help you maintain control of your workload and make the most out of 2017 from the start:

1. Do not be intimidated by performance reviews

Although annual performance reviews can be lengthy and put you on the spot to explain any shortcomings, they are incredibly important for you as an employee as well as for the business in general. Annual reviews are a great opportunity to highlight your achievements and positive contribution to your job, while also providing you with guidelines for improving and growing as a professional.

That being said, annual reviews can consume a lot of time between preparing notes, revisiting projects and tasks, typing up feedback and meeting with management. Often taking place during the busy holiday season makes them seemingly more stressful. However, that can all be made easier if you keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year. Relying on task management tools and any other records will save you significant periods of time.

Schedule your performance review session as early as possible to have more time to share your thoughts and opinions with management, share your own feedback and ask any questions you may have. You could also use this time to ask for a salary raise if the circumstances are right.

2. Push but do not overwhelm yourself

According to a Bayt.com poll on stress in the workplace, almost eight in 10 respondents believe they could perform better if they were given more time. That is a reasonable sentiment to have; stress often arises from the perceived inability to complete the given work, whether due to lack of time or other resources. Unfortunately, at this time of the year, you will find less flexibility with deadlines and schedules. You cannot put off those tasks you didn’t want to deal with earlier and the workload may seem larger than normal.

To maintain a healthy approach, start knocking out items from your to-do list as early as possible. Begin with the most critical projects at hand and leave the less demanding tasks for when your energy is not as high. At the same time, feel free to delegate tasks to assistants or junior staff, if available. They should be there to help you and guide you on the best ways to accomplish more. Remember to take breaks throughout the day and rejuvenate on the weekend so that you maintain an optimal level of performance.

3. Start your plans for the New Year

The best part of this stressful time is that it will quickly end and the pace will slow down. After that, you will have another year to maintain your great performance, learn from anything that went wrong, grow and nourish your skills, reconnect and leverage your network and continue to advance in your career.

To do that effectively, make sure that you start planning early on. If you are considering a career change or relocation, read some of the latest research reports and career support articles to keep yourself well-informed on industry trends and tips, plan to take some online courses to gain new skills and improve your existing ones and, most importantly, make sure you are on the path you’ve envisioned for yourself.

The new year is the perfect time for you to ask yourself whether you have accomplished what you want, learnt what you needed, and performed your best. If you are not happy with any of your answers, then start plotting your goals and plans to check them off in 2017.

Suhail Masri is the vice president of employer solutions at the Middle East jobs site Bayt.com.

business@thenational.ae

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