Just 9 work days left in 2012. I’ve attended a few Christmas parties, have eaten more than I should, and am feeling the exhaustion of weeks of ministry. These next 9 days are some of the most tempting days to slack off and shut down; but I’m fighting that tendency because these last days of 2012 can help set the tone for a great beginning to 2013. Here are my three must-dos before I break for the remainder of 2012.
Thank my volunteer staff.
I’ve discovered that though my volunteers like to be together, they don’t necessarily like doing so during the Christmas season. We’re all parents and employees busy with our own work parties, children’s Christmas programs and more. So this year I’m keeping it simple. In fact, I’m giving us an extra week off. Additionally I’m sending Christmas cards, small gifts, Christmas goodies. Nothing elaborate… just simple expressions of joy, gratitude and the pleasure I have of working with some amazing people.
I shut everything down the 4 days before heading into the Christmas break. I keep my calendar wide open that week. This gives me time to get caught up on putting away those binders from the fall retreat, reorganize the computer files, cull resources and clean up. I struggle to find time regularly when things are busy and have found the last week of work before Christmas is a great time to do that. It makes a huge difference for when I return to the office following extended time away.
Plan my first Wednesday night of 2013.
Most often I return to the office just a few days before resuming ministry events, so I like to have my first one planned and ready to go. Otherwise I find myself working to catch up. I don’t have to make sure every detail is handled, but that the big things are in place – who’s teaching, what the lesson will be, etc. If these things aren’t done I find myself distracted and tempted to work from home the last few days of my time off.
There are other things I’ll try to accomplish before closing my office door December 20, but I’ve found if I accomplish these three things, my new year is off to a fantastic start when coming back in January.
What are your must-dos as you wrap up a year?