Week 41 – The Chaos isn’t Permanent

Many of us are at our busiest right now, as we try to get things finished before the end of the year.

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Many of us are at our busiest right now, as we try to get things finished before the end of the year. As I look around my office, and at all my emails, I become downhearted about how few things are finished. There is so much work in progress, nothing feels organised or certain. Nothing feels tidy, everything is spread across my desk because every day I have to try and sort out multiple projects.

When this environment of “unfinished, never-ending, clutter everywhere” gets me down, my best course of action is to remind myself that this is not forever. Things will get finished, things will get closed and tidied away.

Every year, before I finish for the holidays, I give myself one day for “endings” – it is always the last working day of the year, and I plan for it carefully. Thinking about it right now cheers me up, it is already making me smile, so I hope it works for you.

Use my list to prepare your own private year end party!

  1. Decide on the day – I have booked Friday 22nd December in my diary as the day the chaos ends – so that everytime I look at my overstocked inbox, or the pile of papers in the corner, I can honestly tell myself “this is not forever”.
  2. Celebration – work out ahead of time and end point for your day, and attach a celebration to it. In my case, I will stop mid-afternoon, when my partner and friends will join me for a celebratory late lunch.
  3. Friends – I don’t want to do this tidying up on my own, because then I don’t have anyone to share the little successes with, so I will be inviting a close colleague to join me so we can both close up properly for the year end.
  4. Schedule – book holidays, days off, weekends away in my calendar for next year so that not everything is work related.
  5. Order stationery – folders, clear pockets, labels and a new jotter for next year – yes, I know we are in a digital world, but some of the work I have to review must be printed, and having bits of paper with notes scribbled on every corner makes me feel overwhelmed. Filing everything neatly away is going to get rid of the clutter at home and in my work office.
  6. Chocolate – this is a celebration so I make sure I have ordered some fun food for the day.


Setting a date for addressing something that is bothering you can be just as encouraging as being able to fix the issue. So if you are in the middle of chaos and you are desperate for it to end, fix your ending now so you have something to look forward to.

I hope these ideas are useful for you. Have a look at previous articles in this series for more inspiration.