I know today is only 7 December, but I also know that next Friday is the last working day of the year for many of you South Africans, so I am going to give you my final words of encouragement now.
I imagine that for many of you the next week is going to be a mad rush, trying to finish everything before the Christmas break. This can be hard because at this time of year people tend to be focused on other things and it’s difficult to motivate yourself to finish that work that you don’t think anybody will look at until January.
Let me encourage you to finish it now and to finish it well. You’ve heard the saying that time lost is never regained. It’s true, time marches on in a single, unstoppable direction and postponing things until tomorrow tends to cause tailbacks in your work as one task bumps up against the next.
The second point to consider is that your motivation drops considerably once you have missed a deadline. You feel defeated because you have failed to reach a pre-agreed milestone and it’s hard to gear yourself up again after the break. Also, remember that you will have other tasks to do when you come back to the office, so it is best to finish things now.
Lastly, when you think about completing a task this late in the year, do it for yourself, to make yourself proud of the work that you have done. Finding that inner motivation is difficult for some of us, especially when we think that nobody will care whether we do a good job or not, if they even notice at all. Nevertheless, staying self-motivated is important. How many times have you seen an athlete lose a race because they slacked off at the end? Continue to run your race as if to win the prize and you will end 2017 with a triumphant sense of having done your best.
I wish you a restful break. May this holiday season be a time of peace and joy for you and your loved ones.
(On a personal note, don’t spend too much on Christmas gifts, they are not what is most important at this time of year. – E)