I’ve got the Fourth Quarter Blues. And no, I’m not talking about the song – although it’s a pretty catchy tune. I’m talking about the all-hands-on-deck, end-of-year, home-stretch kind of fourth-quarter blues. That time of year when the calendar starts to wind down and business teams all around the world are hustling to close one last deal or secure one last win or even start in-depth planning for the next calendar year.
In addition to the robust work schedule, there’s also the added pressures of the impending holiday season around the corner. In many homes, that can include the kids being out of school for winter break, shopping for the family and organizing travel plans.
Although things simmer down a bit for many in Late November and early December, sometimes it can feel like the start of the fourth quarter is the busiest time of year. In fact, this survey shows that four out of 10 people feel some kind of extreme stress or dread coming out of their fall breaks, heading into the final months of the year.
So how do we keep our composure and power through the end of year blues without losing momentum and maintaining productivity? Here are a few tips to keep you motivated in the Q4 stretch.
Take a Walk
It may sound totally cliché, but walking in the middle of your workday has a ton of benefits. If it’s cold outside, you may opt to take a quick lap around your office or a short run to your car and back. Either way, it gets your muscles moving and your blood pumping – both brain power-boosting activities.
To Meet or Not to Meet
It seems like there’s always a crunch for time at the end of the year. So, before you book a meeting, ask these questions to determine if it will really advance your efforts:
- Do I have a clear agenda for this meeting?
- Do I know what my desired outcomes are for this meeting?
- Will this meeting help advance immediate action items for me and/or my team?
If you can answer no to these questions, write down any updates or jot down your questions and save them for your next meeting.
PGi is in the business of powering millions of conferences each week, but even we recognize that work can get done with additional productivity tools like IM or a good project management tool to keep tasks moving along.
And, When You Do Meet…
When it’s actually beneficial to meet and if it’s not an in-person meeting, make sure you’re set up with a conferencing tool that has exceptional audio quality. It may sound crazy, but studies have shown that when audio quality is poor it can cause undue stress and have negative effects on your health in the long run. So, opt for a better audio experience to ensure you don’t get unnecessarily bogged down with static and other productivity-killing background noise.
Hygge it Out
We talked about the concept of Hygge in a previous post, but it goes without saying that sometimes you just need to take a moment to Zen out at work. When your workspace is inviting, comfortable and well-organized, you’d be surprised what it can do for both your mood and efficiency.
Work from Home
It goes without saying that sometimes you just have to get away from your desk and rock it out at home. According to our annual Global Telework Survey, the average worker commute is between 30 and 60 minutes, or more, daily. And according to some research, “longer commutes are systematically associated with lower rates of well-being”.
With my office location just blocks from some of Atlanta’s major shopping hubs, traffic in the area can more than double with cars filled with eager holiday consumers. I’ll definitely be looking to telecommute more to help decrease my commute and stress levels.
If you’re feeling the fourth-quarter blues and need a pick-me-up, try some of these tips out and let us know how they work for you.