The beginning of a new month is a special time for most. For many, it’s when you can recharge and start all over again. To make matters worse, it’s also the time when money gets a little tight (the first of the month is always bill-paying time) and when everything resets. Times like this call for special coping strategies –
- Plan Ahead For Crunch Times
Try leaving the first week of the month blank so that you can catch up on writing, reading or phone calls that weren’t done the month prior. That way, when the calendar flips to the new month, you have an automatic cushion of time that lets you get stuff done.
2. Try The ‘Treat’ System
Who doesn’t like a nice treat?! Since each day can be packed with pressure, completing the most important task on your to-do list deserves a reward. If you fulfill your daily goals early on in the day, then you should reward yourself.
- Find A Crunch Time Buddy
The buddy system is a great way to get through the difficult parts of the month. Asking someone to be your accountability partner during crunch time will not only help to keep you connected to your colleagues but will also help you to maintain your daily goals. It’s really simple: 1) ask a peer if they will be your partner for two weeks, 2) set up a time to talk for 5-10 minutes several times a week, 3) agree to truthfully report what your key priorities are and identifying any potential places you may get stuck, and 4) always provide a status report of your progress. Two weeks is a minimal commitment and these calls can serve as a built-in ritual to confirm and clarify your priorities for the week.
- Get Comfortable With Conflicts
Instead of getting angry over the things that you cannot control, understand that the only thing you can control is your response. Get clear ahead of time about how and when you want to handle conflicts and then do it in a reasonable and pleasant manner so it doesn’t disturb your inner peace.
- Try Annoyance Tracking
Most of the things that you find annoying at the beginning of each month can be alleviated with a little advanced planning. If you have too many commitments, then you can front-load your prep time or try an entirely different evaluation strategy. If you’re shocked to find yourself with time-intensive service commitments all piled up at the end of the month, then make yourself a note to consult your calendar before saying “yes” to anything the following month. These changes can reduce your stress in the long run.
I’m not suggesting that you should try all of these strategies at once! Instead, I’m suggesting that you pick one or two and experiment with them. If they work, great! If not, try a different strategy.
The idea is to recognize that you have your own special energy and unique time challenges that can best be managed by recognizing them and adjusting your approach in whatever ways make the most sense for you!