The presents have been unwrapped, turkey leftovers fill the refrigerator, and we’re back at our desks finishing year-end responsibilities. Whether at work or at home, there are tasks that we complete before December 31 that help to keep us organized in the new year.
Even though it’s difficult to get back to work after a few days vacation, the last week of the year can often be extremely productive because so few people are in the office. There usually are fewer disruptions and it’s easier to work for longer blocks of time. If you’re taking time off from work, now is also a good time to focus on year-end responsibilities at home.
The following are tasks we complete at the end of the year, but you might tackle different tasks to wrap up 2010 and prepare for 2011. Share your end-of-the-year processes in the comments, as they might be something we all should be doing, too:
- Year-end fiscal reports. Pay all bills, submit all receipts, reconcile all accounts, and complete all fiscal reports the accounting department requires.
- Year-end professional goal reports. Review annual goals and accomplishments, and write performance reports the human resources department requires.
- Review benefit package and changes. Many changes in insurance plans and other benefits occur at the change of the calendar year. Make note of these changes so you aren’t surprised by the differences.
- Reconcile financial accounts. Now is the time to get all of your financial paperwork for the year completed so you’re ready to file your taxes when your forms arrive.
- Year-end personal goal and resolution review. Review all you accomplished over the course of the year and create goals and resolutions for 2011.
- Back-up all digital data. Even if you do this daily, it’s good to take a final snapshot of the digital year.
- Review beneficiary information on all investments and policies. If your family has grown or changed in the last year, now is the time to make sure your beneficiary information is current. Additionally, it’s a good time to do a general review of these investments and policies.
- Review systems and routines. Are the systems and routines you follow meeting your family’s and home’s needs? If not, now is a good time to create new practices to implement in the new year.