How to fight end of year fatigue – and why

End-of-year fatigue

End-of-year fatigue is setting in with a vengeance, and while it may be tempting to let things go in the workplace with the intention to set them straight again when work resumes in 2020, it is possible and indeed preferable to end the year strong and start the New Year on a high note, a workplace expert says.

“We’re heading into the final stretch of what has for many of us been a really challenging year,” says Georgina Barrick, Managing Director at Cassel & Co, a division of ADvTECH Resourcing.

“The economy has been tough, the political landscape unnerving and the sword of downgrade remains hanging firmly over our heads.  So while it’s tempting to throw in the towel and start planning for 2020, it really is possible, even at this late stage, to take a few small actions to finish strong,” she says.

“Because sustaining and building momentum now is the smart way to end the year off with a sense of achievement, and enter 2020 from a position of strength.”

How to fight end-of-year fatigue

Barrick says taking one or more of the following actions – each of which are not much more than small and achievable mind shifts – can make an outsized difference in the following month while tying up work strings and looking toward the future:


“You may have started the year with many goals. Or, you may be one of those people who don’t believe in ‘goal-setting’. Regardless, pick one thing to do and see it through. Decide what you need to do to achieve this goal and give it your all,” she says.


Self-awareness can help us move from being eager starters to consistent, strong finishers, says Barrick.

“Being self-aware allows us to identify and focus on our strengths, while acknowledging and accepting our weaknesses. And this is how goals are achieved.

“To reach this point, you may need to have an honest conversation with yourself about what you have done well this year, what has been in your blind spot, and how to leverage your strengths and take away the power of your weaknesses next year.”


Barrick says it can be very empowering to do something every day which moves your closer to your goal. 

“Move faster. Create urgency. Action conquers fear. Make your action steps effort-driven, for instance by undertaking to answer all email requests within an hour, rather than outcome-driven, by for instance deciding you will improve customer service.

“Then evaluate how you’ve approached your goals in 2019. Explore what you’ve been doing and decide what you need to stop doing, keep doing or start doing – and implement this immediately. No need to wait for the clock to strike midnight on New Year’s Eve to start doing the things you want to be doing.”


For many people, not much gets done without a hard deadline, as seemingly more urgent and important things constantly crop up.

“So, if the work that you’re doing hasn’t been set a deadline, set an artificial one for yourself.

Deadlines get you moving.”


For many Type A personalities, their battle with perfectionism often translates into procrastination, says Barrick.

“If you constantly value work that is perfectly presented over work that is done, it might be time to move your boundaries on perfect. Remember that the pursuit of perfection – where it takes time to tweak, change and make things perfect, or even to just get started out of a fear of the end product maybe not being good enough – is at odds with the need to get it done and delivered.

“At this point in the year, finding the delicate balance between perfection and delivery is important.”


Energy levels fluctuate throughout the day, Barrick notes.

“Early risers might find that they’re at their most productive and alert early in the morning. For night owls, the opposite is true. Regardless of when you’re most productive, always choose to do your most important tasks when your energy levels are at their best, and your productivity levels are bound to rise.

“It’s late in the year and we’re all weary. But the mental energy and positive outlook to be gained from upping your game at this stage, rather than dropping the ball and postponing the inevitable consequences, can’t be over-emphasised. Don’t give up until the finish line is crossed, and be sure to exit 2019 with gusto.”

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