End of the Year Checklist: Setting Up 2021 for Success

It’s hard to believe we’ve come to the end of 2020. This year has been challenging for everyone navigating new systems and operations during a worldwide pandemic. Working from home has led to constant changes in how we achieve our work, but it doesn’t mean we can’t end on a good foot. Below is a checklist to set up 2021 for success:

Follow up on projects.

Think through all of your outstanding projects or initiatives and provide updates on their status. Whether you update the timeline for execution or inform your team of any new information, make sure you tie up loose ends. This will also help plan your year from the beginning,

Maintain your filing system.

As a state employee, we continue to keep master files and a paper trail. I’ve finally gotten used to a good system of keeping things in place. Continue to maintain your files and documents in order. Make sure you’ve done your end-of-year filing so you don’t get behind.

Clean up digital documents and archive as much as possible.

Our computer files are reflections of what would be on our desk. Clean up any unnecessary documents or categorize them properly for easy access next year. Archive what you’ve completed so you can continue to stay as organized as possible.

Order supplies.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Place an order for any supplies you might be running low on so you can be fully stocked.

Plan a virtual team-building exercise.

If you have the time, plan an end-of-the-year small virtual team-building exercise. Team-building helps combat loneliness and foster relationships. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Virtual after-work hours event
  • Book club
  • Icebreakers
  • Assign an article and discuss it together
  • Brainstorm ideas for next year

Take a moment to reflect on your past year.

It hasn’t been an easy year. Pause and think about all of the highs and lows of this past year. You can journal, free-write, draw, meditate, talk to a friend or family member, etc.

Send thank you notes.

Think about the people who have supported you this past year and send them thank you notes. Try to remember any speaking engagements you might have been a part of or any events you participated in. You can also send digital thank you notes from a number of websites such as Paperless Post that look great. Take a moment to thank your staff, co-workers, leadership team, etc. You can even forgo the thank you notes and make phone calls instead!

Look forward to 2021.

While the timeline for normalcy is still uncertain, continue to plan out what you can in 2021. Think about projects, deadlines and seasons of your work. Above all, look forward to 2021 and be positive about what next year holds.

You may also be interested in GovLoop’s Beyond Remote Work: The Case for Building More Resilient Organizations.

What is on your to-do list before the end of the year? Leave your comments down below!

Maribel Castañeda currently serves at the pleasure of Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam as the Director of Appointments in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office. She facilitates the appointment process for over 300 state boards and commissions or about 800 appointments each year. She bridges communication between constituents, state agencies, Governor’s Cabinet and organizations who want to share a voice in their government. Her vision is to have each board and commission reflect the Virginia that exists today. Maribel also serves as the Director of Latino Outreach connecting the Hispanic and Latino community to resources and services.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Avatar photo John Monroe

I’ve become a big believer in team-building exercises. I especially enjoy discussions about an article. Often, I will get some good take-aways from an article, only to discover that others had very different take-aways that I never would have picked up on my own. It’s like in hashing out something together, everyone gets a little bit smarter – which makes for a smarter team!