Around this time of year, at least once a week I pause and think "it's only X days until Christmas". Which means the end of the year is right behind. (I know - brilliant analysis there.)
Which means now is a good time to start your end of year planning.
If you are thinking "but it's only October", you are falling victim to the fake calendar. First, November is always shorter than we think because of the holiday. Not only do we have Thanksgiving Day (and often the day after), but many people take that week if they are getting ready for family. Same with December, the month is shorter because of the holidays, time off, etc.
The best thing to do THIS WEEK is to find 15 minutes to sit down and start to list the things that need to be done for year end. Some common things:
Year end performance reviews
Scheduling issues (to make sure the department has coverage if needed over the holidays)
Projects that need to be finished
Bonuses or raise requests
Appreciation for your team (party, gifts or whatever)
Then start to prioritize and plan.
What are the next steps you need to take?
Should anything go on your calendar or task list?
What do you need to communicate to your team?
Is there anything you can delegate (to who and what do you need to know to set expectations)?
It seems like a lot of work, but it will prevent you from letting things slip or being the person who has to work during the holidays because things didn't get done.