It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But, at work, it can also be pretty unproductive.
Employees take more time off from November to December compared to the rest of the year and a lot more people are traveling. And for good reason; time off is overwhelmingly cited as being good for you and increases productivity year-round.
But what about those who will be working through the holiday lull? With schedules less consistent and teammates out, it can be tough to collaborate or make progress. What’s a guy or gal to do?
The answer is not scroll through Pinterest or stream Watch ESPN. Nope, not cool. Your office may be more relaxed around the holidays, but you’re still getting paid to do your job. Take advantage of the time to benefit your company and to develop as a professional. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Clean up. I don’t just mean shake excess crumbs out your keyboard – but please, for the love, do that. I’m thinking electronic cleaning. Clear your desktop; I bet your company doesn’t want you saving stuff on a desktop anyways. Look through your files and delete or correctly store those “orphan docs” from 2006. Upgrade your software. Uninstall unnecessary software. In short, get your stuff straight. It seems menial, but de-cluttering could save you time and money.
- Do something new. Whether you’re taking an online course on Google Analytics (that’s what I’m doing) or making an effort to go to lunch with that one other person at work, try something new. Perhaps you’ve always thought about hosting a “walking meeting” but thought it might seem awkward. Now’s the time. Been thinking about taking a MOOC? Go for it. Explore ways to use a tool at work that you just haven’t had time to master. Think of ways to develop yourself during this season. Perhaps the lull can become an opportunity rather than a burden.
- Plan ahead. What better time to plan than on the outskirts of the New Year. Planning may serve you better than making a bunch of resolutions. Michael Hyatt, virtual mentor and best-selling author, suggests setting 5-7 goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound. These goals can connect to your finances, personal life, education or work; just stick to a few and think through how you can make them reality. If you’re setting goals at work, it’d be a good idea to think about the overall goals of your business, your team and your boss, and then consider how what you’re doing can explicitly tie back to those goals.
With a little effort and these few tips, you can make the holiday lull work for you. You’ll have to be intentional, but think of it this way: while the rest of your coworkers are cleaning out email, you’ll be ready to crush 2017.