If you have to be at work during the “dead” week between Christmas and New Year’s, what are you planning on doing with yourself? For corporate employees, this is traditionally a time where people sit at their desks and twiddle their thumbs because the majority of business associates aren’t around to do business with. I’m willing to bet that Facebook surfing and online shopping are at an annual high.
Here are a couple of tips to get through this week without driving yourself to mindless distraction:
- Write down your goals for 2017: Think hard about what you want to achieve next year at work and specific steps you’ll need to take to make it happen. If your boss is around, set up a meeting to talk through what you’ve come up with so that you’re both on board.
- Have lunch with a networking contact: Now that you actually have some down time, why not use it by spending a little more than an hour with a person you’d like to get to know better and who could possibly help you in your career? After all, informal, in-person networking is the most effective kind.
- Organize your files: If you haven’t read an e-mail from January yet, you’re not going to. Clean up your inbox, hard drives and cloud folders so that you are able to start fresh. Make sure important files are backed up and archived for safekeeping.
- Walk down the hall: If you had to process some financial paperwork for a client, would you know how to do it? The dead week is a great time to better understand how certain systems in your company work and the people you should talk to to most efficiently get things done.
- Read neglected industry publications: Unless you’re in the entertainment industry, I’m not talking about People. Stop by the mailroom and pick up the December issues, or hop online. Focus your attention on trends pieces that will help you better understand where your field is headed.
Alexandra Levit is a Partner at PeopleResults and is passionate about helping people and organizations succeed in the evolving workplace. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @alevit.