Productivity in the Least Productive Week of the Year

Posted December 17, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

You’ve made it. It’s week 51 of 52 of 2012! It’s officially that time we’ll call “the end” (of the year, of course, not of the crazy Mayan calendar). And whether you’re wildly busy at work, or bored and wishing you could be at home baking cookies or making snowmen, I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to the office, we’re all watching the clock this week. It begins as children. Whether you had an advent calendar at home or a countdown to holiday break at school, you probably started counting the days to the end of the year when you were five years old, and you haven’t stopped yet. As adults, we spend this time jumping our legs, tapping our fingers, and ultimately watching the clock. We’re ready to get out of the office and get to our families, friends, and food!

How, then, do we get through what might just be the least productive week of the year without dying of annoyance, and perhaps even being a little bit productive? Try these “time-passing” activities. They might just work.

  • Get out a pen! I’m not telling you to send holiday cards. In fact, I usually do, and didn’t this year for the first time in quite some time. But when you’re feeling a little bored, it’s the perfect time to reach out, holiday season or not. Write a few thank you notes to individuals in your career who gave you a helping hand this year. Send a few connection notes to individuals you’d like to reconnect with in 2013. Save them and send them in Week 1 of next year. Maybe even leave some “you rock” notes on the desks of your favorite coworkers.
  • Learn something new. Maybe it’s the webinar your boss asked you to watch in August, or perhaps it’s finally getting to that Excel training document you came across and bookmarked last month. If you’re anything like me, somewhere in your email or online bookmarks there is a document or a recording of something that will help you get better at your job. Whatever that thing is, listen to it, read it, take the time to learn something new and find immediate ways to put it in place in 2013.
  • Shred stuff. I mean this both literally and figuratively. Perhaps you have a pile of paper you need to shred on your desk. Shredding sucks and takes time. So shred it. But figuratively, take the time in this unproductive week of the year to shred the annoyances and bad blood of the last year. Is there a coworker you just can’t stand? Shred those feelings and try to start out 2013 fresh with her. Shred it all. 2013 is a new year.
  • Say “You mean something to me.” The entire nation was rocked recently with the tragedy of the events in Newtown, Connecticut. So whether it be your family, your friends, your coworkers, or your boss, take some time in this unproductive week to do the most productive thing you can personally. Tell someone they’re important to you. You’ll never regret it.

What things are you doing this week, Career Girls, to keep yourself busy as the year wraps up?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."