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Productivity in Down-Time

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Yes, I know it’s only three days until a new year (and a new accoutning period for some), but just because the rest of the business world is on a go-slow, doesn’t mean that you have to be. It is possible to accomplish things and get on top of your tasks even when it seems that everyone else is taking a break.

The first and most important thing is not to try and achieve anything that is contingent on a colleague or contact being in the office. The Christmas season is for families; unless you are running a business with your relatives, don’t expect anyone to be available. Limit yourself to tasks that you can complete on your own, or do some preparation for things that you will collaborate with others with later. There’s no point getting frustrated when you know that work is the last thing your colleagues are thinking about right now.

Feel free to snoop. by this, I don’t mean hacking into other people’s emails or rifling through their personnel files. Rather, catch up on all the company bulletins you never normally get a chance to read, chase up all the old projects that you didn’t pay attention to the first time round. Get yourself up to speed and see if you have any ideas that have not been put forward, see if there’s any way you can help. Not only might you be able to give some valuable input, but your contribution could be a useful bit of internal networking.

Get down to all the of the administrative tasks that you don’t normally have time for. Put in your expenses cliams, catch up on your correspondence, make sure your files are in order, experiment with different ways of doing things. You know you’re going to be busy once the holiday season is over, so take the opportunity to get your office affairs in order while you are not distracted by anything else. If you can put together a good system now, you could find yourself working more efficiently in the future.

It may seem as though you’re the only person working while the rest of the world is partying, but take heart: this is your chance to get a headstart for the new year ahead. By gathering your thoughts and organising yourself now, you should be able to dive straight into upcoming challenges without worrying about the small hassles and problems that everyone else will have to deal with when they return from the season’s festivities. And for that, you can feel smug.

[Image by Grooble]


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