The holiday season is in full swing and with our minds cluttered with office party misadventures and worries about just the right present for so-and-so, it's easy to take your foot off the gas a bit and try to cruise to the finish line with the windows down. Do not fall into the trap that is the holiday lull however, now is a great time finish the year off with a bang and ensure that your treadmill will be at the same speed when you get back from your break.
For many of you there will be no "break", just the obligatory public holidays that surround Christmas and the New Year. The office will be the emptiest it will be all year, and it's easy to let your productivity levels drop off - come in late, leave early, go catch a matinee for lunch. If you have unfinished deliverables for 2011, crack on with it and try to get them done to ensure you have a clean plate for 2012. It can also be that business does dry up during those days and you are left with nothing to do. There is plenty to do! Here are a few things you can do whilst most of your colleagues are away:
Plan out your professional deliverables for Q1 - what you want to achieve or learn, or who you want to meet etc.
Take an unfamiliar colleague that is also stuck on your lonely island to lunch/coffee to learn more about a different side of your department/company. It beats having yet another shrink wrapped “Christmas sandwich” all by yourself.
Training! While the demands on your time are low, it's a perfect opportunity learn something new or get better at something you think you know. Check to see if your company has online training available (i.e. Excel 101, Intermediate PowerPoint etc). If your company can give you a certificate, great, if not, then you can surprise them with your new skills in the new year. Should any trainers or IT people be sticking around, try to tap their knowledge as well.
I was going to add a fourth, but it's the holidays and I'm going to the beach!! Happy Holidays!!