Stuck In The Office Over The Holidays? 4 Productive Things To Do

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Stuck In The Office Over The Holidays? 4 Productive Things To Do

Posted: 16/12/2015 12:00am


The holiday season is one of the slowest times of the year for several industries.  For many companies it’s a chance for employees to take time off for some much needed rest and quality time with family and friends.  However, according to a study completed in 2012 by Regus PLC, 64% of employees work the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.   If you’ve used up all of your vacation time or you’re in the office to manage business critical processes, you may be dreading the upcoming weeks.  Fortunately, now is the perfect time to take advantage of these quiet weeks and get set up for a successful 2016. 

Here are some tips for staying productive over the holidays and benefit from your time spent in the office:

Get Rid of Clutter

Giving yourself time during the holidays to focus on some of the smaller tasks can get you prepared for January.  Throughout most of the year we tend to let little tasks fall to the side as the work piles up but now is a great timeGet Rid of Clutter to tackle everything you’ve been putting off.  So get rid of email, ‘to-do list’, and desk clutter. Cleaning up your inbox and organizing your desk may seem a small feat but it’s a fantastic way to prepare you for a new year.  Not only does it appear more organized but it will also allow you to perform your job better.  Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of a study indicating that a cluttered space actually restricts your ability to focus.  “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”  Mess equals stress and the easiest way to combat that is by going into 2016 with a clean work space. 

Evaluate the Past Year

As you go through all of the past year’s work, take time to analyze your results, both organizationally and personally.  Whether you have an established performance evaluation framework or not, now is the time to think about what you did well and what needs further refinement.  Feedback on job performance is invaluable in charting a future course for you to put your interests and talents to best use.  Stay ahead of the curve (and your employer) by compiling information into a summary report describing your success and suggestions for improvement.  Not only will your boss be impressed but it’ll make for a smooth performance review and you may be more likely to get the resources you need to implement your changes. 


BrainstormFor most industries, the holidays are the only time you may have to catch your breath so now is your chance to put aside what needs to be done and take the time to think about what can be done.  The New Year is an opportunity to plan and implement what you’d like to accomplish in the future but tomorrow IS the future.  Take the time now to brainstorm what you’d like to achieve in 2016 before 2016 has arrived and you’re thrown back into your daily routines.  Solitude allows you to slow down, hear your thoughts, and focus.  Whether you’re hoping to build a more comprehensive database, looking for new ways to reach out to your customers, or thinking of exciting new events for your company to host, get the creative juices flowing.  

Do Something Fun!

Nothing brings back the appreciation for your work like taking time to have fun.  While it’s still your place of work and you shouldn’t disrupt others that are working with you, having a moment or two to yourself to reset is a great way to re-energize and reduce stress.  Several studies indicate that music is an effective means of stress release.  A particular study by Stanford Medicine also shows it can help to increase focus and concentration, thus increasing productivity.  If you’d prefer, redecorate your desk or schedule a social event for the other staff stuck in the office.  Cortex has a great social space for staff filled with great activities such as a TV and Xbox, pool table, and foosball table.  During the holidays it’s a great area for staff to take 5 or go eat their lunch while watching Netflix.  As long as the time isn’t abused, it’s a great opportunity to socialize with other staff.  Happy employees make for productive employees. 

The holidays are a busy and hectic period of the year.  While some people take time off, you may find yourself to be one of the employees left in the office.  It’s important to capitalize on the quiet time and prepare yourself for 2016.  Evaluate your year and think of ideas to make the New Year your best ever.  Don’t forget to have fun over the holidays no matter where you are!

From all of us at Cortex, we’d like to wish you the best of the season and a prosperous New Year.