A lot of businesses either close or slow down during the last week of the year. It's time to spend with family, reflecting on successes and shortcomings and laying plans and goals for the coming year. Matt Plumber writes in an HBR blog post that to make the most of the time off during the last week of the year, it is important to understand your tendencies. Among working professionals, Plumber has found that there are three types of "holiday time misusers."
The couch potato does nothing after sending the last email before the holidays. Couch potatoes may binge watch TV shows or generally sit around all day without accomplishing much of anything. If this tendency describes you or any members of your team, it may be difficult to come back to the showroom refreshed. While it might be helpful to disengage and do nothing, there are likely many other needs that you might ignore in doing so such as meaningful social interaction, exercising, reading and active contemplation that you don't get by binge-watching Netflix.
The holiday humbug is the person who works straight through the holidays. Even if they don't come to the showroom, these humbugs work on proposals, follow up with manufacturers and are engaged in day-to-day operations. Taking time off and disengaging with work helps prevent burnout. The reason why so many people are drawn to the land of humbugs is they view the time between Christmas and New Years as a time to catch up. They can work uninterrupted. Plumber points out that using this time to work may reduce short-term stress but with long-term detriment. His point is that there is no other time during the year you can you take a week off and return to the showroom with no new assignments to catch up on.
The workaholidayic takes their workaholic tendencies and simply applies them to a different context - celebrating. They travel to visit family members, go to one office party after the other, and have little time to relax or contemplate. By the time they return to work on January 2, they need a vacation.
Many BKBG members have type-A personalities. They are driven. They are goal-oriented. For those members, Plumber advises setting goals for the holiday season. How much sleep do you want to catch up on? How often and how long do you want to exercise? What other tasks do you want to accomplish that are not work-related?
Take time to clear your mental inbox. This will help you calmly and effectively address new experiences in the coming year. Find a quiet place to jot down thoughts or have deep conversations with friends and family.
Set goals for the coming year and chart out action plans and milestones for achieving them. Don't make unrealistic resolutions, they are only kept 8% of the time. If you want to lose 10 pounds, set as a goal that you will lose three pounds in January, three pounds in February and four pounds in March.
Create holiday traditions to help set and meet goals. Take a family trip. Spend a day together at a museum. Developing meaningful, productive and restful traditions helps to ensure a meaningful and restful holiday season. Creating and fulfilling holiday traditions also helps to ensure you spend time doing the things that you want to do instead of the things that others want you to do.