Having to work the last week of the year is not all bad. Make the most of it by actually accomplishing something!
A sizable percentage of the workforce stays on the job during the holidays: hospital staff, restaurant and hospitality workers, police and fire departments.
But maybe you find yourself in another, lesser-known group — those people whose employers require them to work the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day but who are not necessarily going to be that busy. Many sectors of the economy in fact slow to a crawl the last week of the year, and you may be forgiven for feeling a little bummed about being made to work it.
However, as unintuitive as this seems, having to work this week can be an absolute pleasure, and not just because your commute will probably be a breeze. Here’s why:
You can catch up on your backlog. Your workplace is quieter than usual, and your workload is probably lighter. It’s the ideal time to not only get caught up, but to tackle the tasks you tend to put off. It’s amazing what you’ll be able to accomplish without the usual distractions and interruptions. This can be bliss. Truly.
You can get a head start on January. Now’s your chance to declutter the environment where you spend all your working hours. Sort through the file cabinet, clean out your email inbox, and toss or recycle all the dried-up pens and trinkets that you’ve probably accumulated. And don’t forget to shake the crumbs out of your keyboard.
You can bond with your co-workers. This quiet time is a perfect chance to strengthen relationships with colleagues, as well as to better get to know people from other departments. Why not bring, or go out for, a special lunch? Plus, the treat will make you feel better about working during a time when it seems everyone else is having fun.
One thing not to do: Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you have to work. Or at least don’t show it. After all, you’re getting paid, right? Maybe even time and a half. So, be focused and positive and get stuff done!
After all, the only thing worse than working the last week of the year is wasting the last week of the year by failing to accomplish anything.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at email@example.com.