It is almost, and I say almost, humorous to see how few people are really engaged in their work during holiday weeks. This past year with Christmas and New Year’s Day smack dab in the middle of the work-week slowed down a lot of corporate functions. Many people were on legitimate vacations, and yet many more took the opportunity to do very little during the slow work week. Yet, the week after it is the complete opposite. Have you noticed that this has been back to work week?
Everyone is playing catch-up this week, returning emails and phone calls, setting appointments and moving agenda items along. It is a whirlwind of activity, that I fully expect will last through next week before leveling off to normal levels. This phenomena occurs to us individually when we are gone on our own vacation, and in fact the week prior and the week after are often just plain crazy to compensate for taking a week off. Yet holidays, no matter what day of the week they fall on, challenge the workforce within your company and your business partners with a shared experience of crazy.
Now as I’ve said many times, I’m kind of an odd duck when it comes to the normal behavior of others. I look and plan forward all the time, so when I see weeks coming up that could be slower than normal, I start building in projects for work and home that make good use of that time.
As an example, being self-employed in a home office has me at home during the slow weeks of the business year. Since I know I am not traveling or will be setting up meetings, I look for projects that make good use of my being stuck at the house. This past year I’ve been staring at a very old cement driveway that needs replacing, and yet between my availability to be at home and working with the right weather conditions, it has been a moving project for some time.
I also live by a school, with parents and kids walking past our house twice a day, and the thought of guarding my new cement driveway during the drying time to prevent injury or defacement was not appealing. Then it occurred to me that the holiday break from school was also going to be a holiday break at work too. Working with my contractor, and the weather channel, we chose the last day of school to begin demolition, and a 5 day process that kept me at home until all the work was completed. What was a disruptive process, was minimized because I chose a quiet week for the job.
Now while I can’t drive on it for a couple more weeks, it is completed, with no injuries and no handprints either. It is back to work week for most of the country, and I am ready to go too!