How To Spend Your Downtime

In government and private industry offices across America, late December is often a time for vacations and fewer people in the office. (This differs in the hospitality industry and law enforcement, of course, where people are often working double shifts, but I digress.) If you have no plans, you might find yourself in a very quiet office. What WILL you do?

You Might Join the Vacationers…

No harm in taking time off as well. You DO relax occasionally, right?

You Might Slack Off…

If you decide to slow down the pace (and there’s no one around to tell you otherwise), I doubt anyone would tell. The last few weeks before the end of the calendar year can be hectic. Even if you haven’t scheduled vacation time, you might be encouraged to do so, while things are quiet enough that you won’t be missed.

You Might Catch Up…

If you’re like me, have no plans, and prefer to take your vacations at a less busy travel period, you’ve got the opportunity to enjoy working a quiet office. This can include:

  • Get caught up on any projects that are behind.
  • Get ahead on assignments that require a lot more time/thinking than your regular schedule has done to date.
  • Take some time to do some personal goal setting/long-term planning.
  • Write a report on your activities for the year so your supervisor/employer can be reminded of all the wonderful things you did.
  • Clean up/out your electronic files of content/drafts you no longer need.
  • Clean your desk.
  • Park your car pretty much anywhere you want.

Bottom line: with fewer people around to distract you, you’ve got some quality time to do the important rather than stress out about the urgent. And it’s much better to do your planning when there ISN’T a rush or crisis happening. That way you can keep a cool head and think about exactly what you want. You’ve got the time, might as well use it constructively…until the boss comes back into the office.

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About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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