How not to waste time at work after the Christmas break

It may not surprise you to learn that just like you, many workers are flat out busy at work between now and Christmas – so much to do in so little time. For those lucky enough to take holidays over Christmas, they can recharge their batteries and get back into it after the break.

You’ve probably even told yourself how you’ll ease your way back into work when you return – tidy the place up, do the things you haven’t gotten around to etc. This sounds fine in theory but it’s quite self-defeating logic as it runs the risk of catching-up with you later. You see, you’ll be in the same predicament the next time you want to have a holiday. In a sense isn’t this the definition of insanity: doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result?

The reason is we get too focussed on what needs to be done before Christmas, instead of what we could do to hit the ground running after Christmas. Research has reported that workers waste an average of 108 minutes each day (9 hours per week) looking for information (Source: Time Searching for Information). In other words, 1 out of every 5 employees isn’t adding tangible value because they’re preoccupied while they’re endeavouring to get answers. That’s a massive loss of productivity!!!

At this point you might even say to yourself okay I get this, I’ll do a last-minute clean-up before the break or I’ll do it during the first week when I return. By that’s not the point, this goes deeper to the core behaviours to how effectively you work.

Maybe we’ve got this around the wrong way? How about if we flipped this and devoted some time before Christmas to getting so organised that we’re able to reduce the time searching for information? Extend this further by setting yourself up for success by getting ahead of the game and locking in your Week 1 planned deliverables for when you return to work. So instead of not achieving much in the initial 2 or 3 days following the break, how motivating and good would it feel to really make a difference? Imagine being able to carry this momentum forward as the new way you work – making meaningful progress by getting important work done each day and week.

To improve, world class performers constantly review and refine. You might think now’s not the time for that, however, a small investment in refining how you work now could help change your habits and unleash you to dramatically work better from the start of 2017. Why not make it from the very first minute you walk in the door.