Today (December 23rd) has been sited as the least productive day of the year. There’s the office celebrations and vendors dropping in with sugary offerings. More than that, our focus shifts to what is most important to us – making sure the people we love are not disappointed on Christmas Day.
Did you run errands at lunch? Where is your mind right now?
You are a manager, responsible for a certain amount of ROI (return on invenstment) from your team. What do you do with weeks like this one, where Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Thursday is Christmas Day and many companies give their employees Boxing Day off, even though it is not an official statutory holiday?
In a Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge expresses a “bah-humbug” business-minded approach to the whole “interruption” the Christmas season causes. From that same book comes a brilliantly written perspective of why we need to take some universal time out of our business year, and why Christmas is the best time to do this:
But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time … as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Chances are, if you are at work right now, you are watching that clock and taking care of little accomplishments you can fire off quickly. You’re tidying your desk, sifting and sorting your email, organizing your in-box and doing items that will take you ten minutes or less and negotiating to put off those larger tasks until after Christmas.
Rather than guiltily hide behind a facade of “busy-ness”, and watch as your direct reports do the same, why not embrace Tuesday the 23rd for what it is – a day of expected interruptions, a chance to connect with fellow workers and business contacts (fellow passengers on the never ending path to “success”), and an opportunity to nurture “good will toward men”? Statistics say you and your team are not getting all that much done today anyway.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Sincerely, Carol Carter