no meetings

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you’ll be the one stuck at the office in late December while others are away on vacation. You may have even volunteered for it, hoping for a bit of quiet. But then sometimes it’s too quiet….

If there’s not a lot to do workwise – and you have already gotten yourself ahead on some tasks for 2016 – here are some thoughts on how to use that holiday office downtime (other than the trifecta of news trivia, Facebook and online shopping). 

If you can motivate yourself to do it, a few minutes invested now can yield significant benefits in the New Year. Think of it as a present to your future self.

Ready for some ideas? Feel free to add your own.

1) Write yourself a 30/60/90 day plan for 2016. What do you want to accomplish in the first three months of the New Year and who needs to get on-board to make that happen?

2) Brainstorm for leadership opportunities within or outside of your organization, such as speaking engagements or writing.

3) Write down five words to describe your personal brand, and check your online presence to see if it matches what you have described.

4) Clean out some portion of your inbox. If it’s very full, don’t have the goal of emptying it all at once. Great an interim goal – say 250 emails – and try to make it into a game or find a helpful reward if you get it done.

Bonus: If you are even more motivated, get up from your desk and clean out some files you don’t need any more. N.B. This has the added benefit of getting your tush out of the chair and some blood flowing to your extremities.

5) Have lunch (or a short phone call) with an important networking contact. If the opportunity presents itself, ask him/her if there is anyone else he/she can introduce who can bring you closer to your 2016 goals.

All the best for the end of 2015!

Anne Marie Segal is a résumé writer and a career and leadership coach to attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. You can find her website here.

WRITING SERVICES include attorney and executive résumés, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, bios, websites and other career and business communications.

COACHING SERVICES include career coaching, networking support, interview preparation, LinkedIn training, personal branding, leadership and change management.

Originally published on LinkedInPulse.

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We are accustomed to think of the New Year as a time to start something new.

New Year, new thing. It makes sense.

Well, what if you took a step back and looked at the change of year not as a chance to do new things, but to bridge the old and the new? What if, instead of starting something new or resolving to make a change, you threw yourself into something you already do well, but did it better in the New Year?

So here’s a short visualization exercise, since this only works if you are dealing with what’s truly personal to you. If you wish, write down five things you already do that are working. This can be for your business, career, personal life, health, etc.

Write down five important things. (It’s better to actually write than just think. Seeing words on the page makes them real.)

Five Things I’m Already Doing Well

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Now, write down why these five things are working. What results are you getting from these actions? Are these results that you want to continue to see in the New Year?

Why These Five Things Are Working

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Finally, which one(s) are most important to continue doing, so important that you should not only keep doing them, but also invest more time and dedication to them, to do them even better and get stronger, more lasting results?

Things to Ramp Up in the New Year (and How to Do It)

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When we are young, it makes sense to continue to try something new every day, season or year. As adults, sometimes that is the right answer, if it breaks us out of bad habits. But many times, the more fruitful course is to build on what we already know or a change that we have already set into motion.

When we do something new, we expand our horizons. When we recommit, we invest in our strengths. Which one makes sense for you in the new year?