12/21/2016 Steph Anderson

Why the holiday lull is the ideal time to prime for 2017

From now until the end of the year, offices across the United States will transform from hustling hubs of business to virtually vacant buildings filled with eerie silence. No, it’s not the apocalypse; it’s just the holidays! Many people are off due to travel plans, or because they have to use up PTO before it expires at the end of the year.

For the rest of us who are stuck at work, a calm, relaxing environment is a welcome change to the often busy periods that lead up to the year’s end. In fact, some people plan to work these days simply because they know they’ll be low-key. What’s more, it’s the ideal time to tackle that to-do list that always gets put off for higher priorities.

Think about it: A quiet office, minimal workload and few requests from colleagues and clients open up plenty of time to usher out 2016 and welcome 2017 with organization, optimism and enthusiasm. Get ready for the new year by using your open time to do these critical to-dos and give yourself a step up for the future:


The modern worker has more than just stacks of paper and folders to file. Digital clutter is taking over our lives. Use this available time to archive electronic files from 2016 and document achievements and other benchmarks for easy access throughout the new year. A clean digital space will help streamline workflows, plus it simply feels good to be electronically organized.


When’s the last time you dusted your desk? Gross, right? It doesn’t take much time to clean your office and swipe gungy surfaces with disinfectant wipes. Strive to reduce clutter, and maybe update those photos of the kids and that vacation getaway from four years ago. Cleaning should extend to your email, too, so be sure to finally delete old items.


Accountants shouldn’t be the only ones crunching numbers at the end of the year. Use this time to go over metrics and calculate successes and failures from 2016. With hard data in hand, it can be much easier to strategize and find the right paths to pursue in the new year. Plus, a fresh report welcoming company leaders upon their holiday return is sure to leave a positive impression.


In preparation for the new year, jot down fresh team goals and add key milestones to the calendar. Your supervisor will appreciate your willingness to tackle 2017 with such fervor. When analyzing goals, remember to turn the lens inward. Determine what you want to do professionally in the next year, and identify training and personal development initiatives to get you there.


With many people out of the office, it can seem counterintuitive to network right now. However, it’s the perfect time to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and send out greetings of well wishes for the new year. For targeted folks, offer to celebrate 2017 by sharing a cup of coffee (your treat!) so you can discuss the latest industry news and forecasts for the year.