Fairy lights everywhere, Boney M and Abba in the supermarkets, tinsel from shedding Christmas trees, giant “SALE” signs wearing Santa hats. The holiday season is here for real! After this introduction I won’t blame you for thinking, “exactly, so why would I even think about being productive?”, and that’s what this post is all about; keeping the ol’ noggin sharp while still enjoying the holiday vibes.
Here are 5 fun things you can do this holiday to make the “back to work” transition in 2017 easier.
#1 Don’t stop reading articles
Keep up with what’s happening in the world and industry around you. While you sip on your morning coffee, have a read through your emails to see what all your blog subscriptions have to say. Most blogs and newsletters keep with the times so they will surely maintain festive themes to keep you in the holiday spirit.
In many instances, you will also find that blogs will have holiday gifts such as course discounts, free webinars, and more goodies you might have missed otherwise.
Why: It will take the edge off when you step back into the office in the new year. You’ll be in the know on all developments without needing to fumble through emails or Google.
#2 Sign up for a short online course
When the year is over, we normally end up feeling tired of all we were keeping busy with. Use a small amount of your time in the holidays to do a short course and learn a new skill that you can implement in the new year. There are many short course sites out there that “gamify” the learning experience to make it feel much less serious and lets you have fun while you’re upping your game (literally and figuratively).
Studies have found that online learning has the power to increase information retention rates by 60% and corporations say that e-Learning is the second most valuable training tool. Everyone benefits.
Why: It will give you something to look forward to when you’re back in the office in 2017 instead of just heading to your desk to do the same old tasks. The implementation of your new skill will also be sure to impress.
Writing is much like fitness. Wait, I don’t know much about fitness, so… Let’s say writing is much like gaming. When you stop playing for a while and suddenly you get thrown into a boss fight, your screen will most likely, after a minute of button smashing, read “Game Over’. You’re not sure which button is for what move, what is effective, which strategy to use, or whether it is a matter of stealth and patience versus fast, powerful actions. To prevent your brain from saying “Game Over” when you are faced with having to write content, do keyword research, marketing, or any sort of writing, keep a blog of your holiday experiences so that you keep your skill sharp.
Why: You are continuously improving by writing, especially when you are writing about a topic you truly enjoy, like your holiday adventures. Bonus, you will have documented your memories and will be able to look back on them.
#4 Level up
Take one of your current skills and do research on how you are able to expand it even further. This could mean reading a book about it, taking an advanced course, or even watching YouTube videos on how to do it.
Why: You will gain a fresh perspective on something you may have been practising for a long time and may have started getting bored of. Not only will you perhaps rekindle your love for something that started fading, but you will also increase your chances of being recognised for a promotion or increase at work.
#5 Learn something completely different
If you are a highly career-driven individual, your brain is probably chocked full of skills and knowledge which is almost exclusively valuable to your job, right? Well, even if your answer is no, I’m sure you feel pretty tired of hearing the same old jargon after another year of hard work. Embark on a personal educational journey where you teach yourself something enjoyable that is entirely unrelated to your work. This also doesn’t need to be expensive. From being able to attend one lesson workshops, reading a book, or learning from videos, you can learn whatever it is your heart desires. Learn to brew beer, grow a herb garden, make sushi, become an origami master, how to do DIY projects, or whatever it is that has ever made you think “I wish I could do that”.
Why: It is common for people to start feeling like they live to work and work to live, nothing more, or like they are in a rut. By learning a new skill that interests you, you will be able to find joy in being good at something outside of work as well have something to turn to in order to relieve stress. This will also help you to see that you are capable of more than your day job and will be a nice change of pace at the end of your year.
Try out at least one of these tips over the holidays to keep your mind in focus while your body relaxes. You’ll still have time to go out, enjoy the ambient lighting, cheesy Christmas music, practice self-control with 50% off sales and always finding tinsel somewhere.
Have a wonderful and safe festive season!
Stay unique. Stay ambitious. Stay you.
Yours in digital,