12 Ways to Invest a Quiet Day in the Office

Forget 12 drummers drumming.  Here are 12 ways to make the most of a quiet day in the office. 

As you look forward to the next few weeks, you may plan to be in the office on what is likely to be a quiet day.  Whether you have intentionally planned ahead to be in the office when others are out, or just need to be in, a quiet day in the office can be an opportunity to wrap up 2017 and start off 2018 in great shape.  So before you fall down the rabbit hole of the internet, realize it’s 5:00 p.m. and you have wasted the one day you could be assured of hearing yourself think, here are twelve ideas to make the most of a quiet day in the office.


1.     First, make a plan for the day – including the thing you came to the office to do.  Commit to avoid the cute pet videos and Facebook, and make something of the day.   January 2 you will thank current you.   


2.     Next, go over your calendar for January.  Is there any travel you need to book?  Any meetings or projects that will require advance preparation?  Schedule time now to prepare, and maybe even start the preparation.  Once you have started digging into January, go through the rest of our month transition recommendations.  It won’t take long, but it may just start some good habits you can want to continue throughout the year. 


3.     If you just had your annual performance review, be sure you have taken the seven steps you need to take after your review, in particular creating your professional development plan and scheduling when you will work on your goals.


4.     If your office does reviews at the beginning of the year, check out our blog post on how to prepare.  Then spend some time preparing for your review.  If you review other people, check out our guidance on how to prepare for their reviews.


5.     Either eat lunch with a friend who is also in the office or take advantage of the chance to catch up on professional reading while you eat.  (Need a hint?  The Apochromatik blog has lots of posts and links to articles on how to be more effective and happier in your life and career.  If something is missing, let us know – email me at Amy@Apochromatik.com to send in suggestions.)    


6.     Next, clean up your desk or office.  Starting your year with a completely clear desk will make it easier to make a fresh start, and this is a great time to do more than a cursory clean up – actually go through files, shred papers, and clear the decks.  Dust the areas that are usually overlooked and Lysol the door handles, light switch, and other surfaces.  If there are supplies you need, raid the supply closet or order them now.


Bonus points: get in some professional development while you are cleaning by listening to a podcast.  Need a suggestion?  Check out this podcast interview I did with Heather Hubbard on performance reviews.  As you continue to clean, check out other episodes of Hustle & Flow, or other favorite podcasts.  Or, if you’re an attorney, listen to this free webinar on attorneys and change.  You’ll learn about developments in the legal profession in 2018 and how to prepare for and manage change in your life and career. 


7.     Up next:  take care of any usual end of month or end of year tasks.  If you need to update your billable hours, record client contacts, or update lesson plans for the next semester, this is a great time to get those done.


8.     If you must take a break and fill some of your time watching YouTube, you might as well learn something from it – check out the Apochromatik Videos of the Week.   Or, if you’re an attorney or other professional with continuing education requirements, listen to a program while you’re working.   


9.     Pick one of your 2018 goals to get a jumpstart on, and spend 30 minutes working on it. 


10. If you did not send holiday cards, write notes or New Year’s cards or emails.  This is a particularly great time to reach out and with a handwritten note to professional contacts.     


11. Draft emails to at least four people you want to connect with early in the year.  (Depending on your audience, you might want to save them as drafts and wait to send them until everyone is back in their offices and has dug out from the holidays.)  Our next post on how to deepen and expand your network in the new year will help, but this will help you get a jumpstart. 


12. Before you head out for the day, make your to do list for tomorrow or the next day you will be in the office. 


Phew!  You made it!  Even if you didn’t get through the entire list, you are undoubtedly leaving the office in better shape than you left it, and more ready to hit the ground running in 2018.  Now go home and get some rest!    


Hopefully you got more done today than you would have without this plan.  Now imagine how much more you’d achieve working with an Apochromatik coach in 2018!  To learn more, email us or fill out the contact us form.