The gift of a slow week at work

The weeks counting down to the holidays can be difficult to predict with the pace usually falling into two categories a hectic speed focusing on closing year-end projects or a slow pace with everyone winding down the year. When work is fast with deadlines looming near most people have an action plan to follow however a slow work week can be more challenging because it’s difficult to stay on course and be productive.

The welcome relief of a slower pace can be just what you need in order to catch up for the coming year.
There are several ways to make good use of the down time at work and focusing on these areas can give your career a jump start and a new direction; personal growth, building relationships and managing your time.

A slow work week can be a gift to your career by giving you time to personally reflect on your goals and accomplishments you made during the year. Overtime, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of taking your abilities and strengths for granted by just doing your job without much reflection of the skills involved. Realistically doing a good job requires effort and a host of skills you have acquired over the span of your career – the value you bring.

A slower pace gives you the chance to update your career portfolio and recall the significant goals met by collecting positive comments, recognitions, awards and performance reviews. The exercise of organizing your accomplishments not only helps you with future discussions regarding performance but with compensation issues as it gives you a much needed reminder of your worth to your employer.

Listing your accomplishments also gives you a clue as to what you enjoy pursuing and can help you discover what you want to do more of in the future. Looking back over the year can tell you what skills you enjoyed using the most and what areas appealed to your strengths.

You can make good use of a slow time by building self-awareness into the areas of your career that need developing. For instance, in building relationships, how many times did you invite a colleague to lunch? How many professional associations meetings did you miss or attend? Give yourself a career review and identify what areas need improvement.

Relationship building is always a good way to reach out and get to know other departments better. If your department is caught up and you notice a colleague struggling to maintain their work load ask if there is anything you can do to help. It shows a team spirit in wanting to help your employer succeed and the serendipitous effect of lending a helping hand gives you more information and knowledge about how other departments work.

There is always room for organizing your surroundings and managing your time. De-cluttering your work space is one way to manage time more effectively as well as anticipate future workloads. When the office is quiet with fewer interruptions, it’s easier to organize, delete emails and purge reports.

Slow days at work can be a gift of time that if used wisely will help your career grow.

What do you like most about a slow week at work?


Kim Thompson