5 Tips To Make December More Productive

How can you maximize your time to get the most value while still enjoying the holidays?

Elliot Markowitz

December 3, 2014

4 Min Read
5 Tips To Make December More Productive

It’s already December and the holiday festivities are in full swing. Office and personal parties are being held. Gift-swapping events are being planned. Vacations and time off to celebrate are already approved. There is a lot to do not only personally, but also professionally.

It’s a balance many people find hard to achieve. When do you turn off the desk light and turn on the tree or candle lights? The truth is, December is not a month to take for granted in the business world. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Spending budgets for the coming year are still being finalized, marketing programs are still being prepared and some companies are looking to spend out the month so they don’t lose the budget in the coming year.

The best sales professionals know that sometimes December dictates how the first quarter will play out. And everyone knows, the first quarter can put you and your company on the right road or the wrong one. So the question isn’t really how engaged should you be during December, it's how to maximize your time to get the most value while still enjoying the holidays and respecting the plans of others.

Here are three ways to make sure your December more productive, while still fully enjoying the holiday season:

  1. When you’re at work, work: This may sound simple enough but sometimes the office environment in December can be extremely distracting. Everyone is talking about their preparations for the holidays. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, don’t let your mind wander too much. Offices normally are closed for a few days in late December and many people also take vacation time, so their time spent in the office is limited. Make the most of it. Don’t do your online shopping during work hours. Use the shortened month to reach out to customers, tighten up your 2015 plans, motivate your staff or any other productive initiative. Leverage the time in the office as much as possible, as others are looking to do the same.

  2. Celebrate with your customers: December is a great time to meet with customers face to face. You can show your support by buying them lunch or dinner while cementing your relationship. This is a very productive way to show your appreciation for their business and also talk a little future business with them. This maximizes your time while giving your customers face time, all in the holiday spirit. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting and December gives a perfect reason.

  3. Reconnect with dormant customers: Many times calling on customers that have stopped doing business with your organization is awkward. You are waiting for the right opening. December is it. What better way to reconnect with a dormant customer than reaching out during the holiday season to show you want to start a new relationship? It’s a great ice-breaker and relationship rebuilder. You’d be surprised that when people are in the holiday spirit they are more forgiving and more open to reconnect. Give it a try.

  4. Use downtime for planning: Although much business is still conducted in December and you need to try and take full advantage of that, there also is some downtime as customers and work associates take time off. Use this time wisely to evaluate the year that is closing and what you can do better in the coming year. Most professionals are so busy reacting to problems during the course of the year they rarely get the chance to actually plan without interruption. Take advantage of any downtime to take a long look at your business, your structure, your go-to-market strategy and even your competition. Come the second week of January, the crazy cycle will begin again.

  5. Show your employees appreciation: Last but not least, don't forget your loyal employees. Spend some time with them. Take them to lunch or even dinner. Everyone is running around like mad during most of the year but December gives you the opportunity to show your appreciation for them in a meaningful way. Don’t assume they feel appreciated. Invest your time in them when you have the chance and you will have a more productive work staff.

About the Author(s)

Elliot Markowitz

Elliot Markowitz is a veteran in channel publishing. He served as an editor at CRN for 11 years, was editorial director of webcasts and events at Ziff Davis, and also built the webcast group as editorial director at Nielsen Business Media. He's served in senior leadership roles across several channel brands.

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