What I’m doing while you’re on vacation

Are you on vacation this week? While I wholeheartedly believe in taking time off during the holidays to relax and refresh, I’ve always enjoyed working at least a couple of days between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a great time to clean out old file folders, literally and figuratively, and get things in order for the coming year.

calendar1This year is a little different. Having just started a new job a month ago, I don’t have any cluttered files to clean out. But I’m looking forward to the relative quiet of these few days nevertheless.

Here’s what I’ll be doing this week:

Organize the avalanche of new information I’ve received about my new projects. Whenever I hear about a new thing, my mind tries to associate it with something I already know — which sometimes leads to false assumptions. So when I heard about Project B in my second week of work, I filed it along with Project A, which I’d heard about in the first week. Now I can go back and see that Project B actually fits with Project C, which I didn’t even know about until my third week.

List my priorities for the next quarter and the next year. As I learn about all of the various projects, nearly everything seems to have high importance attached to it. Now that I know enough to have some perspective, I can do some real prioritizing. My manager has already helped me with this, and I’ll be seeking her guidance throughout the year.

Learn as much as I can about my company’s product line, its key competitors, and which of its products produce the most revenue. This will help me understand my particular projects’ place in the overall scheme. I hope it’ll also help me understand how my products are being marketed, which will tell me a lot about the audience I’m addressing and the way I should be writing for them.

Try to determine if the company — or at least my part of the company — has a content strategy, who’s in charge of it, and how well it’s supported by the content for which I’ve inherited responsibility.

Do you have a ritual you follow during the last few work days in the year? What will you be doing to turn the corner from 2015 to 2016?

5 thoughts on “What I’m doing while you’re on vacation

    1. Larry Kunz Post author

      Thanks, Pam. Can you say a little more about what you mean by organizing social media? It sounds like a great thing to do during the time between the holidays — and one that I hadn’t thought of.

  1. MarciaRieferJohnston (@MarciaRJohnston)


    Your employer has chosen wisely.

    As for me, I don’t have any work-related traditions. I may have started one this year, though. Having just read two books on messes—the New York Times best seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and “How to Make Sense of Any Mess”—I’ve been inspired to look beyond my work to my neglected workspace. I’ve weeded several bookcases (making shelf space for things I had stashed on the floor), cleared my whiteboard (as in bare), decluttered and dusted my desk (what a pleasure to look at), and hung a large square of colorful Guatemalan fabric on the wall behind my chair (a cheery reminder of two weeks I spent there with my kids when my daughter was in the Peace Corps). I love walking into my office now.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  2. Jeff Coatsworth

    My usual tradition is jumping into a freezing cold body of freshwater for charity Larry. Lately at work I’ve been using the “between” time to get projects finished up before the start of the new year.


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