Don’t work the first week of the year. Revel in the holidays and memories of sharing with near and dear. Use this time to nurture that good feeling and let it ooze into your life. Do a few things that will set you up for the year instead of start burning you out already.
1. By this time, most greeting cards and postcards have been cleared out so send your thank you or New Year cards out now. Your recipients will find them this weekend or next, it will stay fresh on top of mind. A simple ‘thanks for the opportunities to work with you last year, looking forward to more occasions to collaborate in the New Year’ will do. I buy blank cards in bulk over the holidays and print a simple message created/designed on my computer.
2. I also use this time to send cards out to close friends and family, although, over time, these have ended up being electronic considering how many such cards have to be mailed. Past the Thanksgiving flurry and definitely after the Christmas and New Year greetings have done their rounds is a good time – I know from experience, I have had friends commend me on waiting out the yearning to quickly mail holiday cards all around.
3. Clear out your emails during this first week. Your vacation response from Christmas and New Year’s better be active! Clear out all folders on your email and ensure only what is absolutely necessary stays on. Clear out folders on your computer as well. Label them right, organize them for future ease, do the groundwork you need to do to ensure the rest of the year is smooth sailing, at least from your end. And clear out those spam and trash folders as well as the recycle bin.
4. As an extension of the point above, this is a good time to start preparing for your taxes. If you need forms coming in from employers, that can wait but make sure the papers you need in place are all sorted and organized in aptly labeled folders. You will be thankful in April when tax deadlines close in and all you will do is simply add in the forms sent in by employers and you are good to go. Works like a charm every single year, I tell ya!
5. Also a good time to engage in some well-deserved new year cleaning if you must. If your home or office witnessed holiday parties last year, do a quick look around and make sure you have cleared up all signs of the shenanigans that ensued. If you are a freelancer working from home then clean up that dirty work desk, drawers, et al and do give your laptop bag, work purse, etc. some TLC as well.
Try it. I officially began working only from the 13th onwards. You will see how much you will be relieved to start the year on a fresh note instead of what seems like a continuation of the scurrying and disorder that was 2013.