NEW YORK (MainStreet) Just because the office is empty doesn't mean you can't stay busy. In fact, the slow holiday season may be the perfect time to catch up on your to-do list and make your 2014 work life a little easier. Before you opt for long lunches or spend hours on Facebook, check out these three productive things you can do when the office is slow.
1. Reflect on your accomplishments and set new goals.
This is a great time to take a step back and reflect on what you've accomplished in the past year. If you haven't already, update your brag sheet to include all your most recent professional achievements and contributions, suggests Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders.
"This process will help you prepare for your upcoming annual review and any conversations you plan to have with your manager about your compensation," Augustine says.
Also, take a look at your calendar and set personal goals.
"Reflecting on the past year and assessing what you would like to improve or work towards in 2014 can be a great thing to do during the slower holiday weeks at work," says Piera Palazzolo, senior vice president of marketing at Dale Carnegie Training.
Even if it's difficult to think of being a career-focused dynamo when work is slow, it's important to use the end of the year to consider where you want to be in five or more years from now, Augustine says.
"Set a few goals for the New Year that will get you one step closer to your long-term professional aspirations. Create an action plan to help you meet these goals. This could include signing up for a professional development course, seeking out a mentor or updating your resume," she says.
2. Reach out to colleagues, current and former.