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How To Pretend Like You're Working This Week

Are you working this week? Excuse me, I should say "working," because nobody is getting any real work done. Let's all fake it until we make it to quitting time!

I haven't been posting much lately because I've been waiting in long lines to buy rolls of tape. I make deals with myself while I wait.

I will get some writing done, just as soon as I bake those holiday cookies! I will move mountains, after I deal with a few more holiday-related molehills! Why do I always pick the line that stops moving?

Repeat after me: I won't get anything truly constructive done today. I will try, but it probably won't happen. The best I can hope for is to knock one, maybe two, pressing things off my "to do" list. That's it. How did I forget to buy tape when that's what I went into the store to buy?!

We are all distracted this week, and it's time to own it.

Yes, I know. It's anathema to admit to slacking off in today's Slack-enabled workplaces. These days, we're only as good as what we'll be doing five minutes from now. We work, therefore we are. We wear our busy-ness like a badge of honor.

Then along come the holidays, which present us with a bunch of red tape -- or a bunch of red ribbon, as the case may be. The holidays gunk up the works. We take two steps forward, only to feel like we're taking three steps backward. Nothing seems to be moving ahead, whether it's the line at the store or a project at work. Please stay on the line, because your call is very important to us.

Even employers have largely given up trying to stop employees' online shopping excursions during work hours. It's a tacit nod to the distractions of the season, and to the fact that we're always working.

So how should we manage the distractions of December? We're already half way there with my previous post listing 50 things to do when there's nothing to do at work, but there's always more we can do.

First, we can refuse to feel frustrated by our lack of work progress. Second, we can avoid scheduling "urgent" meetings over the next 10 days unless absolutely necessary. Third, we can avoid starting big projects since nobody has the mental bandwidth for them until January.

Most of all, we can strive to keep our expectations in check.

Yes, it's easier said than done, because you have three meetings before noon and you still have a long holiday "to do" list! But we're meant to slow down this time of year. It's very good for us. As we watch the sun set at 4 p.m., we should feel thankful for what we have as we seek out ways to work in a few good deeds for others.

Besides, we're fooling ourselves if we think the rest of the year is unimpeded by random distraction. Workplace distractions are everywhere all the time, just like the Paul McCartney song Wonderful Christmastime. We create many of these distractions for ourselves, too.

So make yourself a cup of cocoa as you finally place that online gift order that will arrive sometime in January. In this December to remember, good things take time.

Could I have done more with this blog post? Sure, but I don't have the time this week, and neither do you. This post is as good as it gets today. I'll let you get back to looking busy now.


  1. Fun read, as I sit here "researching" for work! I agree with you, adjusting your expectations around holiday time can be difficult. Knowing what is high priority and what can wait can be helpful. Thanks!


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