A Restivus for the Rest of Us: Taking Advantage of Downtime During the Holidays

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, indulging in the sights, sounds and tastes of the season while taking some much deserved time away from work. The weeks leading up to Christmas, whether or not you celebrate the holiday, are usually filled with the last minute meetings and calls that go unnoticed once vacation begins.

It is the week of “Restivus,” the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day when offices are empty and nothing important seems to happen.

These last ditch efforts to get things done are common among businesses of all sizes, including small business owners and entrepreneurs, because they know what lurks between the festive yuletide and celebratory parties for the New Year: a desolate wasteland of a week where productivity is low, effort is minimal, and phones go straight to voicemail. It is the week of “Restivus,” the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day when offices are empty and nothing important seems to happen.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, spending “Restivus” catching up on sleep, binge-watching television, eating leftovers or putting together the kids’ toys can be a relaxing way to waste the week, but it can also be a great time to organize those nagging holiday expenses, get your finances in order and get a head start on the New Year.

Here are 5 ways to take advantage of your “Restivus” this year:

1. Manage your Documents: Treat yourself to a scanner this holiday season and spend your week of “Restivus” clearing all of the paper clutter from your office. Document storage is key to improved management and by scanning and organizing your paper documents, you save time and space. Finding a scanner that can parse information from different types of documents, integrate into 3rd party applications or simply archive important information, is imperative. The Neat Company’s NeatConnect and Smart Organization System is a great example of scanner and technology that can extract vital information from documents, organize it and allow users to integrate it into programs that help businesses run more efficiently.

2. Organize your Calendar: Whether you set your appointments on paper or digitally, this week is a great time to get that calendar under control. Since there won’t be many meetings scheduled during this time, use it as an opportunity to look forward and schedule important items or remove recurring items that are no longer needed. The beauty of maintaining a digital calendar either through your email provider or in a free app, is that it allows you to maintain multiple calendars, keeping professional and personal events separate. Additionally, keeping your digital calendar organized lets you share it with coworkers or family members to keep them abreast of what’s going on in your life, if you want them to know of course.

3. Transfer to the Cloud: Using the scanner you treated yourself to, you should store all of your documents on the cloud. By keeping all of your documents on the cloud, it allows you to access them on any internet-enabled device. At this point, it seems most small businesses are storing some if not all of their files on the cloud, so embracing cloud storage is not only important but essential. There are a number of cloud-storage applications to choose from but some subscription services, such as Neat’s Cloud Service, provide unique integrations through scanning software and mobile applications.

4. Evaluate your Finances: Take this time to evaluate the finances of your business and investigate what tools and applications are out there to make running a small business easier. Talk to your bank or financial services provider and see if they have programs to assist you. Look into free financial planning apps that will help you with the daily budgeting and form filing that can confuse some small businesses. This week is also an important time to look back at your financial history for the past year, evaluate it and see what type of financial goals or benchmarks you can set for the year ahead.

5. Set Goals: Speaking of the year ahead…set some goals! This week is a great time for some physical organization but it can also be used to mentally prepare and get some inspiration for the year ahead. Business goals that focus on improving revenue, productivity, and reducing overall costs, can set helpful barometers to guide owners and entrepreneurs on the path to a successful year. Having an action plan in place for the coming year is always beneficial, so taking a little time during this week to contemplate the future not only will get you motivated but will keep you a step ahead of your competitors who spent the week snoozing.

The bottom line is that while you should relax during this week, it is also important to carve out some time to be productive and advance your small business. Whether you decide to tackle all of these tasks or focus on just a few, take advantage of “Restivus” and get you and your business ready for the New Year.

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Neat® is the leading developer of Smart Organization Systems for the small business and home markets. Neat’s unique combination of cloud, mobile, desktop software, and hardware scanning solutions transform important documents into usable digital information. Neat’s comprehensive Smart Organization System helps you organize, access, and share both paper and digital documents simplifying everyday tasks so you have more time to do what matters.

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