An Easy Way to Put Thanksgiving Week to Good Use
Let’s be honest, this is probably not a super high productivity week for many people. Unless you’re prepping for a big Black Friday sale, most of us are more focused on what to cook or how to get to grandma’s (or, uniquely this year, celebrating Hanukkah) than high impact business activities.
But while it’s unlikely that you’ll stop dreaming of roasted poultry or glory on the field for your favorite football team, there may be a way to put your slow holiday week to good use. Product manager/ blogger Justin Jackson has a great idea. It is exactly the kind of thing you probably don’t feel like actually doing over your Thanksgiving week, but the perfect thing to sit down and plan while you’re digesting.
What is it? Jackson calls it a ‘week of hustle.’ He explains:
Here’s the idea: think about what happens when you go to a conference. You’ve booked that time off, you jump on an airplane, you arrive in Las Vegas. Everyone at the office knows you’re at the conference, so they don’t bug you. You’ve put your “Out of office” reply on your email. With all of this done, you’re able to focus on the speakers, meeting people, workshops, etc…
The Week of Hustle is taking 7 days away from your regular routine, and focusing on finishing a project (or shipping a product feature). You choose to ignore the maintenance, the bugs, the emails and phone calls for a week, and just focus on moving your business forward.
If you’re able to put on your “Out of office” reply, that’s good. But it’s even better if you get out of town. No one disturbs you when you’re traveling.
With the end of the year in sight, wouldn’t it be good to get away and check that one massive to-do item off your list or really ponder your strategy for 2014? Jackson reports that when he tried a group ‘Week of Hustle’ with some other entrepreneurs recently, results were positive all around, though he notes “it helps if you have a daily reminder, a checklist, and accountability.” For his recent group experiment, “each of us set a goal for the week, and then worked backwards to create a realistic checklist for each day.” A daily email reminder each morning worked to keep participants on track.
So this week, during halftime or while you’re waiting for the oven timer to go off, maybe you could wander off to a quiet corner and take a look at your schedule. Is there a week coming up (maybe after the holiday madness) that you could block off to shut off all the distractions and take a deep dive into the truly important work you’ve been putting off? Mark that week out on your calendar as hustle week and go back to the couch or kitchen. With that one low intensity step you will have made a positive leap for your company -- without putting a dent in the festive mood.
Would you like to kick the coming year off with a Week of Hustle?
JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.