Being Productive During the Slow Times

Unless you’re in accounting or retail, many businesses slow down dramatically between now and mid-January.  Or maybe your normally-humming business has slowed down to a slow sputter due to the economy.  Take the opportunity to relax a bit and enjoy your family, but also take advantage of the lull by completing some of those projects that have been sitting on the back burner.  You always say, “I’ll get to that someday,” or “I’ll do it when I have more time.”  Well, now’s the day you have more time.  So knock some things out before things pick up again in February.  What could you work on?

·        Purge your filing cabinets of outdated materials you never refer to.

·        Pull all your 2008 tax information.

·        Move old client files to archive boxes in your basement.

·        Clean out your computer files.

·        Finally download, organize, and print your digital photos.

·        Go through your shelves and donate to charity, a retirement home, or your library.

·        Take clothes that don’t fit, you don’t like, or aren’t in style to Goodwill.

·        Organize your pantry and toss expired items.

·        Go through all your bookmarks and delete links no longer of interest.

·        Learn that new software package you bought but never took out.

·        Record a new podcast, youtube video, or product.

·        Write a book proposal or book (my current project), a white paper, or articles.

·        Get rid of items in your crawl space, basement, attic or garage.

·        Give your walls a fresh coat of paint.

·        Train your pet

·        Learn a new sport or start a new hobby.

·        Lose some weight and exercise.

·        Update your electronic press kit on the web (letters, photos, articles, etc.)

·        Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and learn to expand your network.

·        Begin a new marketing campaign.

·        Create new promotional literature and support pieces.

·        Update your video with new footage.

·        Read the stack of books that have been on your nightstand or side table for months.

·        Call every single one of your past clients to say hello.

·        Plan your 2009 goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics.

·        Map out future projects.

·        Start over.

What else can you do to productively take advantage of these slow times?
(c) 2008 Laura Stack



  1. Hi Laura,

    That’s a great idea! I’m between fulltime positions at the moment (which is what we call “unemployed” in The Downturn, apparently), so I decided to start a travel blog because it had been on my Someday/Maybe list forever.

    I decided on travel because my travel budget is way, way down so I’m not likely to get to take the train to Vladivostok like I want to, so remembering all the incredible places I’ve been is great fun. (Plus, it’s nice to remember it being 90 degrees in St Petersburg, Russia in June!

    Also, it’s great as a showcase of my technical and writing skills, kind of like an online portfolio. Blogging software and other content management systems are absolutely marketable skills that employers just love.

    The blog’s at if you want to check it out!