Holidays are the perfect occasion to slow down and give yourself a break from corporate life. It allows you a chance to spend time with the people that matter the most – your family and friends – the people who you work so hard for. And while it’s a great time for rest and relaxation, it could also be an opportunity to be productive. Successful people know that among the many things to do during holidays indulging in some constructive thinking can be highly beneficial.

Here are some productive things to do during holidays.

1. Catch up on Reading

I’m sure you’ll have a book or two lying around which you’ve been meaning to pick up and read. Obviously, it’s hard to find the time to read when you’re so caught up with daily routine – there’s work and family both taking up most of your day. And that’s fine, but you definitely need to read books on what interests so to help you stay current, relevant and innovative.

To be the best you can be, reading to gain knowledge is an essential element. And the holidays are the perfect time to catch up on it.

2. Chalk Out The Near Future

It’s understandable to be caught up with firefighting, daily meetings, operational matters and all that office routine that keeps you from pondering on the big picture. During your holiday when you’re involved in none of that, you could take some time to plan.

Planning is essential so that you know where you’re headed, personally and professionally. You could line up meetings for the weeks to come. You could even plan what you and your team will be working on in the coming week, month or even the quarter. Lay it down during your holidays so you’re charged up and focused when you return. Share the plan with your team early in the day so they’re aligned with the plan you’ve designed.

3. Organize Your Emails

Quite honestly, your inbox can get messy if you don’t give it attention – something you often don’t get the time to do at work. Most of time you’re focusing on responding to emails and avoid organizing your emails into logical folders. Sometimes you’ll even find an old email that you never attended to (yikes!).

Find a quiet evening when you can sit back with a cup of tea, listen to some music in the background, relax and clean up your emails. You’ll be surprised how “light” your inbox feels when you return to work.

4. Find a New Habit You Can Commit To

While it may take 21 days to solidify a habit the holidays are a great time to identify one and pick it up. Doesn’t matter if it takes a time to get into the groove of your new habit. The point is during your time off from work you can actually do some research, identify what you’d like to get involved in and then kick start it.

You could start the habit of maintaining a journal which helps you stay focused on your goals, professional and personal ones. You may feel that physically you need to get into shape (helps build stamina so you can fight workplace fatigue) and morning jogs are what you need to do. Whatever the habit, make sure it’s something that can positively impact your life.

5. Let The Mind Wander

Sure you’ve laid down your plans and objectives, but they’re all focused towards specific goals. What you seldom get a chance to do is letting your mind wander into places that are beyond the norm and routine. Thinking outside the box is just the tip of the iceberg. A wandering mind can result in innovations and developing new connections and strategies that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Take the time to think of nothing that’s obvious and right in front of you. Let your mind wander and explore avenues that may seem impossible at first. Work your way back to see how it could materialize and what you need to do to make it happen, if it’s right for you.

The last thing you want to do is “work” during the holidays. By no means am I suggesting that you do that. Slow down and give yourself a break. But while you’re resting, who says you can’t find things to do during holidays that could be conducive to your growth and development. You’ll return to work a stronger and focused professional.

Do you have any other ideas that you use to be productive during the holidays? Share them with us in the comments below.