While fumbling through my stack of snail mail last week, I came across the annual letter from my accountant. In it she highlights what strategies I can take to improve my financial situation for 2017.

The letter caused me to think about steps we can take to set ourselves up for a more productive 2017 at work. Here are five suggestions that quickly came to mind:

Deal with your email problem.
Start by getting your inbox to zero. Use the TRAF (Trash/Refer/Act/File) method to quickly move through them. Unsubscribe from any newsletters you don’t read and opt-in emails from organizations that regularly send you updates or offers.

Have THAT conversation.
It might be a coworker or your boss. There’s something you have wanted to talk with them about and you keep putting it off, thinking there will be that “perfect moment.” Why not take advantage of the festive mood in your workplace and have the talk to get the answer you need to move forward?

Finish stuff.
There’s a natural reset button with the start of a new year. We have higher expectations of ourselves and our work. Don’t let unfinished assignments from 2016 weigh you down as you move into 2017.

Take time to think BIG.
These days leading up to the holiday break are the perfect time to start planning for 2017. Think about what you want to accomplish in the new year individually, and as a team. And you’ll find that some of your down time over the holidays will give your mind a chance to flesh out your ideas.

Rewind through 2016.
Review your calendar for the past year. It’s the most in-depth record you have of where you’ve spent your time in 2016. As meaningful projects, assignments, and experiences come to mind, answer these three questions:

Why was this event meaningful to me?
What did I learn from it?
What do I wish I would have done differently?
In just a few days you may find yourself on a cross country trip to see grandma or lying on your couch binge watching Designated Survivor. Wouldn’t it add to your ability to relax if you knew you were prepared to have an even more productive 2017?

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