The Least Productive Months in the Year - [website] Email Print
Published: 24th of Jan 2020 by: Carolyn Kessler

I listened to an interesting panel discussion where a mental health professional who works as an organisational psychologist for a large corporate company, explained the findings of a study looking at employee productivity, in which he’d participated.

The study was looking to see which months are the least productive for the average workforce during the year and the results were really interesting.

Apparently, the months when we are least effective are January and February. Weird? I'd have thought December would rank high up there on a survey such as this, but not so. People push their productivity in December because many of them are going on leave and have to finish their tasks in a much shorter time period. They are also having to catch up with and complete tasks which they've let lag during the year, possibly because they weren't so time sensitive.

In addition, physiologically, our body rhythms take time to start back up and gain momentum at the beginning of the year, and we have very little control over this process. Just like a car, it takes time to reach our optimum cruising speed.

I had no idea this was the case and, as I mentioned, would automatically have slated December as being the least productive month. Then I got to thinking, firstly for those of us who do take leave over this period, just how much we have shelved with a view to getting it all done during the ‘quiet time’ in December.

In addition, there are many industries for whom this period is frantically busy. Even if we aren't employed in one of these specific industries, chances are pretty high that many of our companies service various aspects of these companies, for example supplying goods, cleaning services etc.

He suggested we could aid the process of re-starting along by focussing on self-care. This included re-establishing an 'early to bed, early to rise' sleep pattern, undertaking a reasonable and emotionally engaging exercise pattern, eating healthily and making time for creativity. In short, he stressed the importance of re-introducing structure into our lives, without eliminating all the 'play' or 'fun' time experienced whilst on leave.

With a view to helping you create and establish more effective methods of running your work and personal lives, our Stress and Time Management courses focus on all aspects of prioritising, planning, identifying exactly what our personal time thieves are and how to implement relevant and attainable working policies for ourselves.

Visit our website or email us at for more info, or give us a call at 0861 996 660.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

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