Disappearing December

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I’m not sure if everyone agrees with me on this, but it’s difficult to believe that 2010 is gone. And before January 2011 evaporates and I get swamped in new adventures, I at least wanted to reflect on how quickly the weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year holidays go by.

Towards the last few weeks of the year, 2010 moved at warp speed for me. I was trying to juggle work for three clients in three cities, traveling for onsite client meetings and finalizing important projects and deliverables. Plus, I “needed” to attend a myriad of company, colleague and other holiday events (including my own holiday party) and still find time to shop, wrap and get ready for the holidays. Truth be told, I actually started this blog in the remaining days of the year, and then before I could finish the Holidays swallowed me up. My assumption is that many people deal with this similar situation. You and maybe even your boss/client are left to wonder, where did December go?! I’ve come to the conclusion that December is just disappearing.

Although the month of December hasn’t changed in length, the actual productive weeks of work time available seem to have decreased. Don’t get me wrong, the period between these traditional holidays, roughly the Monday after Thanksgiving till New Years eve, has always been a mad rush to the finish. Frantic would be a great word to describe everyone’s demeanor. People are closing out projects or Q4 sales pipelines, trying to push through the always fun financial closing activities that anyone in a finance/accounting role loathes. But, over the last few years, I’ve witnessed the interesting phenomenon at my clients, my employers and the employers of my close friends/family.

Most technology projects that I see still estimate at least 10 days of potential duration or work time during the last month of the year. But even that’s a generous these days. I’m not saying that the calendar is dropping days or that people are skipping work, it just seems to me that true productivity of people in this period has been impacted. Nor am I saying that this is a good or bad thing, it’s simply an observation. The holiday season is busy enough to navigate in terms of family and other social events without December work getting in our way.

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