5 Ways To Generate Productivity on Pseudo-Holidays

A CEO I once worked for told me how much he hated CEO holidays.

Especially bad were mid-week holidays as this year’s Christmas and New Year’s Day fall. He tried keeping his emotions in check but would sputter and fume about the way staffers not on vacation aimlessly drifted through the day. “Tell one of your directors to deal with it,” I remember him snapping one Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Good idea, I thought.  It’s a shame I told my gang they should take a two hour lunch and unwind since the place was dead.

But over the years we found some holiday productivity tasks that can be done each pseudo-holiday (and yes, tomorrow is one) so that some value happens. Here are some ideas aimed at marketers, but easily adapted to other functions.  This is not busy work.  These are all things you should have done before hectic days got in the way.  Pull out this document again around mid-February, polish off the list and go take a long lunch.

  1. Check your analytics packages from every system you use. This is when you find all the vendors you give view or even write access to and forgot to remove.  As I write this, my personal account has access to 3 clients we don’t work with anymore. My business account has 2 others. We were friendly, sure, but should I really see that one of them is spending an awful lot of money on [redacted for his own good]?
  2. Did any major social networks or email services roll out for which you haven’t practiced good protection? Twitter immediately jumps to mind. For the uber-geeks of 2007 to the mainstream geeks of 2008, this may be a microblogging  platform for several years to come. If so, you should have your personal name, your company’s name and your major brand names all protected on Twitter. There are 1 million registered users. Don’t lose your name to someone else.
  3. Have you purged all rented lists?  One day you’re not going to be there and someone is going to marvel at the deal they get for 50,000 more names. If you’re out of license, either buy the list, extend the license, or get rid of them. And don’t get rid of them by asking IT to drop them in your prospect file.
  4. Pull the domain records for every name you own. Start tracking the name, registrar, and DNS. Then renew any you’re keeping for the maximum you can through your registrar.  Get 10 years if you can. If the domain in question is a business, trade or product name and you’re unwilling to spend $100-$200 to lock down the name for a decade, please rethink your domain strategy. Or call us, and we’ll do it for you. But seriously, didn’t you spend more bringing in pizza for the last lunch meeting?
  5. Change the password on all “shared” SaaS accounts, internal email groups and email all key vendors with the names of approved buyers. Yes, you forgot that you added the intern’s name in July because giving that person access was easier than logging in each time yourself. Understandable. Now please remove their access because your security person is about to cry. And yes, if you don’t have a security person, we can hook you up with a referral.

I’m not sure, but ours may be piloting the Space Shuttle from his lair tomorrow while everyone else is on pseduo-holiday.


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