Young Woman In Santa Hat Exhausted In OfficeChristmas is five days away (if you count today), and that, of course, means the start of 2013 is soon after. With the holidays fast approaching, most people have so much to do in what feels like so little time.

We think of getting things ready in our personal lives—last minute shopping, wrapping gifts, putting up Christmas decor—but what about making sure to tie up any loose ends in our personal lives?

No one wants to come back from a holiday break/vacation to an unfinished business, literally. Below are five things you should make an effort to complete before your upcoming time off:

Go through your inbox

We all know how easy it is for emails to pile up in your inbox throughout the year. You know how you’re always saying one day you’ll go through them? Today is the day. Now is the perfect time to sort through your inbox, replying to important messages, discarding unnecessary ones, and organizing those you need to save. Work can get busy and it’s easy to forget to respond to an email here and there in the madness. Yet, you don’t want to never reply to emails; always sending a response and continuing communication until an appropriate end is important because it reflects upon you as a professional.

Finish year-end projects

Like emails, a lot of workers have the tendency to put off completing projects for a later date. If you started a task in 2012, especially if it was a small one, why not finish it in 2012? Don’t bring old work into a new year, if you can help it. No one wants to come back to work and be forced to finish work from last year on top of new assignments for 2013. Of course some projects are long term and may drift into the New Year, but if you set an end-of-the-year deadline, try to adhere to it.

Put in for vacation time

Some companies have certain deadlines when it comes to 1) using your vacation time before the end of the year or 2) requesting off for a new year. Be sure you request off the time you know you’ll need in 2013, especially if the time is during the first few months of the upcoming year. Avoid coming back from a break with plans to take off in 2013 only to be rudely awakened to the fact that you should’ve handled this before the new year.

Apply for promotions/new positions

If you’ve had your eye on that upper-level position, don’t wait until it’s too late to apply for it, especially if your company has set a 2012 deadline. Besides, applying for a new position can sometimes be time consuming. You have to make sure all your ducks are in a row—tightening up your resume, getting needed references, filling out applications and assessments. It’s better to finish this task now than to have it hanging over your head in 2013.

Enjoy the holidays

This is something for after you leave work, but equally important to accomplish. So many people don’t know how to keep the lines of work and outside-of-work separate. Try not to bring your work laptop home this holiday break and turn off your company phone, if possible. For most of the year you spend a great deal of time working; don’t bring the office into your holiday break. Make an effort to step away from anything work related this year and truly enjoy this time off.

Power your recruiting success.
Tap into, the largest network of recruiters.

in Business Tips]