Science Says Celebrating These Five Holidays In January Will Make You More Successful (Hint: They Probably Aren't On Your Calendar)

The holiday season has come and gone. We’ve eaten too much, overspent, and grown tired of old Uncle Tim’s relentless rants about the good ‘ole days.

But this doesn’t mean the time for celebrating has passed. There are five more holidays you should be celebrating in January. 

None of them will cause you to gain the Freshman 15. They won’t cause your bank account to take a nose dive. And they won’t cause you to quietly utter curse words under your breath at Uncle Tim (you love him, really).

Instead, they’ll prime you for success. Sound indulging? 

Note: The inspiration for these holidays came courtesy of keepincalendar.com and timeanddate.com. If you miss out celebrating any of these holidays in January, fear not. Similar holidays are speckled throughout the year. Public Sleeping Day on February 28 and World Sleep Day on March 16, for example, will afford you other valuable opportunities to catch up on lost sleep.

January 3: Festival of Sleep Day 

According to a McKinsey report, sleep deficiencies impair the performance of corporate executives. They undermine several important leadership behaviors. Studies have found that there are neurocognitive consequences of sleep deprivation. When we miss a few too many zzz’s, our cognitive reasoning and decision making abilities are impaired. 

Start the month of fresh and schedule in a few hours of additional sleep to your schedule. You’ll be better for it. So too will your co-workers.  

January 9: Clean Off Your Desk Day 

Disorganization can be crippling. A survey by OfficeMax found that 77 percent of executives believe that clutter damages their productivity. Cluttered desks cause us to waste time scouring for information and cause us to become distracted.

Before you leave work on January 9th, set aside an hour for cleaning off your desk. A clutter free desk can be liberating.

January 16: Nothing Day 

Counterintuitive, perhaps. But doing nothing can be one of the most effective ways to boost creativity. According to Manfred Ket De Vries, a distinguished professor at INSEAD, doing nothing can trigger our imagination and creativity. When we do nothing, we’re more susceptible to boredom, a state that can compel us to “seek the unfamiliar” and become more creative.

This month, clear up some white space on your calendar and schedule in some time to do nothing.  

January 23: Handwriting Day

Perhaps as a result of cleaning off your desk, you’ll uncover a pen or pencil. I suggest gripping it and engaging in some long overdo handwriting. Remember, the kind you did in elementary school? According to a paper published in Psychological Science, when we opt to take notes by pen or pencil (rather than via a laptop), we gain a better grasp of the subject matter.

On January 23rd, try taking all your Monday meeting notes by hand. (Stay strong. I know it’s a novel concept.) 

January 24: Compliment Day 

When was the last time you complimented a coworker? Bueller? Anyone? A recent study found that all it takes is a single compliment to cause people tend to become more effective at performing a task. 

On January 24th, forget repetitive twisting of the wrist. Instead, give a genuine compliment to every member of your team. You’ll boost productivity. I bet you even get a compliment or two back. 

Keep the holiday spirit going this January. Pencil these dates on your calendar and embrace them with a jolly festive cheer.  

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