If you haven't finished up for the year, start your holidays today.
You'll still have to turn up to work. We're not talking about wagging here. Just take the foot off the gas. Check out. Coast to the break for the good of your family, yourself and your employers.
Generally New Zealanders hit their time off stressed out. You're been trying to get everything done before the holidays. Working harder than you have all year. You make big decisions for the coming year when you're at your most shagged.
Then, when you finally hit the summer holidays, you're so uptight you can't relax. You spend your first week off annoyed at everyone and everything. Snapping at family. Yelling at Mr Whippy. Joining Facebook pages to complain about rubbish in the neighbourhood.
Too wound up to sit on the beach for five minutes. You check your phone every 30 seconds to see if the pointless email you sent out on December 24 has been answered.
Eventually, you start to relax. This lasts one day before you have to go back to work. Unrested and angry. You start the year with zero enthusiasm or energy. A wrath. All because you didn't get a proper holiday.
We do this year in and year out. The same mistake for our whole lives. Never 100 per cent recharged. Hovering around on the back foot unable to play your shots. The first decent break we get is when we die.
That's why smart people check out at least a week before they knock off. Get in the holiday frame of mind before the holidays even start.
Clever Kiwis only do what they absolutely must in the last week. No quoting on new work. No planning. No cold calling. No shirt. No tie. No returning to the office after lunch unless you absolutely have to.
This way by the time you hit your break, you're pre-chilled. Nothing annoys you. You won't stress unduly about holiday traffic. Who cares if you catch any fish? You'll be happy just to sit back and get a nice sunburn.
Three days in you'll forget where your phone is. Four days in you'll forget your clients' names. Then the name of your company. A week in you become a human again.
When you go back you return super-powered. Everyone else will turn up worse off than when they left. You'll lap them in the first week. That's where your workplace wins. Who cares about 2019. It's done. With this method, you'll smash 2020.
There has been a lot of talk about working smart this year. People are trying new things. Questioning work patterns.
Microsoft Japan tested a four-day work week and productivity jumped by 40 per cent. German carmaker Volkswagen banned work emails outside business hours and got more done. Could coasting to Christmas be New Zealand's employment innovation?
There are exceptions of course. People in retail and hospo have it a bit harder. There are no long lunches when the tills are open. But even you can check out mentally. Sure you can serve customers. Sell stuff. But zone out as much as you can.
Surgeons, pilots, nurses, tradies, crane operators, police and other people who have lives in their hands might have to keep the foot half on the gas. Everyone else shove it in neutral and roll downhill.
New Zealanders arguably work harder than anyone else on the planet. We have longer hours. More productivity per person. By December you have done more than enough for the year. You deserve a proper break. You deserve to hit the holidays relaxed.
So don't slam it into third and rev the bejesus out of your already rooted engine. You owe yourself, your employer and your family to phone it in for the last week. Take the foot right off the gas today.
I clearly have.