Professors don't think in terms of calendar years but of academic years. The school year is partitioned into four great periods, corresponding to the two semesters and the long breaks between semesters.
During the breaks, we are primarily focused on our research.
During the semester, many of us are primarily focused on our teaching. To prevent excesses in that regard, if may be good to plan a trip to a conference some time during the semester: that is one purpose served by conferences, that neither Arxiv nor journals can be a substitute for.
So, every three months or so, the great pendulum of our work-life swings from teaching to research and from research back to teaching.