Holiday Productivity Guide: 7 Things to do in December (2018 Updated)

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(This article is updated and republished from MailbutlerHQ.)

The new year is approaching soon: chances are you’re either dragging on tasks you need to complete before going on vacation — or you’re already thinking of the amount of work after your break. Worst of all, imagine how many emails you’ll have to deal with once you’re back!

To put your mind at rest — you can actually maintain your productivity throughout the holiday seasons — all you need is a bit of planning ahead.

Here are 7 things to do this December that will get you right back on track after the holiday season — they’ll even help you get some work done without sacrificing the holiday spirit!

1. Build your own pregaming ritual

                                     Getting in the ‘zone’

Just like a pre-workout routine, a productivity ritual helps you get into ‘the zone’ for work.

Did you know that working repeatedly in the same physical environment helps you increase memory recall? In psychology, this is known as context-dependent memory. The same also goes for mood: if you start a project in a cheerful mood, you’ll recall it better next time you work happy. This is especially important for creative work and long-term projects.

Have a list of things ready to be done before you start your work — this might be a Spotify playlist, your favourite snack, a certain desk arrangement, or a list of productivity apps ready on your screen.

Set your pregaming ritual now so you can hop back onto the productivity train immediately after your holiday🚄

2. Write your emails before the holidays and send them afterwards

Write emails before the holidays and send them later

Do you have leads or contacts that you want to follow up immediately when you’re back? To avoid having your email buried in their post-holiday inbox, schedule them after the ‘rush hours’ when everyone is also sending in their messages. Mailbutler’s Send Later tool can take care of this — even if you’re somewhere enjoying your holidays with absolutely no internet connection.

3. Forget about new year’s resolutions — ALWAYS have a to-do list ready

It’s that time of the year again when everyone shares their new year’s resolutions on social media. You’re probably not surprised to know that less than 10% of people actually feel like they follow through with their goals.

New year’s resolutions can be tricky not because they’re unattainable, but because people don’t realise they need gradual, lifestyle changes. If you found it difficult to stick to them, try breaking down your goals into daily or monthly tasks.

4. Get on an email diet

Now is the last chance to save your inbox before you drown in holiday marketing emails. Dig through your inbox and pick out all the newsletter subscriptions you haven’t read since months ago.

You can easily opt out from any newsletter using Mailbutler’s handy Unsubscribe feature: our plugin quickly scans through your emails’ fine prints and brings the ‘unsubscribe’ button to you.

Get on an email diet — don’t let the holidays ruin your Inbox Zero goal!

5. Work in the holidays, incognito style

                                  

Let’s be realistic — most of us probably won’t work or reply to emails in the midst of celebrations. However, some might actually find the festive mood to be a less stressful time to work.

Before you try to fully immerse yourself in work and miss out on all the fun in the holiday season, here’s a quick tip: try working offline.

This makes sure you stay focused on tasks that are set before the holiday, without distractions on social media or emails.

6. Set your follow-up reminders for after the holidays

Set follow-up reminders for after the holidays
Mailbutler’s follow-up reminder feature. Phew, no more forgotten leads.

You might only be a few steps away from closing a deal or starting an exciting project — and you definitely don’t want the holidays to get in your way.

Before the holiday begins, go through your inbox and set a Follow-Up Reminder on each conversation you’ll get back to immediately once you’re at the office again.

7. Still tempted to check your emails? Try the snooze button

Snooze your emails. Seriously.
                                                         

We get it — maybe it’s fear of missing out, maybe it’s the flashing red number at your dock — you just don’t want to leave any emails unread.

In most cases, emails sent to you when you’re on holiday are less urgent than you’d imagine. If you’re still tempted to work or check your emails, try the snooze button on Mailbutler.

Mailbutler’s Snoozing feature helps you temporarily hide your unread messages and reappear at a desired date and time. You can finally head to bed knowing there’s no unread count judging you on your computer.

Finally … give yourself a well-deserved break

That’s it — we hope this year has been rewarding and productive (perhaps with the help of Mailbutler!). Apart from work, don’t forget that time spent on personal goals and with friends and families are just as important.

Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, the Mailbutler team wishes you the best and most joyful of times.

And the best to come for the next year! 🎊

Mailbutler is a free productivity extension for Apple Mail and Gmail that adds all missing functionalities of modern emailing straight to your inbox. 📭

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