productivity hacks

The other day at the store, I found myself getting tackled by a mob of shoppers as I reached for the glitter nail polish. That’s how I knew the holiday season was upon us.

For small business owners, the holidays can be a crazy time. Between Christmas parties, client meetings, and work events, it can be hard to keep up with the never ending tasks. However, if you want to stay competitive in your industry, it’s important to maintain your productivity year round, especially if you run an online business. Remember, Google takes no breaks! This year, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite productivity hacks, so that you can spend less time getting tackled at the stores, and more time marketing your business online.

1. Manage Your Email

Email marketing is a powerful tool, but let’s be honest. If left unmanaged, it can clutter up your inbox faster than you can say “unsubscribe.” In a pinch, you can use, to unsubscribe to all of the unwanted emails that are flooding in during December. Getting rid of the clutter will allow you to focus on responding to important emails this holiday season.

2. Schedule Social Media

There’s no hiding the fact that internet marketing is a lot of work. However, you don’t want to let your marketing efforts slip during the holidays. If you know you’re going to be out of town, schedule your social media posts using Hootsuite and write blog posts in advance to stay ahead of the game.

3. Network at Holiday Parties

Holiday parties and family gatherings are a great place to meet new faces and discuss your business in a low pressure environment. With no pressure to sell, you can bounce ideas off people and get feedback on your website. Jot down some quick notes and return to the office to share comments with your team.

4. Say No to Invitations

This time of year can be busy, not to mention hard on your budget. Choose selected events for your calendar, and politely decline others. Don’t forget to schedule some down time to work on important tasks and goals.

5. Plan Holiday Marketing Content

Use this time of year to craft holiday content that’s relevant to your business. Not only will it help you get into the holiday spirit, but it’ll also help you market your business at the same time and review your website analytics.

6. Send an Email Campaign

December is a great month to send an email campaign to your clients and customers. Offering holiday discounts, or simply dropping into say hello and share new content, is a great way to engage your email list and take advantage of the holiday shopping season. Schedule your campaign a week in advance to leave plenty of time for planning and implementation.

7. Stay Active

Go outside and get active! Instead of staying indoors in the cold weather, bundle up and get outside for a run or hike. Hit up the gym for some extra energy to push through tight deadlines and long projects that extend into the holiday season.

8. Simplify Your Life

While his time of year tends to focus on consumerism, it can be refreshing to have a clean start in 2017.  Use extra time off to donate unwanted belongings. Also, ask friends and family to limit spending on gifts. You’ll have a clearer mind and focus when the New Year rolls around.

9. Tackle One Big Project

It’s often a habit to put off “big tasks” for the New Year. Instead, choose one big project, such as a website launch or new blog to work on during December. Come New Year, you’ll be ahead of the game.

10. Enjoy the Season!

Balance productivity with plenty of seasonal fun. If you set aside focused time to work over breaks, say in the early mornings, then you can enjoy the rest of the day—guilt free.