Do you feel it yet? That holiday panic setting in? The I’ve-got-a-million-things-to-do-with-no-end-in-sight feeling. We hope this isn’t the case – but if it is, remember: the end is in sight: less than three weeks away. So if you can hold out until then, you’ll be golden!
But what about trying to actually enjoy this festive season, with its cheerful gatherings and merry events? That may feel like an uphill battle with so much going on, both in your ecommerce store and everything else, but we’ve compiled a list of tools here that will help streamline things so you can focus on what you’d rather be doing, whether joining friends for cookie-making or chilling out on your sofa for a holiday film.
Set a TimerNot just your old kitchen timer. Binary Hammer’s 30/30 app is the task manager you need to get through your to-do’s efficiently. You enter a list of tasks and assign a specific length of time to each one. The app will time your progress, and let you know when you need to move on to the next item. So simple, but so effective. It’s been found that assigning a specific period of time to a task, whether 10 minutes or 50, gives us more focus – and with 30/30, you’ll be well on your way to moving through the day with the productivity you need right now.
Pomodoro Your Work RoutineHave you heard of The Pomodoro Technique? A similar concept to the 30/30 app, the Pomodoro Technique uses time to manage your tasks – solely through 25-minute chunks. You assign a task to yourself, set the Pomodoro for 25 interruption-free minutes, and go to it. After each 25-minute session, take a few minutes’ break. After four Pomodoro rounds, take a longer 20- 30-minute break. Before you know it, that mammoth of a task will be history!
Schedule NewslettersSchedule your newsletters ahead of time! As crunch-time nears, you’ll want to get the word out to as big an audience as possible about what you’re offering– and quickly! Sending newsletters is an effective way to do it, especially for timely messages that will expire within a few days or less. But the last thing you want to worry about is remembering to send your newsletter at that decidedly optimal moment. Save yourself from another to-do item by scheduling out your newsletters as soon as they’re created.
If you’re a Volusion merchant, you’ll be able to do this through our integrations with both MailChimp and Constant Contact. Alternatively, Vextras offers a seamless integration with Volusion for newsletter creation and scheduling, too.
Schedule Social Media PostsIf you’re active across multiple social media platforms, save yourself the trouble of logging in to each one separately every time you want to post. Hootsuite connects with a number of the main social channels (other than Facebook), and allows posting as well as engagement (likes, shares, replying to comments, etc.), all within a single interface. You can also schedule posts ahead of time, so your profiles will remain active while you devote your attention elsewhere. As for Facebook, they’ve got their own scheduling set-up within your profile, so take advantage!
De-Clutter your LifeAlthough it may be too late for this holiday season, a good New Year’s resolution (with benefits extending into next December – and beyond) is organization and de-clutter. Particularly that which is advocated in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Making her living as an organizing consultant, Kondo says that reducing the clutter in your life will make room both physically and mentally for more productivity and the pursuit of our true interests. It’s a short read, and may just be the guide you need to making your home, your office and subsequently, your mind, a more organized, productive and (according to Kondo) happier place. Perhaps a good Christmas gift for yourself?
Remember throughout the coming weeks to give yourself small breaks throughout the day, whether for a cup of tea or a short walk around the block. You’ll probably find you’re better able to tackle what’s ahead afterward – and more focused, too.
We hope this list is helpful to you! We’d love to hear about any other tools you’re using in the comments below.