It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s delicious food in abundance, presents to unwrap and plenty of opportunities to let your hair down.
Unfortunately for freelancers and small business owners, the pressures of running the show can mean they are left working through Christmas and New Year.
We’ve all been there. You’ve just powered down your laptop, put on your snuggly Christmas jumper and settled down in front of the TV with a mince pie and a steaming glass of mulled wine. And then your work phone suddenly springs to life.
Your client forgot to send you an important document and they need it to go live on the site asap. Oh – and their entire team has already left for the holidays, so you’re the only person who can do it. You hastily scoff your mince pie and get back to work.
If you’re a freelancer or small business owner, you’ll probably be looking forward to some well-deserved time off. The trick to making sure that you really get to enjoy some downtime over the Christmas period is careful planning. If you aren’t the most organised person in the world – and who is? – then we’ve put together a list of helpful tools to help you get ready for Christmas like a pro.
How often have you been about to send an email and realised that eleven thirty at night isn’t the best time to be getting in touch with your client? Boomerang can help to solve so many of your email headaches! This handy little browser plugin lets you schedule your emails. And the best part is you can set a reminder to let you know if the recipient hasn’t responded. This is really useful if you need sign off from your client before you close your “office” for the holiday period.
Christmas Bonus: Use Boomerang to schedule a holiday greeting to your clients – it looks a lot more personal than a mass email.
Trying to keep everything in your head at the busiest time of year is a recipe for disaster. Trello is a project management app that allows you to visualise your to-do list like never before. Use it to make lists, keep up to date with your team and make sure everything is checked off the list before you close down for Christmas.
Christmas Bonus: Trello is also great for budgeting over the holiday period and planning your shopping list. Create a board just for Christmas and you can organise all of your gift ideas in one place.
Staying focused on the run-up to Christmas is far more difficult than usual. It’s easy to get distracted by Christmas shopping, recipe hunting and planning the perfect get together. Rescuetime helps you to stay on track by keeping an eye on how long you spend on each task. You’ll soon be able to see if you’re spending far too much time writing emails or checking Facebook.
Christmas Bonus: If you’re struggling to get your work finished before Christmas Eve, hit the “Get Focused” button to lock yourself out of your most distracting websites.
If you manage social media for your clients, or if you want to maintain your own social media presence over the holiday period, then Hootsuite is the answer. This social media scheduling platform is the gold standard in social media scheduling and will allow you to schedule posts for a number of different social platforms.
Christmas Bonus: Make sure you proofread everything before you hit schedule. You don’t want to be dealing with a PR nightmare from a misspelt tweet over the holiday period.
If you work as part of a distributed team, it can be difficult to get on the same page. Similar to Trello, Asana is a productivity app that supercharges your to-do list. You can assign tasks to colleagues, or use it to keep your clients up to date on your progress.
Christmas Bonus: Invite your family to join Asana so you can assign Christmas-related tasks to them. From buying decorations to picking up the turkey, you’ll have the most streamlined Christmas yet!
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