November – December is my favorite time of year! Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Black Friday, holiday parties, Christmas and my birthday all fall in these glorious months, so it feels like an endless party! The sheer excitement of the season, mixed with media traditionally being on hiatus gives every PR professional a little breathing room making it a great time of year to be productive.

This holiday season, I challenge you to focus intentionally, so you are prepared for the hustle and bustle of the New Year. Below I’ve provided three ways I intentionally focus my time when I have a little bit more bandwidth in my day-to-day schedule.

  1. Prepare for the hustle and bustle: Are there items you can work ahead and finish early? For me, that looks like writing summer pitches in advance, building media lists and drafting future blog posts. Getting these tasks done will make the new year more manageable! Another great use of time is creating templates for things like status reports, blogs posts, etc. Identify word docs, excel spreadsheets or PowerPoints you often generate and create a template. This might only save you 10-20 minutes each time you need to complete the task, but 10 minutes is 10 minutes.
  2. Visit the bottom of your to do list: Each week I create a detailed list of tasks to complete and at the bottom I keep a running list of wish list items I’d like to get to…eventually. Week to week this wish list grows long with informational articles, research to conduct and webinars to watch. My intention each week is to get to the wish list, but that always seems to be a distant dream come Friday. I love to visit this list and read those articles, do the research and watch the webinars! Start creating a wish list you can utilize when you have 30 minutes here and there to spare.
  3. Send a warm fuzzy: Throughout the year, I send several handwritten thank you notes to clients and contacts. I enjoy receiving thank you notes, but I LOVE “just because” notes even more! Because of this, I like to focus on sending “just because” letters during the holiday seasons. These notes are so fun to write and help me reflect on the fantastic people I get to work with daily, and I know the recipient will love and appreciate it as well!

I hope these tips help you focus over the holidays and prepare and excite you for the New Year ahead. Comment below on how you plan to focus you time during this holiday season.

    AUTHOR: Devin Lee Duke
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