Hello there! I'm Brennan Davis, the creator of CreaDev Labs, a place of learning and experimentation on productivity, creativity, and personal knowledge management. Each week I share tips, experiments, and resources to help you build your very own productivity and knowledge management systems. If you're new around here, be sure to check out my archive of previous newsletter editions. If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider sharing with a friend!
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The Holidays are upon us, and with them comes activities special to this time of year. These activities, such as parties, family gatherings, and holiday shopping, can easily get us off track of our productivity habits and goals. Luckily, I have a big secret that I'm going to reveal to you right now that'll help you get the most out of your holiday season.
You ready for it? The secret to holiday productivity is:
Take a break from your normal productivity habits and goals during the Holidays.
Yep, that's right! Take a long break and relax!
Believe it or not, taking time to step away from work tasks and to do lists is a huge part of living a productive life. The world we live in today is so busy and noisy, and we feel the constant pressure to do more, more, more. It's super easy to reach a level of burn out. The Holidays are a great time to take a break from all of that, and just enjoy quality time with those we love. It helps us go into the new year refreshed and focused on the most important things in life, which then helps inform the resolutions we make for the new year.
Now, the Holidays bring their own set of tasks to complete, like that holiday shopping I mentioned earlier. Here's a few tips for getting through your holiday task list with less stress:
Get work tasks done in advance
If there's important work that needs to get done for your job or side business, try to get these things done as early as possible. For example, I've been working on getting ahead on my website content so I don't have to worry about creating it during the month of December. I've also been getting projects at work to a good stopping point and setting expectations around them so I can take a good chunk of time off to spend with my family.
Get your shopping done early
This is the biggest help for a stress free holiday season. And sales are starting earlier and earlier every year, so you can still get some great savings without having to wait until after Thanksgiving.
Start off by making a list of everyone you're buying for, then next to their name list at least a couple of items you could give them. This way if one of the items sells out, you still have a backup gift idea. And the earlier you get started on your shopping, the more time you have to find alternative gifts if something does sell out.
As you purchase the gifts, cross the names off your list of those you've already bought gifts for. Writing down and keeping track of your gift giving will greatly decrease your stress as you won't need to keep all this information in your head (and forget to get someone a gift until Christmas Eve!)
Write down all of your holiday events in your calendar
Make sure you don't miss any of the holiday events you'd like to attend by writing them down in a physical or digital calendar. Write down the date and time of each event, as well as anything you need to bring. Just like your gift giving list, having events and things you're bringing to the events written down gets them out of your head and frees it up to enjoy the Holidays rather than constantly feeling like you're forgetting something (like that pumpkin pie you promised your mom you'd bring to Thanksgiving dinner!)
Don't sweat the small stuff
The Holidays are a busy time of year, so it's okay if not everything gets done, especially normal routine things. The Holidays are a time of joy and celebration, so allow yourself to let go of the small things and just enjoy them. Don't worry: the normal stuff all comes back in January, so enjoy the break while it lasts.
What kinds of things do you do to manage your holiday season? Please email me at email@example.com (or comment below if you're reading this on the website) with your tips and ideas!
What's New on CreaDev Labs:
I've started working on my personal knowledge management system in GoodNotes. I've started off by creating an index card template for me to use with GoodNotes' Quick Note feature. I'll be able to use it to quickly jot down thoughts and ideas in a small space rather than a full and oversized page. I've also started adding tags into my notes so I can easily find related notes when doing global searches.
What I'm Reading / Watching / Listening to:
Video: How I Take Notes on My iPad Pro with GoodNotes
As I've been slowly starting to build my personal knowledge management system in GoodNotes, I've been looking to see how others are using GoodNotes for note taking. It's amazing to me how few videos there are on note taking in GoodNotes. Most are focused on using GoodNotes to build a digital planner. This video gave me some ideas of things to try in my notes (mostly aesthetic things), as well as some ideas for GoodNotes videos I'd like to make myself.
Article: How I Use Digital Sidekicks to Aid My Bujojitsu
As a user of a physical Bullet Journal in conjunction with digital tools, I like to see how others are balancing the use of their Bullet Journal and productivity apps. I like how the author of this article clearly defined what the purpose of their Bullet Journal and each of their productivity apps was. I think having a clearly defined purpose is essential when using multiple apps in your productivity system. You don't want to get stuck by always wondering where you should put a particular piece of information. Your productivity system should be as frictionless as possible, so knowing ahead of time where different types of information should go helps tremendously (as well as having only a small number of possibilities of where it could go in the first place).
Questions or comments? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org