How to Write Effectively Before Your Christmas Break

Are you scrambling to get all your work done before the seasonal holidays?

The way to write effectively before you take time off with family is simple.

Here’s how you can create your manageable plan within 10 minutes.

Step 1: Reshape your to-do list

Make a list of all projects you want to finish before the holidays.
Then, circle only the top 3 of them — which are absolutely crucial to work on?

The trick is to acknowledge that you can’t do it all. You don’t want to step into your holidays burned out and frustrated.

My top three goals until the holidays are:

1) _____________
2) _____________
3) _____________

Any goal that’s not in your top 3, gets dropped, delegated, or moved to the year.

Step 2: Count your writing days until the holidays

On which day will your holidays start? Make sure to add in a day before you travel or the kids’ school ends, so that you have a day to breathe, buy gifts, or prepare.

My holiday starts on (date) _____________

Between today and your holiday start date, how many days do you have for writing? Go to your calendar and count them — deducting weekends, day jobs, and meeting times. (2–3 hours count as a half-day; 4+ hours count as a full day.)

I have ____________ writing days (e.g. 12.5) until the holidays start.

Step 3: Set weekly milestones

For each week, set a milestone that you want to achieve for your priority project(s).

There are 3 weeks left, unless your holiday starts earlier. For each week, write down a milestone goal that breaks up your big priority into small chunks.
5 Dec: ______________
12 Dec: ______________
19 Dec: ______________

Step 4: Say no

For those projects that you will delegate, drop, or delay into 2023, email the relevant people now. If you’re having trouble saying “no”, download this goal filter tool.

Today, I will say no to ______________

I will email/contact them on _____________ (date)

Step 5: Find people for accountability

For the remaining time before the holidays, find someone to hold you accountable. Share your weekly goals with a friend, colleague, or writer’s group and ask them to check in with you. Find someone to co-write on Zoom or in a Cafe.

My accountability partners are ________________
I will check in with them in the following ways: _______________

Remember, you’re not a robot. You don’t want to burn out before the holidays. Instead, focus only on what’s absolutely crucial, and enjoy time off guilt-free

Declutter your to-do list and say no with this Goal Filter tool.

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