Jon Morrow hit the nail on the head with this post: Why You Shouldn’t Publish New Content Over the Holidays. Why? Because no one will read it.
All of the blogs my company manages see decreased traffic over the holiday period, which means yours probably will, too. Why publish new content when you know most people are spending time with their families, frantically working through their shopping lists and writing out holiday cards by the fire?
We all tend to neglect our RSS feeds this time of year, so it makes far more sense to save your blog posts for January. (And yes, my team will follow this advice, publishing far less frequently than normal over the next two weeks.)
Jon offers some great ideas of what you should do instead of publishing new content, but I’d like to offer my own list of suggestions, too:
Stockpile blog posts. Write some stellar content… and save it. Especially if you feel inspired to write a post. You’ll be happy you did when January rolls around and all you have to do is press “publish.”
Plan for 2014. What are you hoping to accomplish next year, and how can you get it done? Writing down your goals — maybe even publicly on your blog (and this is a post you can save for January) — will not only hold you accountable, it will also help you think through your goals so they’re more likely to happen.
Make progress on back-burner projects. If one of your goals for 2014 is to release an ebook, now’s the time to get started. Or maybe you have several projects in the works that need finishing; use these hours to fill the gaps so you can ship your work. Think about how good it will feel to check off that box before the New Year begins!
Reflect, and think big. Sometimes we move so fast that we don’t give ourselves time to stop and think about what’s working, and what’s not. In addition to all the little goals you set for 2014, give yourself one big thing you’d like to accomplish, something that will make you happier. Maybe it’s spending more time with your family. Or practicing gratitude. Or putting your biz focus on the big things that matter, rather than wasting time on little tasks (that’s mine!). Take some time to think BIG for the coming year.
Rest and be merry. This is your opportunity to spend time with family, without your Blackberry buzzing or your email overflowing. Everyone else is resting and enjoying themselves, which means it’s the perfect time for you to do that, too.
For the last few years, I have used this slow time of year to get ahead and make progress on big projects — and if you don’t have a lot of family responsibilities (read: no kids) and are psyched to build your business, I still think that’s a good choice. But I can feel my own priorities shifting, and I know productivity isn’t what I need this year.
What I need now, after working my butt off in 2013, is time to think big — and rest. Didn’t you just take a vacation, you might ask? Yup, I did. I took a three-week holiday in November, and since I came home to the flu, I’ve been taking the last two weeks easy, too.
But when you pause long enough to ask your body and your mind what they need, they will be honest with you. And my gut says I’ll get far more out of the coming year if I use these two holiday weeks to celebrate with family, rejuvenate, and yes, brainstorm. Big things await in the coming year, and I want to be ready.
Happy holidays, and see you in 2014!