Five Tips To Be More Present This Christmas


Are you prepared to deal with work and family this Christmas? Follow my 5 simple tips that will allow you to spend time with your family and keep your clients happy over the festive period

Five Tips To Be More Present This Christmas
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I don’t know about you but I feel as if I’d lost an appendage if I haven’t got my mobile (cell) phone with me. How on Earth will someone ring me? What will I do about all those important emails I get (hint: don’t worry about them and sign up for my free course)? More importantly, how will I get rid of my Phantom Phone Vibration symptoms?

The problem is that we’re seemingly so tied to our phones that sometimes we don’t really pay attention to what is going on around us – and that’s not a good thing at this time of the year. Never fear though! I have a solution for you that will let you keep your phone on you, stop you worrying that you’re going to miss an important call and (more importantly) let you keep your focus on friends, family and loved ones this festive period.

Below are 5 methods to help you manage your mobile this Christmas

1. Set Expectations

Whilst some people are able to get away from the office and leave work calls and emails behind other’s are able to do that. The thing is you don’t want to be interrupted during a family get-together with a call or email from a customer that isn’t that important or urgent. So, what can you do about it? Your customer is probably expecting you to answer right away and if you don’t they’ll start to panic. This will lead to increased communication from them to you, and other people they may know in your company (ruining a lot more people’s days). There’s 2 simple ways you can alleviate this panic and keep your day to yourself and still working with your customers.

Set Up Voicemail

Set up a voicemail introduction letting people know when you will be listening to their messages. This could be along the lines of:

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“Hello, you’ve reached Katy. From December 24th until January 2nd I will be checking my voicemail at 10am and 4pm only. I will action your phone call then. If your query is urgent please call [Name and number of colleague on call].”

This lets people know that if they phone at 2pm and leave a message you’re not going to hear it until 4pm so hopefully they won’t repeatedly call – or will call your on-call colleague if it’s urgent.

Set Up Email Responders

You can do a similar thing with emails by setting up and “Out Of Office” reply or an “Auto-Responder”:


Thank you for emailing me. From the 24th December until 2nd January I will be checking my emails at 10.30am an 4.30pm. I will action your email then. If your query is urgent please call [Name and email/phone ]number of colleague on call].”

This again lets people know that you will be looking at their emails, and when you will be doing so, hopefully then they’ll send one email and wait for you to get back to them rather than bombard you with follow-up emails (although we all have that one client, don’t we?!).

Try to keep your message checking as short as possible and do them both together – it’ll be a lot easier to schedule your time if it’s blocked rather than 20 minutes here, 30 there, another 20 there etc.

2. Turn Off Notifications

Now that your customers know that you’ll be reading or listening to their communications and you have set times that you’ll be checking them you don’t really need to be notified that they’ve contacted you – you’ll get their message when you check in.

Also, do you really need to know about every “Like”, “Retweet” or LinkedIn request when you’re with friends and family? Shut it all off – or at the very least turn of noise notifications (and vibrate) and just use task bar notifications.

3. Set Up Priority Contacts

If there are certain people you still need to be contacted by – and know about it – such as premium clients, babysitters, parents, children, certain friends etc. then look at setting up priority alerts on your phone. I’ve done this and it has worked wonders!

Basically my phone is on silent the whole time, I still get notifications on screen that Email, WhatsApp and text messages have been sent but my phone will only make a noise if it’s from a Priority contact. This also works for phone calls as well – which is great if I want to have a lay-in, if my phone rings and makes a noise I know it’s important, if it just vibrates I know I can ignore it.

The idea behind Priority contacts on iOS and Android are similar:


iOS (6+)

Android seems to have a few more functions that iOS (that I can see) in that if I add a starred (favourite) contact I will hear notifications from them in terms of Phone Calls, Texts, Emails and WhatsApp messages whereas iOS seems to limit it to calls (please comment below with any tips you have for Apple products)

4. Step Away From The Phone

How many times have you been to a restaurant or bar and seen people just sitting on their phones, not talking to each other and just scrolling on their tiny screens – or taking photos of their food, instagramming it and then replying to comments. People are even sitting using their phones in darkened cinemas (a real pet peeve of mine) rather than sitting and enjoying the film.

Put your phone down during certain times – you don’t need it in your pocket during Christmas lunch. If you want to photo your fantastic dinner to instagram then take the photo and put the phone away – the photo can wait until after dessert.

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Try to have some face-to-face time with those around you – which is particularly difficult with kids, I know but if you lead by example then they have no excuse!

5. Have Some “Me” Time

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at this time of year, especially if you’re more of an introverted personality type (if you don’t know what your personality type is you can check out your Myers Briggs Traits here). Make sure you have a space to get away – or are at least able to let people know not to disturb you for 10 minutes while you get yourself centred again – and no, don’t be tempted to take your phone with you! This is time for you to think about yourself and relax, not to deal with a client or a family spat on Facebook

Have Any Tips?

Let us know how you are able to stay connected virtually and physically in the comments below – I’d love to hear your suggestions!

About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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