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A Few Hints for Dealing With Holidays
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 For any­one resid­ing in the UK, or know­ing some­one who does, Barnes & Noble just announced that the NOOK is now avail­able there. This means that Amazon’s Kin­dle is no longer the “only” option for e-readers in the UK. I’m pleased that all my e-books should now be avail­able to NOOK own­ers as well.

And, I’ve been inter­viewed by author Terry Ambrose at Examiner.com

Windows 8 Screen shot Thanks­giv­ing is behind us, along with Black Fri­day and Cyber Mon­day. Did I go shop­ping? Not phys­i­cally. I saw no rea­son to drive all the way down the moun­tain to fight crowds. I did find one deal on line Monday—drastically reduced air­fares, so I bought a ticket to visit my par­ents in Jan­u­ary? Are you “go to the mall” peo­ple, “on line” peo­ple, or do you just ignore the hype? I fall into the last cat­e­gory myself, but I tend to be an online shopper—mostly because there just aren’t any stores up here. And, our hol­i­day comes early this year—starts the night of Decem­ber 8th, so get­ting my shop­ping done early was a must. (And if kids or Hub­ster are read­ing this, no, I’m not going to tell you what I bought for you.)

Hol­i­days can cre­ate wrin­kles for rou­tines. How do you deal with writ­ing (or any other work­load) when there are so many other demands made dur­ing a hol­i­day sea­son? For many of us, the bur­den of cook­ing, prepar­ing for guests, or travel to visit fam­ily, shop­ping, and every­thing else that isn’t part of a daily rou­tine falls on our shoulders.

Clearly, del­e­gat­ing some of these tasks to oth­ers when­ever pos­si­ble can help. So can pri­or­i­tiz­ing. And list mak­ing. My new com­puter comes with a cute “sticky notes” app, so I can put vir­tual sticky notes on my mon­i­tor where they remind me what needs to be done.

Ulti­mately, you have to decide how to get every­thing done. Some things that you might consider:

Lim­it­ing Inter­net time. Turn off any noti­fi­ca­tion sounds or pop ups and set your own time for check­ing email or vis­it­ing the social media sites. If you’re the sort who gets dragged in, set a timer.

Skip­ping tele­vi­sion (if you’ve got a DVR, this should be a no-brainer)

Get­ting up an hour ear­lier, or stay­ing up an hour later.

Know­ing how long a task takes—is clean­ing the kitchen really an all day affair? If you know you can do it in under 30 min­utes, then you can take a ‘break’ and get it done. I find that if the writ­ing is floun­der­ing, tak­ing a 30 minute break to do house­work often frees the brain and you’ll get over that stum­bling block.

Now, I’ll con­fess that we’re very laid back here. It’s just me and Hub­ster, and he’s very sup­port­ive if I’m busy. We don’t dec­o­rate beyond our meno­rah and a few other sim­ple bits and pieces. Our lakte get-together and gift exchange doesn’t require an exten­sive menu, and everyone’s will­ing to bring some­thing for the table.

What ‘tricks’ can you share for keep­ing your cool dur­ing the hol­i­days, and still get­ting your work done?

And, I’d still like some more “likes” on my new Author Page at Face­book.