Planning for Holiday Productivity?

With this post Dawn Foster joins the WebWorkerDaily team. Dawn is a consultant, community manager, event organizer, blogger, podcaster, and technology enthusiast. By day, she is a mild-mannered consultant who helps companies build online communities and social media strategies, but by night, she is part of Legion of Tech to make the world (or at least Portland, OR) a better place for technology workers. – ED

santaI plan to spend a week visiting family in Ohio over the holidays. I will have hours on the plane and in airports, and I’ll have even more time in the evenings after the rest of the family is in bed and my body is still on Pacific time. I could spend it curled up and relaxing with some fiction printed on dead trees, but how productive would that be?

With any luck, you might also have a few slow days during the holidays: clients are on vacation, the family is driving you nuts, and you’re caught up on “real work.” What now?

I even have a wish list that I hope will help me turn this into a productive holiday.

Work on my eBook. The writing is the easy part for me, and I have it mostly written. The tough part that I’ve been putting off includes editing and fleshing out the weak areas.

Do a few more Yahoo Pipes screencasts. It would be great to record and edit a few extra episodes and have a queue of podcasts for later when I don’t have as much free time. Last weekend, I recorded two screencasts that I just might be able to edit / encode during my travel time.

Spend time on business development. The holidays are not the best time to email people and schedule meetings to talk about new business, but I’m hoping to come with a plan and a list of people to contact after the holidays.

Catch up. I guess I could even spend a few hours replying to some people in my email backlog and cranking through a few neglected items on the to-do list, but only as a last resort when I can’t find anyone to play Scrabble.

Did you notice that my wish list is filled with items that can be completed with little or no internet access? I have the additional constraint of spending my holiday in a rural area where dial-up internet is common. So far, companies aren’t even planning to have cable and DSL in that area for many years (if ever). Even my EVDO access is barely faster than dial-up on the older cell networks.

Despite these constraints, I was able to come up with a plan.

What about you? How do you plan to use your holiday time?