Minimalist in DC

The Quest for Less "Stuff" & More Time

Tag: email

Email Christmas Cards (Quick Tip)

Christmas Card 2014

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail, especially the ones with news from friends who I don’t talk to often. We’ve sent Christmas cards every year to a growing list of people in the six places we’ve lived since Nathan and I were married ten years ago. Last year, however, after we’d just sent a birth announcement for our second daughter, I decided that the trouble of sending physical cards to our entire list three months after we just sent something else wasn’t necessary.

Instead, I sent Christmas cards only to family and friends for whom we don’t have email addresses. For everyone else, I sent an email with a short note and our Christmas card attached.

I apologized for not sending a physical card, but used the baby as an excuse and called it an experiment. I figured my close friends would pull me aside and say something like, “Hey, you know, sending Christmas cards electronically is rude and you probably shouldn’t do that ever again.” Perhaps some people did think that, but no one told me.

Instead, I got responses; immediate responses from people who I hadn’t heard from in months or years. The e-Christmas card actually started a conversation! It was an invitation to catch up in a way that physical cards don’t allow. It was so great that we’ll be doing it again this year.

Reasons to Send (at least some) Email Christmas Cards

  1. Save money when you don’t have to buy stamps and envelopes or print your own cards.
  2. Save time (at least a little). You could blast out a big email to everyone at once, but I recommend sending individual notes, which are far more personal and elicit an actual response.
  3. It’s easy because you don’t have to check-in with people who moved asking for addresses.
  4. Reconnect immediately with friends and family.
  5. Get started. If you’ve never sent a Christmas Card before, emailing them offers an pretty low barrier to entry.
  6. No physical object for your recipients to display and clean-up later.

Sure, it’s not quite the same thrill as holding a real, physical letter in your hand, but what’s the point in sending a letter if you never hear anything back?

Quick Tip: Pay Yourself First — In Time

Butterfly - Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

We all know the “pay yourself first” rule when it comes to budgeting and that’s a spectacular practice to follow. Now, extend it to your time. One of the best productivity tricks in the world is to spend the first hour of your day doing your most important task.

Before you check email, pick the most important task you have today and do it.

This rule was highlighted in the book, Eat That Frog!: 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. Block the first hour or two on your calendar every day and train yourself to knock out your highest priority item. If you’re not sure what that is, pick the thing that will best drive you toward your long-term goals. Failing that, pick the task that would make you stay at work late until you finish it.

You’ll gain momentum for the rest of your day and you’ll feel amazing once your most important task is behind you.

Try it.

© 2017 Minimalist in DC

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑