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How to schedule some downtime over Christmas

Like most small business owners, we bet you’ll find it hard to resist checking your email and social accounts on December 25th. But to avoid getting burned out (and to avoid annoying your friends and family) it’s important to switch off, at least for a while.

So grab your smartphone and follow the O2 Gurus’ simple guide to scheduling some festive downtime.


Most smartphones now come with a Do Not Disturb function – this allows your phone to keep receiving messages, emails and notifications, but it doesn’t alert you as they come in. It’s basically the ultimate silent mode for your phone. Android, iPhone and Windows Phone all let you schedule this mode, so decide in advance when you want your digital detox to kick in (10am to 5pm on Christmas Day, perhaps) and you won’t even have to remember to turn it on.


On the iPhone: Open the Settings app and scroll down to Do Not Disturb – the icon is a crescent moon. Toggle ‘Scheduled’ to on, then click into it to set up your Quiet Hours.

Back on the settings screen, you can allow calls from specific contact groups or for repeat calls to sound an alert so you don’t miss an emergency.


If you have the latest version of Android installed (Lollipop), then you can put your phone into ‘Priority Mode’, which does the same thing as Do Not Disturb.

Go to Settings > Sound and Notification > Interruptions. Here you can set the times you want your phone to be in Priority Mode, as well as the alerts that are allowed through. Unlike the iPhone, Android lets you set up different schedules for different days of the week – Christmas Day is on a Thursday this year.

Windows Phone

If you have a Windows Phone handset, then the do not disturb feature is called Quiet Hours.

To schedule timings, go to settings > quiet hours > toggle on automatic rules – you’ll also have the option for Quiet Hours to kick in whenever you have an event marked in your calendar.

Don’t forget!

Your customers and clients will understand you taking some time off over Christmas, but don’t forget to set up out of office emails and update your social accounts so that it’s clear when you will and won’t be available to handle queries.

Now all you need is a mince pie and a cup of something mulled – you’re all set for a peaceful festive season. Merry Christmas!


For more impartial business tech advice, book a session with an O2 Guru online, over the phone or in store.

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