Are we nearing the end of 2011 already?
With the holiday season upon us, it’s starting to become a little harder to juggle all the activities. With all the work, shopping, dinners and decorating, it’s easy to over extend yourself and burn out before the year is even over!
Time management will be the secret to staying on top of all the things that need to get done this holiday season.
The earlier you start planning, the easier it will be when crunch time comes.
It’s really helpful to have a shared calendar in a place that is accessible to all, like on the fridge, where each family member can write down their planned activities. This can be a quick reference for everyone and remind you all of the important dates coming up.
Figure out what’s a higher priority and make sure you do these before moving on to less urgent tasks. Create a to-do list to help you see what needs to be done. This will help you prioritize the activities and keep track of what’s been completed. It’ll also help you figure out what are the more trivial tasks that can be delegated to someone else or eliminated all together.
Don’t forget that if you’re mailing gifts or cards to friends and family, you’ll need to get to a post office soon. Click here for Canada Post’s suggested mailing dates for cards and packages.
Everyone has their own style of organization, so figure out what works best for you. Some write things down; others create flow charts - whatever keeps all your thoughts straight. Personally, I have to put everything into my Blackberry calendar with alerts to remind me constantly of what needs to be done. Some make lists in their Outlook of all their daily activities. Others are lucky enough to have an assistant who can keep track of their lives for them.
I also find it helpful to clump similar tasks together. If you’re shopping for gifts, it may be more efficient to wrap them as you buy instead of trying to wrap all the gifts at one time. This will also keep prying fingers from easily finding out what they’re getting.
Schedule extra time for interruptions or unforeseeable issues
You can’t always predict the obstacles that will stand in your way while you’re focused on the tasks at hand. There could be an accident on your way to a friend’s dinner party or perhaps your child refuses to put on their socks. Or it could be smooth sailing all the way, in which case you have time to take a breather and maybe grab a coffee before rushing off to the next thing on your list.
Make time for yourself
After a busy day, all I want to do is curl up with my laptop or remote to wind down for the evening. I don’t even want to make small talk. It sounds a little cruel, but we all need time to decompress and focus on ourselves for a short while.
As much as the holidays are a time for family and friends, making sure you have the energy for everyone is also very important.
Have a wonderfully happy holiday this year.