Manage Your Time to Spread More Cheer
The Ultimate Holiday Time Management List for Women Who Do Too Much
You know who you are…
When December rolls around, do you load up on parties, cooking and baking, gifting or charity work?
Maybe you’re one of those women who rings ALL the holiday bells. It’s the season of merriment, so more is more, right?
No, not if it means you enter the new year so bedraggled that you don’t catch up until March. If you find yourself piling on too much of a good thing, you can still salvage some peace this season.
Time Management for the Crazy-Busy Woman
Want to get better at actually enjoying the holiday with family and friends, and maybe even find time to feed your spirit?
Here are twelve ways to manage your precious time:
Whittle your list...
of parties, of gift recipients, of donations, etc. Better yet, add yourself to the list. That way, you can say you’re already booked that weekend, and you won’t be lying.
Combine chores with fun holiday activities, like a shopping spree with time spent with a loved one. Include an hour ice skating or painting pottery, or making a gingerbread house. Enjoy the time with a child or an older relative and relish the gift.
Plan in some self-care.
Put a necessary task on the calendar and make the intention to add some self-care, or an activity you enjoy. For example, wrapping presents could be spent with a holiday movie, a glass of wine or tea, or you could diffuse some essential oil into the air and enjoy your favorite playlist.
Buy the same gift for everyone.
Growing up, my grandpa always gave us kids a silver coin (or several, depending on the spot price). Each year, I try to find a gift that satisfies a lot of different tastes. One year, I gave nearly everyone a kitchen tool I found I couldn’t live without; another year, I gifted a jar of a wonderful new spice. This year I found some mush-able pocket back backs. When you discover something versatile, affordable, and fabulous, buy ten of them.
Forget a tradition or two.
Just literally forget about them. You don’t have to feed every ghost from years past. If you want to take a break from your annual open house, give yourself permission. Someone else in the neighborhood will take up the slack if it’s important to them. Don’t forget you have every right to design the holiday YOU want and need.
And if you think you can get by with it, just play dumb. Try this. Say “Oh, my goodness, I forgot to make the oysters, I can’t believe it.” You can say that, can’t you? No one will die.
Keep children’s activities to a minimum.
Don’t say yes to every kid-friendly event in town. Your kid will thank you, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a calmer child. A busy kid is a cranky kid. Remember the joy in looking forward to Christmas itself, without all the hullabaloo every single weekend for weeks leading up to the big day? Pure magic happens in the off-moments. December used to be a blessed and fun month, and it can be again. Your family depends on YOU to set limits for their sanity.
Double up with family member or friend.
Trade services during the busiest month of the year. Find creative ways to pare away driving time, shopping time, etc. and you might find it’s a habit you want to continue throughout the year.
Schedule the service.
Take advantage of caterers, delivery services, drive-through, and easy shipment options. OK, so the local caterer doesn’t offer Aunt Tia’s corn pudding like you can, but it can serve up scrumptious food and deliver it right to your door. Why not use them?
Whenever possible, check to see if the store allows you to order online and have the gifts ready and waiting at the counter for pick up. That way you don’t have to go in and get sucked into the consumer craziness. This one’s a game changer.
Don’t let stress build up.
When you’re at work, work. When you’re at home or playing, then play. Don’t mix the two. Get stuff done at work when you’re supposed to be working, and when it’s time to have fun, go all in. Respect others’ schedules and insist they respect yours. Pull the plug on social media when you’re trying to get something done at the office. Put your phone in a drawer. Focus!
Build a buffer.
Create a margin of time around all your to-dos. Schedule in extra time to buffer your errands and tasks. Make it a priority to account for transitions and necessary transportation time so you don’t feel stressed and rushed. There will be traffic!
Share your calendar with your family members.
Make sure their calendars are in sync with yours. No surprises! Touch base at least every other day to ensure you’ve got that important business party on the books, or the children’s choir event on everyone’s mind. You might even schedule a movie or game night to enjoy with just your closest insiders. MAKE TIME to relax!
Peace on Earth
A few small tweaks to an obnoxiously full calendar can do a world of good toward promoting peace on earth, at least your little corner of it. The big idea behind time off at Christmas is to enjoy the people you love, to reconnect and reflect on the good stuff in life. If you don’t plan to enjoy it, you’ll choke on your schedule and miss the greatest gifts of the year.
How do you find ways to take it easy during the holiday season?