It's the start of the winter holiday season. Are you ready? How do you feel when you think about all you have to get done: all the constant little errands to the mall, the grocery store, and the mall again; all the gifts you have to buy, wrap, and send; all the meals you have to plan for, shop for, cook, and clean up after; all the get-togethers with family and friends; all the holiday concerts and plays; all the decorations you have to get out, put out, and then put away - on top of your already busy, stuffed-full daily schedule.
Do you feel totally exhausted and overwhelmed already?
Did you know that you can organize your holidays so you can actually enjoy them?
Try taking just 10 minutes today to follow the 5 steps below and plan out your holiday season. I promise, it will make a world of difference.
- First, set a timer for 10 minutes - no, really. You are more likely to start and finish something you find less than pleasant if you have a set time limit for it.
- Now, write down all the things you want to/have to/should do this holiday season. Think of this as a brain dump of everything on your mind. Don't make any decisions or judgements right now - if you think of something, write it down. And, don't forget basic things like work, working out, and sleep.
- Put a star by the ones you really really really want to do. Make a plus sign by the items you know you have to do. Cross off the ones you really really really don't want to do - and no one else cares about, either. Put a question mark by the rest.
- Get out your calendar. Either paper or electronic is fine - though many people like paper for this exercise because it allows you to see the pattern of an entire month at once. Now, schedule everything you starred, and everything you made a plus sign by.
- Is there any time left? Are you sure? Did you leave time for sleeping, eating, and relaxing? If you have any time left, take a second look at the items you marked with a question mark. Do you want to make time for any of those? If so, schedule them in.
If you get half-way through step 4 and you are out of space in your calendar, it's time to reconsider your list. Is there anything you marked that you could delegate to someone else? Is there anything you think everyone else in your family wants to do, but you hate? Maybe ask around and see if that activity is really as popular as you think. The point is to take this 10 minutes to plan out your holiday season, and think about how you would really like it to be.
You are only one person, with only 24 hours in a day, and only so many days in your life. Make sure you make time for what you want.
Wishing you and yours a calm, peaceful, organized holiday season!