Six Time Management Tips for the Holidays

It’s the holiday season and stores are mounting the mistletoe and gathering garlands.  For some, it is a magical time of family and fantasy. For others, it brings stress and a whole new “To Do” list on top of daily demands.

Here are six tips, tools and techniques for time management though the holidays.

  1. Manage Me-Time: Scheduling time for yourself should be the first priority. Self-care – working out, meditation or just sitting by the window bring a level of peace that will serve you when you are with others.
  2. Negotiate Gift Giving: Do you and your friends or family exchange gifts that just gather dust or get re-gifted to distant places?  Broach the topic of gifts early in the season – you may all appreciate letting go of things in favor of time together.
  3. Map the Month: Take a single page month calendar and start to fill in commitments, so you can see them all in one place. Then, list all the events and people that are not yet scheduled. Could you have a group dinner or party to bring together several people in one setting, rather than having separate events?  Who knows… new friendships could last beyond the year end.
  4. Know Yourself: What type of event do you enjoy?  Intimate lunches or raucous rallies?  Try to navigate schedules and engagements to maximize the events you will most enjoy, and to minimize your stress at the events you prefer less.
  5. Delicately Defer: Do you have friends and family you see all year long?  If it makes sense, broach deferring a regular get-together while you all cover the bases with people you see less often. Good friends can be a comfort through the holidays so don’t defer people who will actively reduce your stress levels.
  6. Let Go of Gift Guilt: Real friends and family care about you, not the gift you bear. If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating “no gifts,” then keep it simple and personal.  One easy idea: Buy picture frames in bulk and then fill them with meaningful pictures (social media makes it easy to find them) – print and frame a special photo for each person, wrap it up and you have the perfect gift that they will remember.

Actively planning your holidays can provide a sense of control that brings some peace. Take the time to take care of yourself – and those you truly love.  Happy Holidays!