For some, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is part of the magic. For others, it’s what makes this time of year stressful. No matter which camp you find yourself in, you can reap the benefits of simplification with these tips on making the season a little less hectic. After all, you should be able to enjoy this time of year as much as everyone else.
Make these techniques part of every holiday season so you can do just that.
With all the get-together, holiday events, shopping excursions and items on your To-Do List, it’s no wonder you feel disorganized. Avoid over booking or over-committing yourself by writing everything down on a calendar. Use one of those desk-sized month-long calendar sheets that you can post in an area where everyone can see it. Take it a step further by assigning each family member their own marker color so it’s easy to see who’s doing what.
Delegate & Share Tasks
It’s not possible for one person to do everything, but some people still try. A great deal more can be accomplished if you delegate some tasks and ask for assistance with others. Instead of spending days shopping and preparing food for the holiday meal, plan a potluck so everyone can join in the meal preparation. Assign different tasks, such as addressing card envelopes or delivering gifts to the neighbor to other family members. If you are planning a family holiday vacation in the UK, assign someone to arrange for coach hire in London while you can be the one to prepare a travel itinerary for exploring the city. The more help you can get, the more time you’ll have to enjoy.
Learn to Say “No”
Don’t feel obligated to say “yes” to every party, holiday committee or request for help. Weigh extra party engagements and holiday chores against what you’ve already got planned. If you can and want to take on another task, do it. But if the thought of another thing on your To-Do List makes your head spin, say “no”.
Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Important
Above all, the holiday season is about togetherness. If busyness has you stuck in the kitchen or den while everyone else is enjoying the festivities, you’re not going to have a very enjoyable season. Remain focused on what’s important so you don’t miss out on creating memories with those you cherish most.
Streamline Your Shopping
Simplify your shopping by doing as much as you can online or in one store. It’s exhausting and inefficient to shop till you drop by running around to different stores in search of the perfect gift. Make a shopping list before you leave the house, and plan your shopping to cut down on the amount of time wasted driving around and searching dozens of different stores. If you can get all or most of your items at one store, head there first to cross as much possible off your list.
Get your holiday baking, scrap booking or gift-wrapping done while visiting with friends to make better use of the time you have. By using your social time in this manner, you can all get things done without having to sacrifice time together.
As families grow, shopping for and giving gifts to everyone can become expensive and overwhelming. Reconsider giving presents to everyone to make the holidays less financially stressful. Opt for family gifts, draw names or give homemade gifts.
If you find yourself collapsing from exhaustion before the holiday season is even over, it’s likely you’re doing way too much during the season. Put these tips into effect to save you time, money and sanity during this and any other holiday. As you do, you’ll experience the simple pleasures and joys that come with being present in the moment, rather than having to be ten steps ahead of everyone else.