For many people the holiday season is a stressful time, so many things to do and so little time to do them. I thought it might be a good time to review several strategies to help you get through the coming holidays.
Step 1 – Put together a list of the things you need to do for the next 45 days. No matter how small it may seem, write the task down. Knowing its on the list where you can track reduces the stress of possibly forgetting something.
Step 2 – Prioritize your list. I use a system of A, B, and F to prioritize. A is for things that must be done. B is for things that need to be done, but could be delegated. F is for things that you don’t really need to do, so just forget about them.
Step 3 – Look at your list and see what activities go well to together. For example, if you have to buy gifts for several people in the family, is there one place where you can get them all? If you know what you’re looking for it may be easier to order them online and have them wrap the gifts while they’re at it. If not, consider going to the mall and picking up gift cards. One of the solutions I use is buying small unique gifts for each person on your list and then including a gift card with them.
If you’re creative you can also give unique gifts for the people on your list. In the past, I’ve created calendars, fruit baskets, cookies or artwork for family and friends.
If you have things on your list for work consider blocking your time to get them done. I find if I block out several hours after work for one or two days I get most everything done that I need done for the month. This allows me time to enjoy the holidays. I’ve also found going into the office on a weekend provides the time I need and I get more done in a couple of hours than I can in a full day at a busy office.
Step 4 – Take time to do things for the people you care for most. Many people try to please everyone and, ultimately, please no one. When you look at your list you might want to consider where you are investing your time. Many of us are people who sell for a living, which means we try to please everyone. This is a recipe for disaster.
Finally, learn to delegate early and often during the holiday. For some unknown reason, we stop delegating to others after Thanksgiving. Check in often to make sure things get done because the holidays are busy times for all your people, not just you. The final word on delegation is don’t let people delegate to you. The most powerful word in your arsenal is the word no. Learn how to use it and I can guarantee a better holiday season.
Now to check the first thing off my list, I’d like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Take time to enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends. We look forward to sharing more with you over the coming year. Thank you for all your support and sharing.