Are you a master at juggling tasks and wearing all the hats? You manage to get things done and do so mostly with a smile and with ease. But, with the holidays upon us, you might feel a little anxious about the added activities to manage. Whether it’s hosting overnight guests, facilitating dinner parties, or events you committed to attend, adding these into your mix of routine tasks can end up being more overwhelming than enjoyable if not organized with intention and awareness. To help, we’ve assembled six great tips to help you stay stress-free in your efforts this year.
1. Prioritize What’s Most Important
As you plot events on your planner over the next few months, be sure to only pencil in those activities that are most important to you. If you try to schedule every day and time slot with something, you may start to feel overwhelmed before you even get started. Instead, make a list of important dates and activities. Lay those in your calendar first to ensure the most important plans are kept as a priority. Considerations for additional plans can be accommodated as a secondary addition.
2. Obligation or Option?
It’s common to start the holiday season off with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm. You may be full of energy now, but overbooking yourself can drain you quickly. Before adding events to your family’s calendar, determine first if it’s an obligation or a choice. Keep your school, family, and holiday obligations. Be selective about activity options, and only incorporate those as you have time and energy to do so. *Patience Tip For Planning* Keep in mind, your threshold for events may be higher than your little ones.
3. Schedule Preparation Time
Allow yourself time to prepare for scheduled events. If you’re volunteering at a bake sale fundraiser, for example, you’ll need to allocate baking time for those cupcakes. You may be hosting family dinners that require substantial baking and cooking preparations. Dinner prep also means you’ll need time to shop. Compile your recipe lists and give yourself time to make essential purchases. For the gift-giving season, you’ll need a great deal of prep time for gift shopping, wrapping, and giving. Make sure you’ve slated enough time in your planner so that you can enjoy it all without feeling rushed or pressured.
4. Be Flexible
It’s also important to remember that plans will change. When organizing dinners with friends or family, travel plans can change. Inclement weather and unexpected tummy aches can mean activity cancellations and rescheduling events. Be flexible with your scheduling, and be sure to allow yourself time to make last-minute adjustments to timelines.
5. Schedule Down Time
Don’t forget to schedule some downtime, not only for you but for the family as a whole. A busy schedule can be draining on everyone. Allocate time for everyone to enjoy a movie night at home. Give yourself and the family time to rest and decompress between functions.
6. Include Family Traditions
You might have a host of family traditions centered around the holidays. Don’t assume you’ll have time to get to all of them, without penciling time to do them in your planner. If you have a tradition to drive around and look at neighboring holiday lights, write it down. If you gather the family to donate turkeys around Thanksgiving, allot time in your schedule to do so. Make a list of family traditions important to you, and be sure to include them in your holiday planning.
Take back your day planner this holiday season. Prioritize and be flexible. It’s acceptable to turn down requests and invites. Keep your list of important to-dos close and scheduled. You’ll enjoy every minute of the hectic season, and as you always do, will come out smiling.