Yes, really. We promise you it is possible. Like we mentioned earlier this month, it does take some planning on the front. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Say goodbye to that frazzled man shopping for gifts the morning of Christmas Eve. Adios to the woman who forgot to bake her children’s favorite cookies last year. Let’s vow to relax a little, plan a lot and actually ENJOY the 2017 holiday season. Deal? Here we go.
Make Lists Your Friends
The most organized of people tend to have a list for everything. A list of errands to run. A list of upcoming activities. A list of the lists they made in the last week. In all seriousness, making lists is one of the best ways to stay organized over the holidays and throughout the year. Within the next week or two, sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and create your own lists. You might make lists for the following tasks:
- Family events
- Holiday cards
- Family photos
- Downtime activities
You name it, you write it down. Once you’ve made each list, prioritize them as needed. This doesn’t have to be fancy, just rank them with little numbers. For example, is the annual open house at Aunt Matilda’s more important than volunteering as a family to feed the homeless? How does the Santa breakfast with half the town stack up against a morning at home watching Christmas movies in your PJs?
Create Commitments on Your Calendar
Now it’s time to take those fresh new lists and put the tasks and events on your calendar. If you don’t schedule them, you’ll be left scrambling like last year. Set dates to bake. Take a day off to tackle your gift shopping. And notice that “downtime activities” are listed above. If you want to keep your cool, this is an important one. Schedule time for yoga, hot baths, a glass of wine with your significant other or anything else that will help you destress.
Lastly, pick the holiday activities you will attend from your freshly ranked list, and mark them in your planner. If anything else pops up, you’ll be able to easily determine whether it is doable or it will send you into your annual frenzy!
Learn to Say “No”
I know this is a hard one for many of you, but if you want to take back your holiday season, it’s probably a necessity. When you’re invited to holiday party number 12, stop and check your calendar. If you have parties the two nights before, breakfast with Santa and afternoon tea with the girls the day of, don’t you think another gathering that evening might send you over the holiday edge?
People understand that we all have extra commitments this time of year. Stand your ground to maintain your stress-free season, and say “no.” Remember, you can always schedule gatherings with some people in the new year. Tell them you’re working to spread out the joy this year, and set a date in January.
Take another look at those lists. Do you really have to do it all yourself? Here are some ideas for lightening your load:
- Ask your kids to address and stamp Christmas cards.
- Have your family members each wrap a few gifts.
- Hire an Errand Works personal assistant to help you run your errands, organize your home or pick up your groceries for you.
- Assign making travel arrangements to your significant other.
These are just a few ways to simplify your season. While it may still be overwhelming at times, employing these techniques is sure to bring you greater enjoyment this year. And if we can be of service, give us a call! Our slots are filling fast!
Errand Works, LLC is a licensed, bonded and insured personal assistance company dedicated to improving quality of life for professionals, caregivers and other busy individuals. Every personal assistant must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each personal assistant is a Virginia State Notary. Errand Works currently serves Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Manassas and the surrounding areas.