Staying Productive During the Holidays

With Halloween past and Thanksgiving looming around the corner, the holidays are no time to sit back and relax. At the same time, it’s way too easy to get sucked up in the mad rush of it all and forget the truly important things—family, friends, love, and decadent turkey feasts.

There’s a certain frenzy that comes with the holidays. With Halloween, it was costumes and candy and parties. With Thanksgiving, it’s all about cooking and cleaning and traveling. And on top of all this, our daily lives carry on whether we have the energy to keep up with them or not. Somehow, we are expected to manage all of this with holiday cheer. Don’t get me wrong, it can definitely be done, but when that overwhelming feeling starts to fester, it’s time to get organized.

Here are some helpful tips on how to do just that:

Set Your Priorities

Make a list of the four most important things you want to accomplish in November. Then, as you have to shift schedules and workloads around, let these priorities be your guide. Also, if you need to make the list shorter or longer, go for it. Four feels like a nice jumping-off point. For me, in order of most important to least important, my highest priorities are:

  • Spend Time with Family and Friends
  • Host Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Start working on Christmas cards
  • Put together a working list for Christmas gifts

Set Daily or Weekly Goals

If you’re not a natural planner, this one may prove a bit difficult, but with a notes application on a smartphone, there’s no excuse to not keep a list on hand. You might also want to plug these goals into your digital calendar. Then, share the calendar with others to help keep yourself accountable. Accountability and outside encouragement are key. However, don’t forget to schedule in some free time—you’ll thank yourself later!

Of course, this is easier said than done, but try your best to do these things. While you’re at it, don’t forget to eat healthy and get regular sleep. Nothing’s worse than needing to be productive when you’re feeling sleep deprived or energy deficient. Check out The Monday Menu if you need some healthy but delicious recipe ideas! Plus, the healthier you eat before turkey day, the more you can relax when that delicious feast is laid out before you!

Transitioning to Christmas

Okay, so I know that the last thing you’re thinking about when you’re chowing down on a turkey leg is Christmas, but it sneaks up on us quick, and the sooner you start to think about it the easier it will be to continue in the spirit of productivity and balance. I know some people feel they can’t do it all so Christmas cards drop off the list. For others, a generic message is the best they can do. I strongly encourage you to try to take the time and write out a personal message of gratitude for each special person in your life. After all, time is the only true gift we can give each other.

As November nears an end and transitions to December, use your organizational skills and list making for everything from whom to by gifts for, to gift ideas, to shopping lists, to stores to hit. Somehow, adding an organized spirit in to the holiday mix seems to make embracing the holiday cheer a lot easier.

Now we’d love to hear from all of you. What other tips can you share with us when it comes to time management during the holidays? How do you not only survive but also thrive during these precious yet chaotic times? Please comment below!

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