I love the hustle of the holiday season and all the lists to check off. Along with the joy this season comes days that are faster and busier. We still only have 24 hours a day to get the lists accomplished, and with extra expectations on the calendar, we need to be aware of how we spend our time.
What mistakes are you making that waste your precious time?
These are holiday mistakes to avoid in order to make the most of your time:
Wrapping one gift at a time
Wrap as many gifts in one setting as possible. Wrapping one-off gifts can be time consuming and you don’t get all the trimmings put away each time so it lays out for weeks. Avoid the ribbon spilling into the rest of your home for the remainder of the season by having a wrapping station and wrap multiple gifts at once.
Shopping last minute
Make a list and shop ahead of time. Make a list so you buy efficiently and wisely. Buy a few generic gifts so you have them on hand just in case you go to an unanticipated gathering or run short on gifts. Nothing wastes time and energy like running out last minute to fight traffic and long lines (or paying outrageous shipping fees to get it in time).
Baking last minute
Bake ahead and make use of the freezer. Baking and cooking ahead can be a great way to save time and be prepared. Plus, it’s nice to have goodies on hand for unexpected gatherings or visitors. Schedule baking as a task rather than assuming it will fit into your day at some point. Enlist the kids to help and make it a tradition.
Arriving empty handed
Thoughtful etiquette is to bring something simple to the host of the party. Be prepared by having hostess/host gifts on hand. You don’t have to break the bank to be polite, so having extra candles, wine, or hand soaps are inexpensive ways to say “thanks for inviting us.” When you show up with a little something special, they will be surprised and thankful.
No calendar of activities
Have a holiday calendar that gives the lay out of the season so the whole family knows what’s planned. It’s a busy season and having everyone informed can make a big difference. Delegate responsibility and look ahead.
Planning last minute
Plan for the holiday meal or Christmas concert the day(s) prior. Lay out clothes, prep dishes, and be as prepared as possible in advance. There is bound to be last minute things even when you plan ahead. Certain activities require weeks of prep or cleaning, so make a list for each day and chip away at the prep a little at a time.
Shopping from memory
You can’t remember it all. Make a list by person to shop for; make a list for groceries; make a list of online purchases to make. You will be making second and third trips to the store, or paying for expedited shipping, when you attempt to shop without a list in hand. There’s a reason why the song says: “make a list and check it twice!”
Thinking about yourself
This may not waste time, but it wastes mental energy. Focusing on others this time of year is a great way to spread joy, blessings, and cheer. Taking time to do the Advent calendar with the family or meditate each morning can surpass the physical gifts we give and receive. When you focus on other’s you are sure to be blessed in return!
The holiday season is full of must-dos and it’s easy to get swept away in the activities, simply trying to survive the season. Being intentional about your time and energy is sure to affect the way you experience the season. Wishing you the best, and more time, this holiday season!
Feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to get it all done with peace of mind? Schedule a free strategy session with Michelle to help you understand how to best use your time now and in any upcoming busy season. The mission is a satisfying season rather than a season of survival.