Over the years as I too have struggled to get everything done I’ve unconsciously developed some strategies to manage my seasonal overwhelm. Following are three that work very well for me.
Combine holiday tasks with regular daily tasks.
- You need to get groceries. Why not buy the ingredients for your baking and holiday meals while doing your regular grocery shopping? Or, you could buy edible Christmas gifts or gift cards.
- TV helps you unwind after a busy day. You can address, stamp and perhaps even write Christmas cards while enjoying your favorite shows. Or, you could wrap a few packages each night to avoid having to wrap them all at once.
Break big tasks down to bite size pieces.
- Looking at the task of writing Christmas cards can be daunting because there are so many boring steps. That task can be broken down into the following steps: get your address list together, address cards, stamp cards, write cards, mail cards. Make one step your goal instead of the whole task and you are more likely to do something rather than avoid the task altogether.
- Rather than tackle your whole gift list at once, plan to buy one gift per day (online or in stores) as you move through your regular daily activities rather than feeling you must devote large blocks of time to shopping.
Give the same type of gift to many people on your list.
- This year I have made small, economical photo books for almost all of my family members.
- Every year I give Cracker Candy to family and friends. It’s the only thing I bake and is loved by everyone.
- Gift cards to restaurants and stores that family and friends frequent allow them to have experiences and purchases things that matter to them.
Melding holiday chores into your daily life, doing a little at a time rather than thinking you should eat the whole elephant at once, and simplifying what you do will make it possible for you to get holiday preparations done with less stress and more pleasure.