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Time Management Hacks: for the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be stressful. When I was a kid I used to look forward to this time all year long, now I still look forward to it, but with an added layer of apprehension that didn't exist before. I know what's coming now. The responsibilities, the obligatory social engagements, the shopping, the wrapping, everything that goes along with the holidays, plus the expectation that you maintain your current output of regular work. It's a lot.

Fortunately, there are some hacks that work great in maximizing your time, but also managing stress so that your task list doesn't feel so overwhelming...

Make Weekly + Daily Task Lists

Start each week with a task list for the week, then break it down into what needs to get done each day. As you fill in the days you might realize something that you didn't add to the weekly list, so add it and continue on with your daily task lists. This prevents you from pushing tasks until Friday when all of a sudden you have 48 hours of tasks to do in one day.

Batch Tasks

There are certain tasks that are more efficiently done together. Shopping, for example, is something that can be easily batched together and save time later on. Make a list of everyone you have to shop for, separate out online versus in-store shopping and find a day where you can get all of your in-store shopping done and another day when you can do the online stuff. You can also do this with things like meal prep, wrapping gifts, and emails.

Take Time for Yourself

Schedule in at least 30-45 minutes each day to spend with yourself recharging. You will be much more productive if you are in a good headspace, instead of constantly stressed out. Some examples of things you can do during this time are: read a book, workout, take a bath, or journal. Whatever you do, make sure it's relaxing to you and fills up your cup.

Prioritize Tasks

Determine what needs to get done right away, what should get done soon and what can wait. The longer you push things off, the more stressed you'll be about getting them done and that stress can create resistance. If you're using more brain power worrying and stressing, than you can't take as much time thinking of the task at hand.

Unplug

This one is probably the hardest for me, but it's very important when you want to be productive. Set your phone aside and turn off your email for a few hours at a time. Use that time to get through the more mentally demanding tasks. You'll be more focused and efficient in getting things done. I personally like to try to only respond to emails 2-3 times per day. Morning, afternoon and right before dinner. This way I'm not being pulled from tasks to answer an email that can easily wait a few hours.

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