Do you swear each New Year, that next year you’ll get yourself organised for Christmas earlier next time? Well let this be the year! It’s the time of year when on top of work, kids, responsibilities, comes even more things to do! It can be a lovely time of year, but there can be a lot to do, and a lot of pressure too. It’s still only November, so how about taking a bit of time out now, to think ahead this year? How about making this Christmas one that’s a little calmer for you. Here’s a few things to consider:
1. Make your Lists
First things first, you need to take a bit of time out to plan. I know you may feel like you don’t have time to plan, but believe me this is going to save you so much time and heartache. As you may know, I keep a lot of my organisation in my ASANA (a project management tool). I have three lists there at present as you can see below – card list, gift lists and budget. This helps me brainstorm and plan out what I need to do, who I need to look after and how much it’s all going to cost 😆 So whether you plan things out digitally, or grab a notebook and make lists, just take the time out, breath and figure it out.
2. Fill your Calendar
I live my life through my calendar. If it’s not in the calendar it’s not happening. Just like when you sit down to write some lists, you need to take that calendar with you and write in everything you feel you and your family might need to know. Everything! To avoid confusion, double booking and tears, the calendar is a tool that will support you. And this goes for all year round, by the way. And I’m not just talking about events, consider scheduling in these too:
- When you’re going to do the gift shopping?
- And what if you don’t get it all done – you’ll need a second day?
- What about a day to yourself?
- And any beauty appointments?
- What day is food shopping to be done?
- Do you need a second day on that?
- When are the kids finished school?
- What days do you and your partner have off work?
- Are you posting items abroad – when’s the cut off date for that?
3. At Home
Whether you have visitors or not, we want the house to look well for the Christmas period. But there can be a lot to do, on top of the shopping, cooking, events not to mention general life and work responsibilities. It can be hard to find the time for it all. Next week I’ll have details about the Countdown To Christmas which will help you to get the house organised. Each day there will be a different area of the house to focus on. Why not join in, use these prompts to focus your mind and get the house ready ahead of time with less stress.
4. Meal Planning
For me, I’ve a small family and only do the cooking on Christmas Eve (and even that is only something small) so I’m lucky that I don’t have much to worry about here. But if you are the main Chef and / or catering to the crowd this Christmas, then the one thing that’ll save you is a meal plan. If a meal plan helps my tiny family, it’ll do wonders for your big one. It will also help you to compile your food shopping list which you can delegate to someone else (Win!) and can help keep costs down! They can be a pain and do need a good hour to think through, but it’s worth it!
5. Food shopping
There are already big boxes of chocolates in the shops, so with that in mind, is there any shopping you can do now instead of leaving everything to the week before. I’m thinking treats, savoury snacks, drinks etc that can be bought now, and stored for a few weeks.
6. Beauty prep
As mentioned above, now is the time to be thinking about booking any treatments you feel you might need for the Christmas and New Year period. Take twenty minutes, a phone and your calendar and book them in!
It’s easy to get caught up in the business and traditions of Christmas. It’s the end of the year – it’s possibly been a very long one for you and while you want to rest and do nothing, you may feel like that’s impossible. However, maybe you need to listen to that inner voice and FIND time for you. Literally – FIND the time. It’s still only November. So can you look ahead at your calendar, and your time off work and find at least ONE day where you are not doing anything. If you plan that time ahead now – make that appointment with you & your family – then when something comes up, you can more easily say no. Make up an excuse. Think it up now. So that it’s ready to go. I often look ahead at my calendar and literally put in the word “OFF” in capitals and red letters so that I’m telling myself “do not book anything”. Do this for you too!
What do you do to help you stay organised at this time of year? Let me know in the comments!