Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Manage Your Time During the Holidays

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This time of year is ridiculously busy - every day it's nonstop going and it gets tiring! Especially when there's only 24 hours in a day and it's dark by 4 PM (insert eye roll emoji here). Just because it feels like you don't have enough time in the day doesn't mean you don't; you just need to schedule yourself out more efficiently and it'll make a huge difference. The holidays are always so much fun yet filled with such stress, and it shouldn't be like that. As most of you know, I graduated college with a B.S. this past spring and since then, blogging and VA work have been a full time gig for me. It's been a true blessing and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it's extremely time consuming. Here are my most helpful tips and things I use in my daily routine to make any given day less stressful and to help manage my time better:

1. Create a to-do list tailored to every day. Sometimes a weekly or even monthly to-do list can be helpful, but I always find (especially during this time of year) that having a shorter to-do list each day makes me more efficient and honestly, more likely to get everything on it checked off. Each night before bed, I've been making a list of things that need to get done the following day (if you really want to get organized, put things in order of most important > least important). Everything from placing an online gift order to finishing a client's chore threads to writing next Tuesday's blog post. It's *all* on there, detailed as can be and ready for me the next morning. I run better having an outline of things to do each day, so having a shorter daily list that I can follow is helpful and there's nothing more satisfying then checking every single thing off of that list!

2. Give yourself breaks. If I didn't allow myself work and to-do-list-breaks throughout the day, I'd probably go a little crazy! I take a few breaks throughout the day - whether it be a lunch break, a technology break (for the sake of my eyes!) or a gift shopping/wrapping break, it's so important to give yourself some down time. I've found I'm much more productive when I break up tasks and don't try to just cram it all in to a short time span.

3. Look ahead on your calendar. I always like to know what's to come in the next week or two for me so I can plan accordingly. I'm very much a planner by nature, but it's easy to do and can be really beneficial as well even if you're not a huge organizer. For example I know that on Wednesday I'll be in NYC (nothing like sight seeing in your own city!) for the day, so I'll work to get more done over the weekend so I'm not stressing come Wednesday. Point being is if you can plan to avoid stress, avoid the stress.

4. Be realistic with your goals and commitments. It's okay to push things back until January; to focus on the holiday and family time, to not take on too much. It's normal to feel overwhelmed most *especially* during such an already busy time of year, but saying no to certain projects or commitments isn't the end of the world. What's most important is that you know your limits. Leading to the next point of:

5. No matter what you do, be present and be happy. This is my #1. Which is why I saved it for last. ;) There's nothing more important than being present and living in the moment. It's much easier said than done in most cases I'm sure, but it's a magical time of year and it only comes for a short time each year; enjoy it. There's only a handful of days and weeks left and already a count down for 2016 to end and for a whole new year and chapter in your life to begin. Make every day with your family and every moment of the magical holiday season count!!

What's your best tip for managing your time during the holidays?

XOXO

23 comments:

  1. This is some solid common sense at a time of year when there is a tendency to overdo things. Number 2, give yourself some breaks, is so important. Rushing around before and during the holidays is a sure way to let yourself get run down and end up with a winter cold that is hard to shake. I have learned this the hard way and I am going to do a better job of pacing myself this year.

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  2. These are great tips, but I think you should try to use them every day, not just during the holidays! I do think that the holidays are a stressful time for a lot of people and it is important to take a step back and pace yourself so you get everything done but you can still enjoy the season :)
    Kirsten - thewanderingbrunette.com

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  3. I love the bit about being present. That is SOOOO important!! I am so bad about managing my time during the holidays1

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  4. For me, staying organized is the number one way I manage my time during the busy Holiday season! If plans aren't laid, and adhered to, chaos ensues!

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  5. This is a great reminder! Today especially because I have been running all day and have not been able to get into done. I will definitely try to do better tomorrow.

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  6. My biggest thing during the holidays is remembering to say, "No." I don't have to attend every party and do all the things.

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  7. I absolutely have to break down my to do list by day. I have weekly and monthly to do lists as well, but sometimes I just need a plan of action for that particular day. Otherwise nothing gets done haha but my biggest issue is being realistic about how much I'm actually able to take on. I tend to overdo it sometimes. But I'm getting better about it!

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  8. I tend to be a procrastinator. Overall it doesn't bother me, but sometimes I know that I'm stressed because I wait too long. Last year I was more organized and it was awesome. I'm going to try some of your tips.

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  9. Love this post (and HATE how early it's been getting dark, too)! I've been working really hard the past month or so to schedule everything out even more than I normally do. It's helped me de-stress so much and I've been really enjoying getting ready for the holidays!

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  10. I am constantly writing down to-do lists. I have to! It keeps me on track each day and helps me not forget what I needed to do in the first place. I am all about taking breaks because it makes me less stressed and it helps me refocus as well. I use my Erin Condren planner to write down anything that will be coming up in the future. Being realistic is also important when it comes to accomplishing things. It's okay to not get everything done you set out to do. It happens. Being happy is key! Even through the worst situations.

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  11. I'm working on being present in the moment. So many times I'm too worried about next week or on my phone scrolling on Instagram... I need to get better at being more in the moment!
    xoxo,
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

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  12. I've been meaning to create a to-do list but it's so tough staying on it! Maybe I'm making my lists too long so I'll definitely prioritize it and keep it short so it's actually attainable. Great blog post - thanks for sharing.

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  13. These are great tips, working on being present more everyday!!

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  14. It's important to have a to-do list and if possible, a schedule to work all of those things out. I don't want to feel stressed during the holidays and time management allows me to get more time for me and my family!

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  15. These are such great tips. Creating a list and sticking to it has been a life saver for me with so much going to. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Being realistic with goals and commitments I think is where i really struggle. I am a dreamer and an optimist so i tend to have ideas of grandeur and it is hard to accomplish what I set out to do.

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  17. I love your last one of being present and happy. So true! If you're always stressing looking forward to what's next on your list, then you're not enjoying the magic around you. Thanks for the reminder to slow down.

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  18. I love #4 about being realistic. This one always gets me!

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  19. I am a little stressed. The tips will help tremendously during the holiday season.

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  20. I love these tips! Holidays are super stressful but planning is key!

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  21. This is such a helpful post! Even though I'm now getting a break from school, I tend to get so overwhelmed during all of the things currently going on in preparation for Christmas. These are some amazing tips to remember.

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  22. I feel a lot of anxiety around the holidays since there is always so much to do. This year I am taking more breaks and writing down my to do lists so I can stay focused.

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  23. Being realistic is so helpful! You don't want to set yourself up for not meeting your goals.

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