St. Nick’s Tips For A Less Stressful Holiday Season
Do you cringe when you first hear holiday music playing each year? It can be like a flashing alarm going off in your brain saying Oh no! It’s that time of year again – time for holiday parties, shopping for client gifts, house guests, baking cookies, traveling, decorating, putting that annoying elf on a shelf doing the most creative of activities EVERY darn day (If you don’t know understand that last one, consider yourself blessed)…
The holiday season is supposed to bring cheer and happiness but for many people, it is synonymous with stress and chaos. With the deadline of Chrismahanukwanzakah quickly approaching, the to-dos multiply exponentially and might leave you fearing you won’t have enough time to get everything done. You might have even come to dread the scent of pine cones and chiming of sleigh bells. You’re not alone.
Stress and chaos often come from the feeling of having too much to do combined with the uncertainty of getting it all done in time. I used to have an ideal of what activities our family needs to do, how the house needs to look, how grandiose our holiday meal needs to be, and how perfect the gifts for our family and friends need to be. What I never planned on was how high my stress level needed to be to accomplish all of that! I finally determined the root cause of my added stress, eliminated it, and no longer dread the holidays. Sound nice?
All I had to do was stop using the word need. Needing to complete all of those projects meant putting an incredible amount of unnecessary pressure on myself. I didn’t need to do all those tasks, just the ones of utmost priority. I rarely use the word need during the holiday season now and instead use the phrase would like more often which allows ample wiggle room. Added stress eliminated.
Last holiday season I was working on several time-sensitive business projects so I decided to cut back and only do the things I would like to do. I had made and gifted candy every December for as long as I can remember but last year I didn’t feel like doing it. I eliminated Candy from my task list and it felt so good!
The holidays always bring many, many more tasks to your daily life. The increased workload with unsurpassable deadlines is not unlike large projects you may take on in your business. Implement these two tips to make the holiday season or any sizable project less stressful and chaotic:
Make A List And Check It Twice
Santa Claus creates a list every year, for naughty and nice children, and so should you. Creating a task list forces you to get all of your to-dos out of your head and enables you to decide which tasks need to be done. The others can wait. Take a complete inventory of your tasks, prioritize them, and realistically plan when you are going to complete them. Make two columns as Santa Claus does, but instead of Naughty and Nice, title them Need To Do and Would Like To Do.
As the story goes, Santa has three main priorities – making a list, checking it twice, and delivering gifts (or coal). He delegates everything else to his elves! This is an important lesson we all can learn from. Deleting items from your own task list that can easily be completed by someone else is essential to freeing up time to spend on your most important activities. So if an outrageously awesome holiday meal is your top priority this Christmas, let your spouse do some present shopping and grandma some decorating. Delegating responsibilities is key in both your personal and professional life. Productivity is not about getting it all done! It’s about investing your best time into your best activities so you can achieve your vision of success.
Whether you are preparing for the holidays or a project at work, making a task list, prioritizing, delegating, and eliminating are strategies that work! Focusing on only what you need to do will result in less stress, less chaos, and a holiday season you can actually enjoy with your loved ones.
Want more tips and strategies to improve your personal productivity? Download my free Time Maximizers Cheat Sheet at www.TimeMaximizers.com
About the Contributor
Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, and host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast. She helps real estate professionals take consistent, massive, focused action in your business. Amber equips you with the specific techniques you need to master your mindset, expand your skill set, and build business systems so you can reduce your stress, increase your production, dominate the market, and make more time for what matters most. Amber also passionately shares her message with entrepreneurs all over the world as a contributor for The Huffington Post, Women's Council Magazine, Choices Magazine, and Las Vegas Agent Magazine.
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