During Christmas, former procrastinators, we add so much to do that it’s hard to imagine laying aside weights. Yet even in the midst of baking, decorating, and shopping, we can prioritize so that we do the most important things and avoid frustration and extra stress. Include in those important things time and energy to enjoy a child’s delight, the beauty of carols, and a cup of hot chocolate. That means being realistic and creating margin.
Our yearly Christmas Calculations are a practical help for managing our tasks and time. It’s easy to think we have a month to get ready, but – surprise! That’s rarely true. Go through this exercise to find out how many days you can actually work on Christmas prep. Then you’ll be realistic and make better decisions.
- When do you need to be ready?
- Write down all the things you want and/or need to do. Highlight the priorities. Make a reasonable estimate of the time required to accomplish each thing.
- Literally count the days between now and your Christmas celebration.
- Then, as far as you can tell, count the useable work days/ hours available to you. These will be fewer than the total. I have learned to omit Sundays and days with sizeable commitments,
- Is the number of days or hours available to you sufficient for all you desire? Adjust by choosing to focus on priorities. Simplify and eliminate.
- Check for margin so you avoid putting yourself and others in a bind. Create margin by allowing more time for tasks and more time between tasks. Consider winter weather, illness, shipping time, etc.
Being realistic from the start will relieve stress. It helps us do what needs doing when it needs doing and not delay. We’ll do less and enjoy more.
How many days do you have to prepare for your Christmas celebration?