The Secret to a Stress Free Holiday

KISS: Keep It Simple Sweetheart

Ahhh, the holidays. A time for family, fun and lots and lots of things to do! How can you keep your sanity amidst the holiday parties, shopping, presents, food, cards, work, family, friends and more? Our advice: Just KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetheart. With this in mind, we have 10 ways to help you have a stress free holiday season.
  1. Prioritize, Again and Again. Look at all your standing commitments daily. Break down your task list into a few items that can be done in less than 5 minutes. Attack those first. Then move on to your most important priority for that day. Once you’ve accomplished that, take on the three things on your list that are weighing most heavily on your mind. Repeat this process daily.
  2. Stop Multitasking. Recent studies show that jumping from task to task can actually waste time and lower productivity by up to 40%. Too much multitasking can even harm your future ability to focus and lower your IQ! For the most efficient approach, attack one project at a time and give it your full attention.
  3. Do Your Shopping Early. Last minute errands can be a huge time suck…especially when you are running them at the same time as all the other last-minute errand runners! You’re bound to forget something, but the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. So start early.
  4. Do Your Shopping Online. Not only will you avoid drive time, long lines and unruly shoppers, you can also save a lot of money! Use comparison shopping sites to help you find the best deal and coupon sites to help you save a little extra. Just make sure you are aware of shipping deadlines so that you can ensure your packages arrive in time for Christmas morning.
  5. Leave Extra Time. Sometimes adding a little padding into the calendar is necessary – especially during the holidays. Whether it’s Christmas shopping, going through airport security or addressing your holiday cards, some things just take more time than we would like. So instead of robbing time from something else later, plan ahead with a few extra minutes padded in.
  6. Tackle Work Commitments Early. Be aware of your upcoming workload and plan accordingly. Identify any projects or other work-related issues that could fall in your lap at the last minute. Prepare for office closures, holiday parties and other things that may take you away from the task at hand. Do what you can to address any issues ahead of time so you are not celebrating the holiday in your cubicle.
  7. Prepare for Downtime. No matter how efficient you are, there is always some downtime that is out of your control. Whether waiting at the doctors office, or getting the “spinning wheel of death” on your computer, have your To Do List at the ready comes in handy for unexpected life pauses. Even using that time for a five minute break can be worthwhile because taking time out to rest helps us refocus and get more out of the remaining hours in our day.
  8. Learn to Say No. Honesty really is the best policy. So, if things really are too busy to accept an invitation, or your daily task list is longer than any human can possibly accomplish in a day, it’s time to (politely) say no.
  9. Get Ready for Guests. It’s all about preparation. Know when your guests will arrive and what their expectations are. Plan out your meals and do the necessary shopping in advance. Delegate out tasks like cleaning the house or grocery shopping to other family members.
  10. Remember to live. Time management expert Molly Gold says that one trap we often fall into during the holiday season is creating memorable moments, but not living them. Know what is most meaningful to you and your family. And be present for it. If that means you have to say no to another opportunity, do it. After all, what good is planning the perfect holiday if you aren’t going to enjoy it?
How are you simplifying your life for a stress free holiday season? Tell us in the comments! Sources: Health Ways, Southern Living, LifeHacker