Time Management Tip: How To Manage Your Time During The Holiday Season

posted in: Time Management 2

Photo of Via Rodeo during Christmastime, Beverly Hills, California, photography by R. Isip

It’s that time of year again…time for holiday parties and gatherings, shopping, traveling and stress.

Ever wish you could have the gift of time management before all the festivities get underway?

Look no further!

Today’s post features a few tips on how to manage your busy schedule during the holiday season.

Get out the calendar.       

It might be the end of the year, but now’s the best time to look at the calendar and see what’s on tap for the upcoming month. Do you have any events scheduled as of yet? Were you invited to any parties, plays, performances, gatherings, events, functions, meetings or fundraisers? Do you have special travel plans or vacation time coming up? Plug in any open invites or  yearly functions of which you have not yet received an invite but know are coming up. Add in information and refer to the calendar as necessary to see which days or weekends will be crunch times.

Prioritize events and your RSVPs.

It’s kind of strange, but conflicting events during the holiday season seem to be a given. Out of your invites, which events are must-attend events? Which ones will you have to decline? Make an attendance decision within a day or two of receiving an invite. The sooner you make up your mind, send in your RSVP and mark down the event in the calendar, the sooner you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Shop early.

People tend to put off their holiday shopping off later and later in the month, only to find that the holiday celebrations and events are in full swing and then there’s little time to go shopping! Do your shopping as soon as possible between now and early-mid December before things start to get really hectic. Try and shop earlier in the day as well to avoid long lines, traffic and parking headaches. Don’t forget to take advantage of online shopping when you can for added convenience.

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Consolidate shopping trips.

Instead of running out to shop for holiday gifts on separate occasions, consolidate your shopping trips either to a single shopping center, area or location. Before you head out, think about what stores you want to visit, what types of gifts you want to get and for whom. You might find you can pick up gifts for multiple people at the same location.

Balance your workload.

If you are getting ready to go away on vacation this month, you’ll also have to start managing your time at work to take care of any projects or loose ends. What absolutely has to get done or submitted before you leave for vacation/for the end of the year? Start earlier rather than later to save yourself from crunch time. Need some help? Take a look at my post Time Management Tip: Preparing for a Vacation At Work.

Now to you! You’ve been invited to two (or more) holiday events at the same time on the same day. What do you do to manage your time? Share your thoughts and tips by leaving a comment below.

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

2 Responses

  1. Janet Barclay

    Tough question! My answer is… it depends. If we’re talking about Christmas day, I would likely visit the person who would otherwise be alone. Otherwise, I’d choose the one I see the least often. All other things being equal, I’d probably go to the gathering that’s closest to home.

    • Rashelle

      Yes, I would have to agree with you…it does depend on the circumstances. I think making a choice (and sticking to it) is the most important thing, rather than fretting or regretting over not going to a function. Alas, we can’t be everywhere at once!