The holiday season can be a fun, exciting, and busy season for everyone in many different ways. Some people find themselves relaxing and taking some time off from work to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends. Others feel more stress and pressure to purchase gifts, get ahead at their job, and still find time to prepare for holiday celebrations.
It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, the holidays should be a time of giving and appreciating time with those that matter the most to us, rather than a time of stress and pressure to prove ourselves. Here are a few strategies to guide you during this busy time, allowing you to take on this season in a more organized and productive way.
Plan Gifts Ahead of Time
We’ve all been there. It’s a few days before your family holiday get-together and you’re scrambling to purchase last-minute gifts. You run to the most convenient store to pick up whatever you can find, irrationally overspending in the process, but you have no more time to waste.
Instead of letting history repeat itself, start planning your gifts early this year. Type up a list of everyone you want to purchase a gift for, jot down some gift ideas for them, and set a price estimate based on your budget. Then, while you’re out shopping and running errands, you can pick up gifts as you see them on sale and not feel rushed leading you to spend more than you planned
Organize Your Personal Finances
You can’t expect you will be able to help others out if you aren’t taking any time to manage and organize your own life first. If you have struggled financially in years past during the holidays, make sure you don’t put yourself in a place of financial strain this year too.
A simple way to stay on track during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is to download a mobile banking app that allows you to receive your money up to two days early. This can be extremely useful during the holidays when you have time to shop but are still waiting on last week’s paycheck to deposit into your account. Utilizing a banking app on your mobile device provides a convenient way to track your spending while allowing you to get all your shopping done on your schedule.
Keep a Set Routine
During the busiest times, it’s critical to keep a set schedule for yourself. Skipping out on the things you normally do, such as working out, maintaining a mindful morning routine, or socializing–in order to save some time–might actually have negative impacts on your productivity. Continue to make yourself a priority so that you have enough energy to do your best work at the office while still participating in all the holiday traditions you intend to do.
With that being said, don’t be afraid to say no to extra commitments you truly don’t have time for. This will create more stress and dissatisfaction during a time that should be enjoyable. Booking your schedule and helping out others is part of this season of giving, but don’t feel like you need to sacrifice all your time with family and friends for outside obligations.
Get to Work Early
Many people feel most productive at earlier hours in the day. If this is the case for you, get up a little earlier and get into work before everyone else. Getting to the office before your coworkers might allow you some quiet time to focus and get tasks completed before any distractions come up. Utilize this time to get your most challenging work done first and then prepare for the rest of the day. If you’re working earlier in the day, it will free up some time for yourself in the afternoon and evening to get some additional shopping or holiday preparation done.
If you’re waking up earlier, you also need to end your day sooner. Aim to get to bed an hour earlier and turn off all distractions so you can wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the next morning.
Reduce Time on Social Media
Technology and our mobile devices can be very helpful tools during the holiday season if they’re being used correctly. The convenience of mobile technology is one huge factor that can save us time and money. It allows us to look up deals while we’re shopping, make purchases on-the-go, and get the best prices online.
The only downside to having our mobile devices with us at all times is they can also be huge time wasters and energy drainers. If you’re spending a lot of time during the day scrolling through social media apps, it’s likely you’re not getting much else done. Try reducing your time on social media this holiday season and spend time focusing on what you need to accomplish, so you can relax later on.
Set Attainable Goals
Take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish this holiday season. Rather than placing pressure on yourself to outdo your family members or friends, focus on giving and receiving in ways that feel the most genuine to you. Stick to your own personal budget and realize that people will appreciate any thought you’ve put into a gift. Avoid overspending just because it seems like everyone else is swiping their credit cards left and right. The holidays can be a time of great excitement, but if you don’t hold yourself accountable, they can lead to unplanned financial stress.
The holiday season should not be a time associated with stress and pressure. Neglecting your needs will not put you any further ahead of the game, which is why it’s so important to manage your holiday expectations and stick to a set routine that makes you feel productive in your work and at home.