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How to Reduce the Holiday Season Stress?

While it might seem like it was just July 4th… it’s the beginning of December and the start of the holiday season. If you’re like me, you are juggling lots of balls. There are work tasks to complete. Holiday invitations to send and accept. Gatherings to plan. Gifts to buy. Cards to send. Vacation time to book. The challenge: these tasks need to be done or at least well on their way to being completed in the next 3 weeks. So the question is how to reduce the holiday season stress?

With all this, it could be a very stressful time of year if you let it. I want to enjoy this festive time of year without being all stressed out. To accomplish this, I have to make sure all my tasks get done. Here’s what I do:

Brain Dump

As worrying about all that needs to be done can create a lot of unnecessary stress, I need to get all those tasks out of my head and onto a to-do list. I start with a brain dump, writing down all the work and personal tasks no matter how large or small that come to mind. Once I have the 2 lists, it’s time to separate those tasks that must get done this month from those that can wait until January.

Assess Time Needed

I have to be realistic concerning the amount of time available to complete both work and personal tasks so that I don’t land up with an overly ambitious list of to-do’s. Once I have narrowed down the tasks to the essentials, I will be committed to getting them done and to selectively add last minute tasks to the lists over the coming weeks. My daily goal will be to complete most if not all that day’s tasks by the end of day.

Blocking Time

With the 2 task lists in hand, I will block time in my calendar during the day for work tasks and in the evenings/weekends for the personal ones. As there is always the unexpected… additional tasks to add to the lists or tasks taking longer than expected… I always leave open blocks of time. By doing this, I will have a clearer picture of my schedule. If it is too jam packed, some re-assessing may be necessary so that I can maintain good work life harmony.

This is how to reduce the holiday season stress and promptly complete all the tasks on my to-do lists. If you need a tip or two for managing your holiday to-do list, let’s talk.

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