Holidays are a key time when less is more. When you have a choice, select events that sound fun and decline the rest.
Practice saying no comfortably. Sorry, I checked my calendar and I can’t.
If you find the above lacks potency, create an index card to keep with your calendar. Write on it in bold. When you’re called about an activity you don’t want, like or need, retrieve the card and say, “Thank you for thinking of me, but (read) no my calendar won’t allow it.”
A legitimate reason to decline is because you booked time with family or yourself
Remember even when you are overbooked things work out, in part, because you gear up for the game.
If your day is a potential disaster, cancel one event and focus on the rest instead of making everything an unfinished marathon
Seek to complete most of your holiday shopping via the Internet during Thanksgiving weekend. If this is impossible, block out a free day before or after Thanksgiving. This allows time for deliveries and returns (if needed) before stocks run low.
Tackle the remaining shopping or holiday tasks, one per day
If you send holiday cards, consider making labels for your business and personal friends (and while you’re at it, print out an extra list to use for birthdays cards and so forth during the year.)
Down to the Wire
Every profession involves activities that take time, but not your full attention. Schedule these for your most hectic days when you know you won’t be promulgating deep thoughts.
If you work on the day before a holiday and demand is low and your co-workers absent, start a long-term task you want to tackle. You’ll begin your holiday with a sense of accomplishment and return ready to make even more progress on it.
Before you leave your office for a break (or even a weekend) jot down and post the top three priorities for your return
Schedule time to nap, daydream or laze.
Planned perfect holiday moments are for the movies with production crews. Your special holiday moment will arrive unexpectedly the hour before anyone else is up, during the family dinner after the big day or in a conversation with a loved on the way to the airport. Treasure and celebrate.
If you are the unhappy Holiday Queen or King–simplify. While almost everyone appreciates your efforts, few want run the Holiday kingdom. Decide to do what you love, seek volunteers for other tasks and skip the rest.
When you return from a break, extinguish any brush fires and then tackle the priority list you posted.
Other Time Management Resources:
Listen: Mission Brilliant Podcast #1
Buy and Read: Time Management Tips for Nonprofits
Buy and Listen: Raising the Bar on Time Management in Your Organization