Shortcuts and Outsourcing to Make This Holiday Season Less Stressful

Some people love the holiday season, but others find it stressful.  There are so many pulls on your time and finances, not to mention the expectation to make the season perfect.  If you work from home, you may feel additional pressures when the kids are home on holiday break and you have your regular workload to keep up with.  However, there are shortcuts you can take and outsourcing you can do to make this holiday season less stressful.

Prioritize What You Want to Accomplish

There are so many demands on our time during the holiday season.  If we try to do everything, we’ll just be stressed and exhausted—and—we still won’t get everything done.  Instead, today, prioritize what you want to get done between now and January 1st.  What activities would you like to make sure to do with the kids?  With your husband?  What work assignments will you have to get done?

Prioritize the important things and then see what you can fit in after that.  When you have priorities, you can more easily say no to opportunities and requests that aren’t in line with your priorities.

Make a Present List and Stick to It

Make a list of all of the presents you plan to buy and for whom and stick to it.  Determine how much money and time you plan to spend.  If you’re really ambitious, set aside one afternoon and complete all of your shopping.  (This can be done easily if you shop online.)  Then, you can spend the rest of December completing your priorities rather than rushing from one store to the next in an overpacked mall or department store.

Use Grocery Delivery or Pick Up

Are you still going to the grocery store every week to buy groceries?  If so, why?  The holiday season can be the worst time to go to the grocery store because it’s so busy.  You may feel like you need stop lights in the aisles just to push your cart through the throng of other shoppers’ carts.

Instead, from the comfort of your home, hop on the Internet, add your groceries to cart and wait for your delivery.  If you don’t want to pay a delivery fee, consider picking up your groceries at the store.  Most stores will run them right out to you; you just stay in the car.  You’ll save time and likely money because you won’t be tempted by impulse buys.

Choose Simple Meals

Meals don’t have to be fancy during the holidays.  It’s okay to make a platter with deli meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables and crackers and call it dinner.  It’s okay to serve breakfast for dinner or make grilled cheese sandwiches for the entire family.  The main goal is to get your family fed.  Save time by making meals simple this holiday season.

Block Schedule Your Time

If you don’t regularly block schedule your time, you may want to during the holiday season.  If you’re a writer, pick three afternoons a week where all you’ll do is write.  Take one afternoon in December to buy all of your Christmas presents.  Pick two evenings a week when you’ll spend time with your family driving around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights or playing board games. 

A block schedule helps you focus your time so you don’t feel torn in many directions and unable to get all of your priorities accomplished.

No doubt, the holidays can be stressful, but with these tips, you’ll be able to prioritize what you want to accomplish and still have time to relax and enjoy family and friends.

What are your favorite tips for making the holiday season less stressful?

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