The months of November and December are a time of gatherings and celebrations, but this can also result in an overwhelming schedule for the end of the year. Keeping an organized schedule can help you throughout the year, but it is extremely important during the holiday season.
To keep an organized schedule during the holidays, consider some of these tips:
Halloween is the unofficial start to the holidays, so begin filling your calendar early. As events fill up your calendar, you will have to say no to later invitations that occur on the same date, or you will need to make some choices as to which event is most important to you and your family.
Use a Shared Family Calendar
Make sure everyone in your family has one shared calendar that they can use to keep track of all upcoming events. A shared digital calendar such as a Google calendar, iCal or Outlook calendar is ideal. If you do not prefer digital calendars, a large paper wall calendar or a dry erase board calendar hanging in a common area of your home can help to keep everyone on the same page.
Add All Events to Your Calendar
Include all school pageants, concerts, holiday parties at your office, family parties, religious services and events, and make sure EVERYTHING is on this calendar. Include the address, date, start and expected end time as well.
If you have children, line up your childcare in advance. Babysitters and other family members are also busy during the holidays, so schedule with them early!
Book Travel in Advance
If you’re traveling for the holidays, add those travel dates to your calendar, and buy airline or train tickets in advance. If traveling by car, be sure to plan extra time for holiday traffic or winter weather.
Keep a Running List Items Needed for Parties and Gatherings
You may want to bring a bottle of wine to one party host, or bring a side to Thanksgiving, or you need cookies for a school gathering. As you add each event to your calendar, make a note of what you want to bring, and when you’re going to make that item or buy that item.
Keep a Running List of Gifts
You may want to buy gifts for secret Santa events, white elephant parties, or family, friends, coworkers and teachers during the holidays. Keep a running list of the gifts you’d like to get each person, and the stores you need to shop at for those gifts.
Make Shopping Appointments
Now that you know what you need to buy, where you need to go, and you have a deadline for when you need it, it is time to make an appointment with yourself to go shopping. Schedule your shopping trips, or online shopping time, in advance so that you have everything on hand before the gathering or party.
Make Appointments for Self Care
You and your family may want new hairstyles or clothing before the holiday parties or before posing for family photos. Remember to make appointments for all of these activities early, and add those to your calendar as well. Also making an appointment for a spa visit or a massage may help you to relax during this stressful season.