Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 5: Schedule Your Time for the Holidays

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 5: Schedule Your Time for the Holidays

If you don’t plan your time, someone else will. During the holidays it is especially important to schedule your time in advance so you have the time to do the things that are truly important to you.

Schedule your time for the holidays

For example, I schedule downtime. Life gets very stressful over the holidays, and I schedule time just to relax and wrap gifts with music playing or to kick back and read a book. The time leading up to Christmas shouldn’t be so rushed and stressful that you are totally exhausted and can’t enjoy the holiday. I schedule mini-breaks or downtime throughout the season. This is especially important if you have small children and their schedules are being disrupted.

The downtime is every bit as important as the parties and other social activities during the holiday season. I review calendars and make sure we find time to attend church, candlelight services, and other events that matter to us, I schedule downtime, and then everything else is worked into the time that left or we choose not to do it.

Go back to your Christmas mission statement and make sure everything you schedule fits into your mission. If it doesn’t, you can skip it this year. There’s always next year!

Do what gives you joy and don’t feel guilty for saying NO to everything else.

Assignment:  Schedule Your Time for the Holidaysschedule your time

Gather all your calendars and spend fifteen minutes scheduling your commitments (personal, family, church, school, etc.). Now it is time to schedule in some fun! You may want to ask your family what they would like to do this year. Consider dropping things that no longer bring you or your family joy. You may also want to set aside some special time for just you and your spouse.

Once you complete your calendar, be sure to hang it where everyone has access to it.

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 44

Supplies:

1) A blank calendar for November and December (or download printable blank calendars for November and December here.)

2) School, church, work and personal calendars.

Share Your Thoughts: 

How does it feel to schedule your time out in advance during the holidays? Did you eliminate some activities? What activities will you keep no matter what? When you think about the holiday season do you feel overwhelmed, relaxed, confident or frustrated?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Putting items on a to-do list tells you what’s important. Putting them on the calendar tells you what’s possible. Add your activities straight to your calendar so you see where you need to cut back.

 

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 4: Prep Your Christmas Card

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 4: Prep Your Christmas Card

Prep your Christmas cards

When was the last time you got to December 10th and took a deep sigh of relief that your cards were completely done and mailed?? Umm, I have to answer that one honestly and say never. But I can also honestly say that when they are done early, my stress level goes way down. That is why, I prep Christmas cards in stages.

prep your Christmas cardAssignment:
  • Go through the list of things necessary to prep your Christmas cards. Maybe you need to buy paper for your annual letter or get pictures taken. Jot down all of the steps
  • Start working through the list and possibly enlist the help of others. Maybe your spouse orders the stamps and prints addresses for you. Maybe your second grader puts the stamps on.
  • Make an assembly line while watching a movie to make it more fun. If it is too overwhelming to get done all at once, take time today to decide on one thing to accomplish each day this week. Mark each day on your calendar. By the end of the week, you will be ready to mail off your cards!

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 39-42

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you broken down all of the steps before for getting your Christmas cards ready? Even though it is many steps, much of it can be tackled over time and with help! Do you elicit the help of others? What do you job out to save time, stress or possibly a paper cut on your lip? Come share with us what YOU do in the comments below.

Avoiding Overwhelm:

This is a great example of habit pairing — linking a chore with a reward. Think of other habits you can pair throughout the holiday season. Remember — habit pairing = duty + delight.

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 3: Pick Your Christmas Card Picture

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 3: Pick Your Christmas Card Picture

If you’re not sending a Christmas card this year, or you’re sending a card sans family photo, you get to sit this project out. For the rest of us, it’s time to sit down and choose a photo or choose a date to take  or pick your Christmas card picture. Enjoy this project by inviting your family to help select the photo this year.

Maybe enjoy some Christmas cookies and cocoa as you look back on the memories you made together over the year. If you still need to take family pictures, make a day of it! Plan on taking your photos together then going to the movies, out to eat, or grabbing your favorite hot beverage and shopping to fill your Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Assignment:  Pick your Christmas picture or set a date to take a family picture.

pick your Christmas card picture

The earlier you get the picture taken, the better. It’s November so photographers are offering holiday specials and booking sessions quickly. Get your favorite photographer on the phone and get this scheduled.

Make your appointment at a time when your family is at its best. If you are all night owls, don’t plan an early morning appointment. Also make sure no one is hungry when you go for the picture.

Outfits don’t have to match perfectly, but they should coordinate and not clash! Clothes should be comfortable. If uncomfortable, think of the forced smiles!

On a budget?

Digital cards save you time and money and allow you to send a card to any number of friends and family. In addition you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a professional photographer because your pictures don’t have to be as high quality to really look great.

For More Details:  Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 32

Supplies:  Cards, Picture, Printer paper if you do a letter, stamps, envelopes, address, and return address labels.

Share Your Thoughts:

Will you be sending cards this year? Will your cards include a family picture? Is it a Christmas picture or one taken throughout the year? What made you pick that picture? Do you send paper cards or digital cards? Any tips for others who plan to get a family picture taken or use pictures in cards?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Are you thinking, “We always have a professional photographer trek to the mountains with us in the snowfall to capture us singing carols as we cut down our 12-foot tree, but this year there won’t be snow!” Well, first of all, boohoo. But remember – just because you’ve always done things a certain way, doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can choose to make new decisions this year!

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 2: Put Together Your Christmas Binder

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 2: Put Together Your Christmas Binder


Assignment:
Create a Christmas binder  with tabs

The Christmas binder is going to be your friend for the next few weeks. You know–the kind of friend you count on to help you keep your sanity. Your friend should reflect you, but more importantly, the vision you have for your family Christmas! Yesterday you made a list of what is important to you for the holidays. What it would look like for you if you started fresh this year.

Use your mission statement and go from there. But don’t forget this is supposed to be quick and easy!

For More Details: Get Yourself Organized for Christmas – Page 28

Supplies: a three-ring binder, tabs, (optional) colored pens, plain paper to decorate a cover sleeve to slide in the clear pocket.

Christmas binder Maybe you have an old binder lying around that contains your child’s old science fair project. Maybe you were on a committee for church a few years back and you can recycle one for a new purpose! Maybe you will take out a blank sheet of paper and decorate it and then slide it into the clear sleeve of the front cover of the binder. Maybe you make a fun label for the outside. Whatever you end up creating, make it SIMPLE.

Remind yourself:

Next, get some dividers for the different categories. Get one for Cards, Recipes, Budget and Receipts, etc. Next place them in the order that makes sense to you. Keep a copy of the mission statement in the front. This is to remind yourself of your core values and what matters most to your family.

Then set a reminder on your phone or an appointment on your calendar to do a binder check weekly. This check will ensure you are USING it after you took the time to create it! It is so important for you to not get overwhelmed.

Use this time to store away any needed items to keep yourself organized. Put that receipt in the receipt section now because when you are in a hurry later, it won’t happen. Doing a simple task now will keep you from feeling crazed later!

Share Your Thoughts:

Where did you get your binder? Is it newly repurposed? What tabs did you put inside? Did you list out your Mission Statement and enclose it?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

 

When we can’t find the things we know we have, it can make us feel stupid or ashamed. Our Christmas binder and Christmas Headquarters will keep everything we need for the holidays in one place. Remember–creativity is on the other side of clutter. And so is peace.
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 1: What is Your Christmas Mission?

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 1: What is Your Christmas Mission?

Christmas mission

Assignment:  Create your holiday/Christmas mission statement

In order to enjoy a peaceful holiday season, you may have to let go of some things you’ve always done. It’s time to focus on what brings you and your family joy. Make a list of what you normally do around the holidays, as well as what you’d like your holiday season to look like.

After your list is complete, circle or highlight what is most important to you and your family. Next, cross out what you can let go of this year. Once you’ve focused on what you’d like your celebration to look like, grab your index cards! It’s time to write your Christmas mission statement.

Remember to stick the cards somewhere visible to help remind you of your Christmas plan.

For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas (page 22)

Supplies: two or three index cards, a marker, My Holiday Mission Statement form (found in the back of Get Yourself Organized for Christmas)

Share Your Thoughts: 

Now that you have your Christmas priorities straight, how do you feel?   What did you decide to eliminate?  What gets top priority?   Where did you post your Christmas mission statement?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Your Holiday Mission Statement is a way of pre-deciding what’s important to you, so you won’t stay up all night Christmas Eve making the perfect bows for your presents when your family would prefer a well-rested mama who remembers to turn the oven on for Christmas dinner. (Not that any of us has been there … )


Thanksgiving is coming up too! If you are hosting, grab your downloadable copy of Get Yourself Organized for Thanksgiving for just $.99 in the Shop.

 

For more tips on being true to your future self, preorder Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity.