Is it Possible to have a Stress-free Christmas?
I doubt Christmas could ever be totally stress-free, but let's give it a go...
As a business psychologist I used to talk to my corporate clients about productivity and time-management.
There's always 'so much to do', so let's start with a few of my top tips for being super-productive in the next few weeks.
Write a Plan
And I don't mean find a scrap of paper and write notes on and then accidentally throw away that scrap of paper with the receipts (perhaps it's just me).
Simply list the things you need to do on one list, and things you need to buy another list, work your way back from Christmas day and ta-dah! you've got a 'Plan of Action'.
ps. the last day to post to the UK by Royal Mail 1st class is Monday 21st Dec, and Sat19th for second class.
You probably need to divide your time and focus between you, your family and friends, work or business. How are you going to do this without losing sight of yourself? It's easy to forget that we need rest and relaxation. So, as part of your Plan of Action, include a bit of 'me time' - it could be simply making time for a late night soak in the bath with candles, or going for an early morning walk, or watching your favourite programme. If you don't include it in your plan, it may not happen.
Go back through your Plan and star the things that you really have to do (visit Auntie Jean, buy the tree) then write P next to things that are not essential (P - park it for the moment).
Set an Auto Delayed Response
If you're incredibly busy and find that emails are piling up why not set up an automated holding email saying something like "Thank you for your email. It's extremely busy in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, but I will get back to you within 48 hours. If it's urgent please call or text my mobile".
If you're the kind of person who always says yes even when you know you shouldn't, or an optimist who likes to think you can squeeze in extra time to bake mince-pies in time for Friday's soiree, or if you just don't feel like you have time to stop... Now is the time to let it go. Saying no can be made easier if you prefix it with honesty, "I'd really love to and normally I would but I'm afraid this time I can't." Or with a suffix "No, it's going to be challenge right now. It'll be better to do it in January when I'll be more focused".
Beware the Time-suck
Do you find social media a total time-suck? Or maybe once the TV is on it's hard to turn it off? I love social media a lot, and I use MIMI as a great reason to be on it, but I can waste an awful lot of time perusing Twitter or Instagram feeds just when I've got one hundred things to do. You could try limiting your time-suck activity to a specific amount of time, or reducing the frequency of looking at it. Know your nemesis and don't let it control you!
So, just a few tips and tricks that I hope will help you get through the next few weeks with a little let stress and more calm focus.
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