Seasonal Time Management Tips |

Seasonal Time Management Tips

November 15, 2012

This time of year I enjoy keeping busy with what I consider, ever-so-enjoyable-endeavours.  I like to sit by the fire and peruse Pinterest for the perfect pumpkin recipes.  Or, switch my summer and winter wardrobes; pulling out my puffy parka, warm, wooly sweaters and broken-in boots is comforting.   Oh, and let’s not forget, one of my fall-favorites: leaf-peeping!  Everywhere I look, nature’s paint brush is using big, bold splashes of vibrant colors – - glorious golds, radiant reds and pleasing plum tones.  When I see the leaves falling, I realize there are only a few weeks remaining in the year. And, as an organizer, I know it’s the perfect time to start planning for the winter holidays.

Although the holiday season can be magical, it can also be stressful. Regular work and life obligations struggle to share schedule space with the flurrying hustle and bustle of holiday events and activities. To fully enjoy a more relaxed season, with enough flexibility to allow you to savor the magic, start planning today.

CHOOSE ACTIVITIES CAREFULLY

1) Propose scheduling business meetings as close to your office as possible. You’ll reduce travel time, particularly in areas where traffic is heavy. Alternatively, suggest venues close to your home for any appointments near the start or the end of your workday. Instead of driving all the way to the office, only to head out to a meeting thirty minutes later, pick locations that fit naturally along the routes you already travel.

2) Learn to say, “NO” to non-essential meetings that don’t advance your priorities. In-person meetings tend to start slowly and drag to a close, and meetings without clear goals can meander without ever hitting the mark. Before scheduling, make sure there’s a valid reason to meet in person. Can the matter be handled over the phone or via email? Would a Skype or Facetime call work just as well? Your associates will appreciate your focus on maximizing effort more efficiently by eliminating travel time and concentrating on essentials.

3) Identify and eliminate lower-priority activities that clutter your agenda without giving you a satisfying reward. Every party or open house you attend or host, every card you address and send out…is a choice. Remember, even traditions are optional; treating them like required obligations steals your delight and replaces it with resentment.

LEAVE WHITE SPACE ON YOUR CALENDAR

When we do more, we enjoy it less. Packing our schedules like an overstuffed suitcase may momentarily make us feel productive, but it limits our ability to reflect on our experiences, and gives us no opportunity to be spontaneous.

Arranging a buffer of daily free time is a wonderful antidote to interruptions. It creates an insurance policy, covering us when unexpected phone calls, traffic delays or even our most beloved distractions – our children, pets and friends – up-end our plans. A small blanket of white on the calendar can be as refreshing as finding a sparkling blanket of white on the front lawn.

FOCUS ON WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY

It’s common to get so wrapped up in non-essential obligations that you begin to feel like a sparkly-wrapped package of stale cookies. Truly enjoying the holidays means giving yourself the opportunity to find fresh delights in the season.

Analyze each opportunity with a sense of purpose; then, re-prioritize, being mindful about what you want the holiday season to mean. Start by asking questions like, “What am I passionate about?” and “What would make this season more joyful for me?” The clearer your focus, the more energy you can devote to what matters most. When you select activities that you value, your joy will naturally spill over into your interactions with others, sharing the enchantment.

Managing time really means managing ourselves. A few extra moments spent planning and organizing now, before the holidays are upon us, is time well spent.

Website:  http://metropolitanorganizing.com/freebie/manage-your-modern-life/

12 comments on “Seasonal Time Management Tips

  1. Leave a comment, let me know what YOU find particularly helpful or challenging about managing your time during the holidays. Feel free to share your best practices and tips.

  2. Myra says:

    Great article! “Focus on what brings you joy” is going to be my mantra this holiday season.

  3. Kerry says:

    I love the suggestion to leave white space on our calendars. I’m going to try!

  4. Damian says:

    Agreed about the white space calendar suggestion. Over the holidays I would suspect this brings more joy than cramming the days full of “memories” to create! If I could just get my wife to agree. :)

  5. Leaving “whitespace” on the calendar and saying “no” to certain activities are definitely great ideas. You can’t enjoy yourself if you are running all over the place! Great article and thanks for the advice.

  6. @Myra – Thank you! We like mantras – especially ones that focus on joy. Glad you enJOYed the post.

  7. @Kerry – You will be amazed at how this tiny little suggestion will have great big changes in how your life. You’ll find that by surrounding your activities with white space you aren’t as rushed nor anxious. It’s one of the best gifts to give yourself – time. Hope your holidays are very merry and calm.

  8. I am going to try to keep the things we do focused on the real reason for this special season. Sure we have a lot of fun watching all the holiday cartoony shows with the kids, but does it focus our hearts and minds on the Lord? Or would sitting around the fire with some hot cocoa singing Christmas carols be just as fun and meaningful at the same time? Not everything has to be spiritual, but I have found that the season is more meaningful when most of it is focused on Him. Thank you for the reminder!!!!

  9. Renae says:

    I too like the ‘focus on what brings you joy’ and shall be doing that!

    “I like to sit by the fire and peruse Pinterest for the perfect pumpkin recipes.”
    You have no idea how jealous I am! Heading into Summer here so sadly there is no fire, although it’s certainly chilly enough for one today!

  10. @Carmen – I too enjoy all the holiday TV shows (LOVE the focus on decorating and baking!) but, like you I also make an effort to be more purposeful and intentional. Cheers!

    @Renae OK, you must be from ‘down-under’ Take comfort knowing that in a few short months, our seasons will flip-flop and you’ll be pinning cool-weather items of interest.

  11. GS test says:

    Seasonal Time Management Tips | A Bowl Full of Lemons

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