Christmas is nearly here. In the next day or two, start planning for your Christmas week. Many people make the mistake of stopping their planning and prioritizing around the holidays. This is a big mistake. The busier you are, the more important it is to schedule your time. For many people, the Christmas season is one of the most hectic times of the year. Here are three steps to staying sane this season.
1. Prioritize: Start today. Make a to-do list, or a weekly plan, like you might usually. Make sure that you prioritize the items, including both the personal and the professional. What has to be done quickly? Last-minute shopping or cooking will likely fall into this category. What items have an inflexible time? These might be events like Christmas morning traditions, a Christmas Eve service, or something like that. These two types of items are your priorities: the inflexible and the time-sensitive. Other items can probably wait.
2. Pencil in free time: Plan to relax this Christmas season. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself out of the moment, whether its checking emails, looking over a few papers, or doing anything other than sitting still and enjoying the season. If it’s not on the schedule, it won’t happen. Make it a priority.
3. Prepare: If there is anything on your schedule or to-do list that is particularly looming over your week, try to get it done in advance. If this isn’t possible, get as much as you can prepared ahead of time. This is as true for your Christmas dinner as it is for your business concerns. Advance preparation can relieve a lot of the pressure around busy times like Christmas.
There’s a lot going on for most people around the holidays. As we near the home stretch, taking an hour or so to plan for the week will pay off. Planning will help make the holiday run more smoothly and free up more time to spend with family.
Harry Plack, president of Plack and Associates, P.A. in Bel Air, MD, is responsible for business and profitability planning, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, succession planning, and general healthcare consulting. A widely published writer, Harry is an authority on business and healthcare issues. Harry is a CPA and a member of both the AICPA and the MACPA. Additional certifications include PFS, CVA, CFE and CMC.