For some people, the time leading up to Christmas is magical, but for others the stress sucks the magic out of everything and you feel as if you’ve lost control. Events that have been booked for ages loom closer and closer amongst the seemingly endless tasks and you wonder if you’ll ever fit it all in. Then when it’s time to attend that event or complete a task you feel guilty because it’s lost its sparkle and just become another thing you’ve ticked off the list. Instead of enjoying it you constantly have frown lines on your forehead and you’re not really paying attention to the moment because you’re thinking of the next thing. With your mind spinning you can’t remember if the next thing is the visit to the in-laws for a weekend, the trip to see the Christmas lights or booking cinema tickets to watch the must see latest release. Which only sends you into a panic with that feeling of dread clutching at your stomach. You want to take back control but you’re in such a spin you don’t know how …
Does this lack of control feel familiar?
STOP. BREATHE. SIMPLIFY.
Instead of feeling out of control, the following steps will help you to take back control.
First of all, write down all the tasks and events you think you need to do for the next month.
With a calendar/piece of paper in front of you, the next thing you’re going to do is prioritise. Non-negotiables come first (doctor/hospital/dental/chiropractor appointments). If you’re a parent I would also include things such as your child’s nativity play. Follow this with what needs to get done in the next three days and finally what can wait a couple of weeks.
Once you’ve done this, do any of the tasks relate to each other? Would doing one task make it easier for the next? Are there tasks that are sequential and lead seamlessly onto another? Schedule them in sequence. If you have a bigger task to do, break it down into smaller steps and do the same. Plan so that one task will lead onto the next.
Are there any tasks that you can delegate? Or any that can wait until next month?
Finally you can create your schedule whether that’s on paper or electronic (or both! I have an e-calendar and paper for my work appointments but my blog diary at home is paper).
One thing to mention that’s worthwhile doing is setting a reminder on your phone/laptop as I guarantee it will keep you on track and stop you worrying about what is coming up next.
The most important thing is BE FLEXIBLE. Life happens. Change happens. If something didn’t get done when you scheduled it to or something else suddenly takes priority don’t beat yourself up about it.
Tackle one task at a time.
You can, of course, apply these steps to get organised for every month. Make it part of your regular routine and you will be present and mindful throughout the month. Win-win!
Let me know if this works for you. I would love to know!