Follow our tips from a time-management coach for the lead-up-to and over the festive period, so you get everything done and have a great time.

  1. Make a list of everything that needs to be done (work and personal), and organize according to priority. Be realistic about what you expect of yourself and others, and realistic (rather than optimistic) about how much time a task will take. You may need to pace tasks over a few days or weeks, depending on deadlines. Then block out time in your calendar to do each item, with a reminder. Reschedule tasks daily or weekly that you have not managed to complete. Focus your time on what is important, both urgent and not urgent. Try not to get into the urgency trap (in which things that aren’t important become urgent).
  2. Don’t leave things until the last minute, like Christmas shopping or packing for a holiday. Chunk your big tasks into smaller, manageable bite size tasks. Get organized and batch tasks in one block of time (returning calls, checking emails, buying certain Christmas gifts from a particular place).
  3. Make time for things that make you feel good, be that for yourself or for others. Plan to take time out for yourself, even if you are working during this period. Block this out in your calendar too, otherwise it will never happen! Treat yourself, whether that’s a pamper session, walk on the beach, nature, meditation, meaningful relationships, exercise, etc. Use the festive season to reflect and recharge, whether you are working, on leave at home, or on vacation. Don’t feel guilty relaxing. You’ve earned it! Carve out and plan relaxation/chill time.
  4. Be assertive when necessary, and say no politely and firmly. It doesn’t help being everything to everybody. At times you will be accommodating, but you also have to focus on your needs. Ask for help and delegate tasks like holiday shopping and cooking to others if you need to.
  5. Take control of your time, without it controlling you. Time is a precious resource, so ask yourself — where can I best spend it?