You’ve managed to survive the Thanksgiving madness, and already Christmas is on the horizon. Carols are in the air and the sales, well, you know about the sales. It all seems a bit too soon. You’ve barely had time to catch your breath, and there’s so much to do.
One question starts dancing around your mind: How am I going to get everything done?
You’ve heard lots of time management advice about getting things done…things like, make a plan, write it down. But what people don’t usually talk about are your containers.
At this time of year, when you hear the word “container” you’re probably thinking about how to store and stuff countless leftovers into the refrigerator. Let me give you another way to think about containers.
Most of what we have, own, do, create, organize, and accomplish is somehow related to containers: space containers and time containers. They’re all around us.
Space containers are any of the places you keep anything: the ornament boxes, the place you keep your wrapping paper, your shopping list, the hook for your car keys, and a lot of other things. Time containers are things like your calendar, your to-do list, and your sleep habits.
How you set them up and manage them can save you massive amounts of time and be a big factor in how frenzied you are at the holidays.
Ask yourself—what containers do you have access to? How are you using them now, and could you be using them more effectively?
When you’re heading out the door, do you know where your keys are? Can you find your shoes? Make sure they’re in their proper containers.
Take a look at your to-do-list. For everything you plan to get done in one day, is it set up to be as efficient as possible? Can you be folding laundry while something’s baking? If you have to run errands, are you going to places in an order that keeps you from backtracking across town? Can you ask your family members to help out?
Another concern that you may not think relates to your holiday frenzy is family drama that arises. Believe it or not, this is a time management issue.
Tension-filled moments stop you in your tracks and keep you from getting things done. Anything that distracts your mind, takes your time, eats away at your emotional energy, and causes you to need a break you didn’t plan on taking is a problem. But it’s a manageable one.
Most of us don’t even realize we’re being pulled in to family drama until it’s too late. Someone pushes our buttons, things from the past come up, and all of a sudden we’re in the middle of an argument. But guess what.
You don’t have to accept every invitation to an argument.
Think about it. So often we get into an argument because someone else starts “escalating,” as I call it. They get in our face, trigger our sensitive points, and then we escalate in return.
We justify our reaction by telling ourselves and those around us that we were being “disrespected” and had to “protect ourselves.”
But the fact of the matter is the other person didn’t force us to escalate. They didn’t force us to stiffen our body, open our mouth, say the words, and raise our voices. We decided that ourselves; we made the choice.
We can always make the choice not to react.
There’s no need to let the frenzy of the holidays ruin a wonderful time of year. Make sure you have your containers ready and your family drama under control.
I’ll be talking more about these topics on my FREE TELESEMINAR, Tips for Managing Holiday Frenzy. Join me on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Central. Click here to learn more.