As we turn the corner into November, the inevitable is looming: the holiday season. Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, and then the New Year brings tremendous festivity, yet, can easily be overwhelming, not to mention more stressful than the rest of the year.
Fellow author and friend, Paula Rizzo, tells us in her book “Listful Thinking” that making lists are a surefire way to reduce stress, increase productivity and boost happiness. And of course, there is no better time than the holidays to make them.
On her blog, The List Producer, Paula shares some thoughts on what we can learn from Santa (And although these points may apply to Christmas, I think we can easily adapt them to the holiday season as a whole.):
- Make a List (and check it twice) – Making a list is easy, getting everything done is the hard part. Make a habit of checking back over your to-do list through out the day to make sure you don’t forget anything.
- Little by Little – Big events like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s take a long time to prepare. That’s why Santa spends a whole year working to make all the toys and get all the orders correct. Break up your list into bite-sized chunks to make it more manageable. I’m sure Santa goes by region or alphabetically.
- Have a Deadline – Come hell or high water Santa has to get all the toys out by Christmas day or he’s going to have a lot of disappointed kids to deal with. They say, “a goal is a dream with a deadline” and it’s true! You’re far more likely to get something done if you give yourself a finite amount of time to do it in.
- Plan Ahead – Once Christmas is over, Santa starts the whole process again. I’m a big believer that it’s never to early to prepare for something. It’s why I start my holiday shopping in August. It never hurts to get a head start on a project and at least write out the steps you need to take to get there.
- Reward Yourself — Santa has a nice set up — he brings gifts, he gets cookies. Everyone knows that you need to leave cookies for Santa. It’s a nice exchange and a great way for Santa to take a break between houses. You should take a note and make sure to give yourself a little boost between tasks.
Thanks, Paula, for your fun insights!
Do any of these ideas resonate with you? How do YOU make the holiday season less stressful? Share in the comments below!
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