It can be hard to stay focused at work when you’re thinking about all of the things that need to be done at home to prepare for the holidays. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by distractions, it helps to have systems in place.
Here are a few systems that you can implement to reduce stress when you’re planning for holidays or events you are hosting:
Systems You Can Use Again and Again: Have a Written Plan
- You can relieve a lot of last minute stress and preserve mental energy for tasks that require your focus by just spending a half hour planning and listing things out ahead of time.
- With your written plan nearby, you can focus on your priorities, knowing things won’t be forgotten. While you’re working, if something else comes to you that belongs on your plan, quickly add it and then get back to the project at hand.
- See what you can do to take items off your list and delegate. Now might be a great time to hire someone else to clean the house, for example.
- Ask for or allow your guests to help out or bring something for the meal. This not only helps you out but it makes others feel good to contribute.
Systems for Smooth Execution: Make a Timeline
Think about the things you can do a week before; 2 days before; the day before and the day of your event.
A week before:
- Plan your menu.
- Pull recipes and make your grocery lists.
- Begin your shopping and check out our tips for low stress grocery shopping.
A Few Days Before:
- Prepare items that you can ahead of time.
- Consider buying pre-prepared/ready-to-go items from grocery or specialty markets.
- Make your day-of itinerary – when to put things in the oven, etc.
- Set the table.
- Assign jobs to helpers – specific jobs for specific people.
Finally, let go of perfectionism. The holidays are about being together and making memories; things don’t need to be perfect.
Wishing you a joyous and stress-free holiday season. Please let us know if we can help you simplify, organize or increase productivity now or anytime of the year.