Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only one week away! This Thanksgiving reflect on all the positives that has taken place in your life over the past year.
I love this quote, I refer to it all the time
I am extremely grateful this year to all my amazing hard working clients. In my 3rd year of business I have connected with some awesome business owners who have provided me great resources that can benefit my clients. I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received throughout the years.
As you reflect on your year, there will always be negative and positives, but focus on the positives and bask in the happiness.
Like I have been telling my kids, Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating two groups of people, friendships and collaborations that equaled success. What is your success? Is it donating canned food for the Homeless or donating money to veterans?
As the gratitude continues to grow we start to embark on a stressful, fun, and giving December! Enjoy the little things, and let’s work on some time management skills to make December less stressful.
To help you plan and prevent the craziness, I provided a Holiday Countdown list. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, lets chat and I can find ways to save you time and money during this crazy December!
Six Weeks Before (Beginning of November)
1. Make a master gift list
.Make sure you list everyone you’ll need to buy for, and think about what they’d like. This will let you pick up things as you see them, rather than running to the mall at the last minute. Have your children give you their wish lists, although if your kids are like mine, this list was completed in September and modified close to 100 times.
2. Make a budget.
Set a ballpark figure for how much you can spend on gifts—it will help you stay grounded when the shopping gets real busy.
3. Start Christmas shopping early.
Yes, you may already be picking things up here and there, but the more you buy ahead of time, the better—especially if you’ll be mailing gifts. If you have big-ticket items (like electronics) that go on sale the day after Thanksgiving, you may want to brave the crowds on Black Friday—you could save substantially.
One Month Before (Directly After Thanksgiving)
1. Do any online shopping.
Order gifts now so you have lots of time to wrap them once they arrive.
2. Wrap gifts as you buy them.
Not only will this keep little eyes from finding out what Santa is bringing, it will save you time on Christmas Eve.
3. Take stock of your decorations.
Get out your lights, ornaments, wreaths, and lawn ornaments. See if anything is broken and needs to be replaced. Is it time for an update? Don’t Have time to decorate, Contact Liz MacDonald with Shelf Help.
4. Take stock of dishes and glasses.
Make sure you have the serving platters and wine glasses you’ll need for parties or special meals, in time to buy more, if necessary.
5. Start addressing holiday cards.
It can take a while, depending on how long your list is.
Three Weeks Before (First Week of December)
1. Mail cards.
If you’re too busy to get them addressed and mailed during the first week of December, consider putting them off until after the holiday rush. People generally enjoy getting a card a few days late, when things have slowed down and they actually notice the mail.
2. Buy a live tree.
This is a good time to get your tree, if you want it to stay fresh and retain its needles through Christmas. Same goes for fresh greenery or garlands.
You may be one who decks the halls as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey carcass has been tossed. That’s fine too, but by the first week of December, it’s time to get the house looking festive.
4. Finalize menus.
If you’ll be serving the holiday meal make sure you know what you’ll be cooking and what family members will be bringing. Start a master grocery list.
5. Order a turkey or ham.
Or whatever else is the centerpiece of your holiday meal—you don’t want to get caught short.
Two Weeks Before (Second Week of December)
1. Make sure out-of-town presents are mailed.
Try to have gifts in the mail by December 10th.
2. Shop for nonperishable items.
Buy alcohol and any canned goods or pantry staples you’ll need.
One Week Before
1. Deep clean your house.
You’ll enjoy those decorations even more if the floors are clean and the kitchen is organized. One important task: Clear out your refrigerator. Toss old leftovers to make room for big dishes and ingredients that’ll be piling up closer to the holiday.
2. Buy batteries for children’s toys.
If you haven’t stocked up, do it now! You don’t want to be empty handed!
Three Days Before
1. Shop for fresh ingredients.
Hit the store for the last-minute vegetables or fruit you need for meals.
2. Set the table.
So you use those gold-rimmed goblets only once a year? Enjoy them! Go ahead and set the table. Make it even easier on the big day by putting a sticky note on each platter that states what dish you plan to serve on it. (That also allows people to help you without asking 12 times.)
Two Days Before
1. Start cooking.
You’ve probably socked away some things in the freezer already, but now’s the time to prep main courses and make anything that can sit for a couple of days.
2. Buy fresh flowers.
Whether they are for a party or a family meal, fresh flowers should always be purchased two days in advance. Blooms have time to open up, and they’ll still be lush and fragrant.
The Day Before
1. Recharge the batteries on your camera or video recorder.
You don’t want to miss the reaction on a little one’s face because the battery ran out during the school pageant the week before.
2. Finish last-minute wrapping.
Assemble toys that will be surprises from Santa.
3. Finish cooking, and make a timeline for the next day.
Decide when you’ll be feasting, then count backward to determine when to put the turkey (or ham or roast beef) in the oven, and what else needs to be cooked.
4. Sit back and relax.
Enjoy your family and friends and relish the traditions you share.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Fall! Can you believe it’s already November? Hopefully everyone is adjusting to school and their new routines. My September was a whirlwind, and without time management I would have been a stressed out mess!
I found out that I was teaching a class at the local community college two weeks before the class was scheduled to start! The school also changed the clearance processes, so in the midst of busy days working full time with clients, helping my children get adjusted to their new school routines, I had to fill out and submit my new clearances and run to the college so my fingerprints could be taken.
Luckily I already had my presentation for the class completed and just needed to make some minor changes to certain slides. While all this was going on, I was planning and learning how to be a Daisy Girl Scout leader. During these crazy two weeks, it was really important for me to focus on time management.
Time management helped me in preparing for all these different events/and activities. All this was happening in the midst of me preparing to leave for four days to Newport Rhode Island to attend my brother’s wedding. Staying focused and organized and using proper time management was definitely the key to managing this crazy month!
Here are my top Time Management Tips:
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business. Visit www.lifesimplifiedpo.com for more information.