Remember the excitement of being a kid just before winter break? As soon as school ended on that last day, you were free to relax for at least a full week. And if your family celebrated Christmas, maybe you got a bunch of delicious food, cozy traditions and a visit from Santa, wrapped toys and all.  

It’s no wonder Christmas seems like magic to little kids: They don’t notice how hard the adults around them work to make it all happen, on top of all the other hard work those adults are doing.  

Stressed Out This December?

Even if December is your favorite time of year, you can acknowledge that it’s also one of the most stressful. Buying gifts alone adds a ton of financial and time pressure to your month. And those gifts aren’t going to wrap themselves.  

Plus, the holiday season puts all kinds of stressors on our schedules that make time management and productivity extra challenging this time of year. 

Depending on what your life looks like, you might have extra volunteering commitments in December or have more commitments at your church. Maybe your weekends are completely booked with holiday parties and festive winter activities with the family; fun, but exhausting! Or maybe you’re hand-making gifts this year, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get them all done.   

Then There’s the Emotional Stress…

The “most wonderful time of the year” is anything but, for many people. Maybe your childhood was tough, and your memories of Christmases aren’t so merry. Grief and loss are amplified by the holidays too. Everyone’s grappling with a complex mix of memories and hopes this time of year. That, plus the financial and time pressure of the holiday season, all takes a toll.  

Meanwhile, you’re still trying to get it all done at work – and wrap up your goals before year end. Oh, and shouldn’t you already be thinking about goals for next year? It’s a LOT. 

Welcome to the Discombobulated December Club!

If you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, anxious, or just generally discombobulated… Welcome to the club! 

At the very least, being part of the Discombobulated December Club means you’re part of a huge community. And in all sincerity: isn’t community one of the best parts of the holiday season? No matter your religion, traditions, or feelings about Christmas, coming together with your family and friends during the winter holidays is a wonderful tradition. 

Gathering As A Community Helps!

Relatedly, this is one of the reasons why I love to lead Time Matters Boot Camp Live! in early December. I’m always amazed by the power of what happens when we all get together. Watching a small community of people come together to work through their individual time management challenges, and support each other to achieve their best lives, is an inspiring kickoff to the holiday season. It’s always a reminder that so many of the burdens that hold us back become lighter when we share them with others.  

I hope you get to enjoy that sense of community in some form this holiday season, even amid all the chaos that comes with this time of year.  

More than that, I want to help you avoid holiday chaos in the first place, so you can enjoy December instead of spending the entire month scrambling to get things done.  

3 Steps to Help You Take Control of December 

  1. Get clear on what you can actually accomplish this month, both for work and in your personal life. Acknowledging that you simply can’t get everything done can be one of the toughest parts of time management and productivity planning. But you have a limited amount of time to work with in December, so think realistically about how much bandwidth you’re going to have at work and at home. Then you can make sure that the most important stuff gets top priority for your limited time.  
  1. Get clear on how you want to spend your year-end holidays. Whatever winter holidays you celebrate, ask yourself: what does a great holiday look like for you? How many days do you want to spend away from work? How much time do you want to spend with family vs on your own? Where do you want to spend that time? Getting clear about your holiday goals allows you to hold enough space in your December plan for you to actually enjoy all those holiday activities you crave. 
  1. With both those things in mind, revise your plan for what you’re going to get done this December. If you were at TMBC Live, this is where you pull out your True Focus virtual toolkit and use your time management tools to create a schedule for the month that’s aligned with your most meaningful goals.  

If you need support, reach out to me.  

I know that the end of the year leaves a lot of people feeling rushed and regretful about everything that they didn’t get done yet. I hope you’ll take the time to take a deep breath. Then think about everything that’s gone well for you this year. And if you want to make changes so that you can end next year feeling calm and accomplished, reach out to me, and I can help. Schedule a no-cost Strategy Session to talk about next steps.  

Sarah

Sarah Reiff-Hekking
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