As a kid, the idea of a monster lurking in your closet might have been a top fear. As an adult, you’re probably less afraid of imaginary beasts and more afraid of, you know, the IRS. Or accidentally sending a text that’s meant for your spouse to a client. Or maybe, if you’re a parent, you live in fear of one of life’s scariest experiences: Realizing that Halloween is almost here and you haven’t yet figured out how to construct the elaborate robot costume your child is begging for.

With Halloween nearly here, I’m thinking about how this holiday intersects with productivity and time management. Because Halloween waits for no one. It comes on the same day each year, and if you’re going to participate, you have to be ready when it comes.

Parents of young kids experience the time crunch of Halloween the most acutely, I think. It might turn out to be a really busy week at work. You might be scrambling to meet deadlines and get everything done. But if your child has a costume parade at school and there’s any way you can be there, you’re going to be there.

If it’s the night of the 30th and your child’s costume isn’t done, you’re going to make sure that it gets finished. And even if you have something due on November 1st, you’re going to put it aside on the night of the 31st and go trick-or-treating.

Even if you’re not a parent, I suspect you can identify with this.

Maybe you remember seeing your parents scramble to be present for your Halloween activities as a kid. Maybe you’ve shifted plans in order to attend the costume parade at a niece or nephew’s school. Maybe you live in one of those neighborhoods where hundreds of kids swarm on Halloween night, and passing out candy makes it your favorite night of the year.

Halloween, pumpkin

In the next few days, will you be adjusting your schedule to make space for this holiday? Will you be leaving work early on Thursday? Will you need to fit 40 hours of work into a 35-hour work week? Will you have to delay certain projects or change regular meetings to work around the shifting schedules of clients or coworkers who are parents to young kids?

I suspect many of us will have to make some adjustments this week. Why? Because the experience of celebrating Halloween is a priority for a lot of us, and honoring your priorities is a huge element of creating successful time management strategies.

If something matters enough to you, you’ll sacrifice other things to make the time for it.

I know that Halloween might not actually be a priority in your life. You might not observe it in any way. But what about Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve?

As we move toward more holidays, I want you to think about how your priorities might shift in the next two months, and how your time management strategies will support those changing priorities. Making more time for your personal priorities inevitably compresses the time you have for your professional priorities.

That requires you to get more done in less time.

Before the winter holidays arrive and throw all our schedules off balance, I want to make sure you know about my upcoming Time Matters Boot Camp LIVE! Over the course of three life-changing days (December 5-7) outside of Boston, you will:

  • Find out exactly what you need to do in your day to reach that goal that you’ve wanted to reach. 
  • Learn how to focus on what matters most to you so you can create meaningful goals that you actually achieve.
  • Work with me and other participants (face-to-face) and really get clear on how to manage your time and tasks in a way that works for you. 
  • Walk away with a customized system that works for you that will allow you to get things done! 

The timing couldn’t be better – take these three days with me, so you’ll be able to take more time for yourself around the holidays. All the information is here!



Sarah Reiff-Hekking