In the remaining few days of the run up to Christmas, there are even fewer hours in which to get work done.

You’re probably already feeling torn between trying to finish off projects before the end of the year and wanting to spend time with family, friends or just enjoying the festive season.

You have all the lunchtime and evening commitments to office parties and business festive events. Socialising and visits with friends and family. School events, nativity plays and end of school pantos.

Never mind taking time out of your lunch break, after work or at the weekends to get your Christmas shopping done, decorate, wrap presents, prepare food …

Now it’s even more important to use your time wisely.

Prioritise your personal time!

No excuses that you’re too busy to attend the events at your children’s school or spend time with family.

Those moments are precious. You’ll never get them back. You’ll regret it if you realise you were always “too busy” or you allowed work to take priority.

Write it all down

List everything you have to do – including all the personal stuff. Review your list and ask yourself:

  • What’s important?
  • What’s the best use of my time?
  • What will get the best results? (Think 80/20).
  • What can be deferred to later … next year or done by someone else?
  • How long will each task take?

As you look at your list, do you realise you’re guilty of over-committing, saying ‘yes’ too often?

When you prioritise your tasks, it’s easier to see that not everything has equal importance. Some tasks are just not worth your time, don’t really need to be done ‘right now’ or could be delegated. If they can’t be delegated – how important are they in achieving your goals? What’s the most important tasks that must be done?

Be realistic

There’s a pretty good chance you won’t get everything done. Be selective about what you can and can’t complete in the next few days.

How much time do you really have available between now and Christmas or the end of the year?

Plan your time

In your scheduler, block out all the commitments you have that are non-movable, non-negotiable – work and personal.

From your priority list allocate the most important tasks to various time slots. Don’t overbook your time. You’re probably already aware that tasks often take longer than planned and overcommitting doesn’t help.

Relax!

Enjoy the moment. Are you always busy rushing from one job to the next or stressing over the amount of work you have to do?

Stop feeling guilty about what you are or aren’t doing. Focus on work when you’re working and yourself or the people around you when you’re not.