In the remaining few days of the countdown to Christmas, there are even fewer hours in which to get work done. Working effectively or being productivity isn’t always a priority.

You’re torn between trying to get tasks done and finish off projects before the end of the year and wanting to spend time with family and friends.

Finding time to enjoy the festive season. Invites to lunchtime and evening events and parties. Catching up with the seasonal visits to friends and family, attending school events – carol services, nativity plays and end of school pantos.

You hardly have time to take a lunch break or it’s a dash to the shops to tick another thing off your pre-Christmas list. Evening and weekends are filled with Christmas shopping, decorations to be put up, presents to be wrapped, food to cook and prepare, rooms to be cleaned and tidied …

So much to do! Now it’s even more important to make sure you use your time wisely.

Prioritise your personal time!

No excuses that you’re too busy at work 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. Book the time in your scheduler.

Write it all down

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

  • What’s REALLY important?
  • What absolutely HAS to be done before the Christmas break.
  • What’s the best use of my available time?
  • What will deliver the greatest result? (Think 80/20).
  • What can be deferred or delayed to later … next week, next year?
  • Who else can help me out or do it?
  • 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 be able to 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 without having to put in crazy hours to finish it all?

Plan your time

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

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 isn’t going to 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.

Do your best and be proud of what you’ve achieved this year.

If you want to avoid those last minute race to the line in the final countdown to Christmas, think about what you need to do differently next year.

Get in touch if you want a few ideas to help you get started.