Staying organized throughout the holidays

As the holiday season approaches, it becomes more difficult to keep yourself organized. By the beginning of December, it just seems like there are not enough hours in the day - from the end-of-year work projects to gift giving and party attending.  To keep the season from elevating your stress levels, consider these tips:
  1. Create lists. Write down all the majors projects you will need to tackle during these 6 weeks, such as dishes to prepare when entertaining, gifts to buy, holiday card recipients, and end-of-the-year work projects to complete.  If possible, divide categories into subcategories. For instance, your food preparation category can be further broken down into each instance you will need to prepare food, i.e. for the gathering at Aunt Sally's house, get-together with the Nielsens, cookie exchange at work and bake sale at the local library.
  2. Use your calendar to record all important dates. Don't forget to schedule time for gift shopping, food preparation (who doesn't love holiday cookies?), gift wrapping, family and friend get-togethers, and the all important "use-it-or-lose-it" vacation days. If you have more than one calendar or datebook, now is the time to consolidate into one, as many time management experts suggest.
  3. Deluxe Vinyl Project Folder with Colored BackingColor code your priorities. Use color inks, highlighters or folders to help you prioritize and categorize.  When it comes to my holiday shopping, I look at my shopping list (that I made during Step 1) and search catalogs, magazines, advertisements, and the Internet for ideas. I keep all clippings in a green vinyl project folder. When it comes time to buy, I just pull out the folder and I can get my holiday shopping done in under an hour!
  4. Take the time to relax. When the stress of the day gets to be too much, try one of the following relaxation methods to help you ease out the tension - a 5-minute foot soak, daydream about your ultimate vacation, practice your favorite yoga pose, a 20-minute nap (set your alarm for this! anything longer will leave you groggy), or simply take a long, deep breath.
Now you are ready to tackle this wonderfully fun and frenzied time of year we all call "THE HOLIDAYS"!

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