This is a guest post from Aaron Morris aka Sir Scrapalot, who shares his best tips for scrapbooking productivity here once a month!
It’s hard to believe that the Holidays are once again upon us. Sure, the stores start pushing Christmas before Halloween is even over, but somehow, that time of year always seems to sneak up on me. Earlier this week, my girls asked me to download a Christmas Countdown Clock for them, after enjoying following the countdown last year. So I went ahead, found one I liked, and installed. I nearly passed out when the clock came up – 42 days until Christmas! There is still so much to do!
I decided that the best way to organize this Holiday season would be to put together all of the projects and tasks that needed to be done, and start organizing them. This year, I took everything that needed to get done, and assigned it to a week leading up to Christmas. So, rather than looking at a huge list of things that needed to be done, I have a set number of tasks and projects to complete each week. Looking at all that needed to be done in small chunks like that made it seem more doable, almost enjoyable actually. Interested in organizing your Holiday like this? These are the steps I took to put it together.
First, figure out what needs to be done. This took a long time for me, but I made sure to think about absolutely EVERYTHING that would need to be done. Even tasks that seem small are on the list. I figured that if it took longer than 2 minutes to do, it was a task that I had to add to the list. One important thing to remember is to not do this task on your own. It’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes look over the list to make sure you haven’t left anything out. I worked on this with my wife, and she for sure caught things that I would have forgotten.
Second, look over the list. Are there things on there that you can outsource? As I looked more closely at my list, I started to see things that I could ask other people to do for me. With how crazy the Holidays are, it’s no time to be prideful and do everything yourself. Ask for help! There were also things that I was able to mark as “if time permits” – things that I would do only if there was enough time. That way, if life takes over and time gets tight, I have a few tasks that I can let slide. I tried to mark “clean house” as one of those tasks. My wife didn’t see that as a “if time permits” task though.
Third, get out the calendar. Once I had the final list, I sat down with the calendar and started looking at the weeks. Before I assigned tasks to each week, I went through and penciled in any other commitments I anticipated in that timeframe. This way, I was sure to not load up a week with tasks that was already filled with commitments I had to keep. After that, putting the tasks into the weeks was pretty easy. Some things needed to go closer to Christmas, like purchasing the food for breakfast and dinner (yes, I actually do BOTH…clearly I’m crazy). Other things I could get done now, like crafting some handmade gifts for my coworkers and such.
So I sit here writing this blog post with a full plan ready to go for the Holidays. I don’t think I have ever been more organized in terms of getting things done, so hopefully this will help keep me on track so that I can enjoy the season with my family instead of freaking out about what needs to get done. In the end, isn’t that what the season is about?
What things do you do to keep yourself on track and organized for the Holidays?
I enjoy crafts and making my own cards for Christmas and Hannukah. I try to begin things in January and space out what I want to make and allow myself time to work on different projects gradually. I do a lot of cutting and snipping for my cards and with arthritic fingers only so many can be done at any one session. Planning ahead for the next seasonal project allows me that extra time needed.
From early on in my married life when money was not plentiful, I started shopping throughout the year for the people to whom I give gifts. This helped spread out the cost and also helped in selecting gifts that were specially suited to specific people.