If you are anything like me, you might be feeling a little stressed out by all you responsibilities that must happen over the next two months. I’m stressed just about this week! There is so much to do and so little time. How is it possible to get it all done?
I’m not for sure if I will get it all done, but here is how are the four main ways I am trying to get prepared and ready for this year’s holiday season:
Too often, I multi-task, and then I get distracted. I get pulled in 5 different directions, and then I don’t get done the original task and really nothing gets well.
How do you stay focused?
Use a calendar or “to-do” app to keep focused on your priorities for each day.
Different strategies work for different people. To-do lists don’t work for me unless I have a million things that need to get done every day. What I like to do is use my Google calendar and write my 3-4 priorities that must get done that day and focus on those 3-4 things. Of course, there are daily things that must be done which for me would be activities such as the kids going to school, teaching every morning, making dinner, starting a laundry, and more. Those items are not on my calendar. It would be my items that are not routine but still must get done that day. Today, I would have included writing this post, taking my daughters to co-op, work, and basketball practice, and preparing my lesson for tomorrow’s Wednesday night kids’ program.
When you don’t take time to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and get some exercise, you will get sick. I am a bad example of this. Two weeks ago, I had a slight virus, and I rested one day, but I didn’t take the time to recover. I really couldn’t; I had to drive my oldest 7 hours to go visit a college campus. We are already starting to visit colleges and make sure we are doing the right dual-enrollment classes. So for three days, we were running. When I got back home, I crashed. If I could have rested when I was first sick, I think I would have recovered very quickly. So it’s better to take care of yourself and not get sick then run yourself ragged and then crash — and really be out of commission for a long time.
Work ahead when you can.
Some people are last-minute people. They love to wait. I am not; however, the more kids I had and the more responsibilities I added to my life, I became more or a last-minute person with working on my responsibilities. It’s just a necessity at this stage of my life. But there are some things that I am trying to do ahead of December:
⇒ Buy presents all year long. I have been trying to look at the daily Amazon deals and share some on Creative K Kid’s Facebook page. I am always looking for creative kids for gifts. I have bought two of them for my kids. Some of the gift ideas I share are ones my kids already have or ones my kids would have loved when they were young. I don’t want to stress about buying presents in December.
⇒ Get teacher gifts figured out and ready ahead of time if you can. I give gift cards and baked goodies. I can get the gift cards now as I go to stores that I frequent just to buy groceries. Why wait until later?
⇒ Get your cards ready ahead of time. I do the photo cards, and I buy them from Sams Club on Black Friday. I want to get my picture card ready ahead of Black Friday and have it in the cart, so I just have to push the last couple of buttons on Friday.
⇒ Do your baking ahead of time. I bake a lot of cookies and bars before Christmas and give out goodies to shut-ins. The weekend after Christmas I start baking an item daily and freeze the items. I also start buying my grocery items now, so that I have what I need when I am ready to bake.
⇒ Plan your parties ahead of time. I have to do a ladies Christmas party. This week, I need to get my fliers done and figure out what ice breaker game we’ll do as well as if there is any other game or craft we will do.
⇒ Keep your house clean all season. We just started this process. My mom, dad, and sister will be staying at our house for up to a month over the holidays. I know once December comes, I won’t have time to work on my house. Two of my kids are doing winter sports, and we are going to be gone. So since I had guests come over to eat with us on Sunday, that gave us the encouragement to do some deep cleaning. I had my kids all help me for an hour. I gave each kids two walls/baseboards/doors to clean.
I just handed each kid some Mean Green cleaners that I have. I think most of you remember that I am an ambassador of them this year, and they sent me a bunch of cleaners. It’s so helpful, because I can give each kid a spray bottle and a rag and let them go to town! I totally forgot to take pictures of them to the end. I was so focused on getting our mess cleaned up. Some of them used Orange Champ Multi-Purpose Cleaner, and some of them used the Super Strength Multi-Purpose Cleaner. We don’t clean these that often, and they needed to be done. Hopefully, I won’t have to do them again anytime soon.
I pulled out some paint to to touch up. That’s this weekend’s project. If I can do those deep cleaning items now, I won’t have to do them in a month. Of course, there will always be bathrooms that need to be cleaned and floors that need to be mopped, but if I keep the cleaning up, I can just do a maintenance clean in December rather than a deep clean.