Right now you’re probably thinking about the gifts you need to buy, the cookies you need to bake, and that dang Elf on the Shelf that needs to find some new shenanigans to get up to tonight.
You’d love to teach your kids to do something more meaningful during the holidays, like visiting a nursing home, but you have no idea when you can possibly fit that in…
And you’d love to plan a Secret Santa exchange but it doesn’t seem like there’s any way to fit that in either.
So you’ve already got a long list staring you in the face and it’s enough to paralyze you in your tracks.
Maybe I’ll just jump on Pinterest or Facebook and relax for a little while…
…3 hours later… you’ve still done nothing on your to-do list. Argh!
You’re starting to think you can forget about feeling even a modicum of peace and calm this holiday season, because this ever-looming to-do list is freaking you out so much that you can’t possibly relax or feel the holiday spirit.
I’ve been there, too. I’m a mom of 6 kids and there are so many gifts to wrap and packages to mail and decorations to hang and carpets to clean and, and, and…
5 years ago I hit ROCK BOTTOM during the holidays. I had tried in vain to create that “perfect holiday.” But because I’d spent so many years trying to be the “perfect mom” I was burnt out. I felt awful and my inner light had grown so dim.
The saddest part? My kids could see how unhappy I was.
Something had to change…
I pulled myself out of the PIT and began focusing on FEELING more than just DOING. I developed a time management system that helps me create way more time for the things I love – the things that leave me feeling amazing.
I’ve learned how to create 10 hours of free time (or even more) each week for the things I love. Things like reading a Christmas story by the fire with my kids. Or lying in bed under my comforter and thinking about the true Reason for the Season. Or having time to actually make the sugar cookies with the sprinkles instead of only writing it on my to-do list.
What would happen if you could free up several hours each week for doing what you love?
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
- Let go of the “shoulds” you learned from your parents or from magazines or TV. Who says you “should” make homemade Christmas cookies with your kids, even though you find it completely draining and stressful? Why not spend time curled up by the fireplace reading a holiday book with your kids instead?
- Forget about what you want to DO. Instead, figure out how you want to FEEL. Whenever you think you should do something, ask yourself, “How will this make me feel?” If the answer isn't positive, then let it go. Select the activities that make you feel energized, amazing, and inspired.
- Use time blocking, especially for repetitive, mundane tasks. Do all your phone calls at the same time. Do all your errands at the same time. Your to-do list can be written in sections, including errands, phone calls, cleaning, baking, delegate-to-spouse, delegate-to-kids, and more. This frees up SO MUCH TIME!
- If there is an activity you really want to do – that you know will inspire and energize you – then by all means prioritize it. Schedule it. Make it happen FIRST in the day. If you proactively schedule the important things first, they won't be pushed out by the urgent things. Import things MUST happen before urgent things or they'll never happen at all. Be proactive.
- Don't do any reactive activities (email, answering the phone – things that general require you to react to somebody else's needs) until after you've done at least 1 thing you absolutely love. The goal is to constantly recharge your spirit and inner light by doing 1 thing (or more!) you love every day. Just think of it as a way to refuel that sparkle in your eyes. It feels good. And when you feel good, everyone else will feel good, too, because emotion is contagious.
Start with these and watch your heart begin to sing this holiday season. Watch as you begin to feel like you have more time than ever. It's amazing what happens when you get proactive and do the things you love first each day, like reading a good book, taking a nap, or drinking some hot chocolate after your workout.
If you'd like to learn even more about shrinking your to-do list, pinpointing your priorities, and getting a big-picture view of everything you need or want to do throughout the holidays, join me for a free 1-hour online training that will teach you How to Create More Time for the Things You Love (Without Neglecting Your Family or Feeling Guilty).
In this training, I'll teach you about the easy template system I've created that allows you to “plug and play” everything you've ever wanted to do. You’ll learn how to easily knock out the boring household tasks FAST so you can have 10+ hours (or more) free time each week. And you'll learn more about the psychology of time management, including how to let go of guilt and the “shoulds” and how to start creating those boundaries that maximize your free time.
This really can be your best holiday ever. And lead to your best year ever (in 2017).
You might be thinking, But, Jen, this sounds so selfish. Doing what I love first?
I reject that thought!
Because the greatest gift you can give your family is your own happiness.
This isn’t a selfish mindset. When you spend less time on the mundane, joyless tasks that have filled your time in the past, and start concentrating on the things that recharge and energize you, you’ll finally start to have more sparkle in your eyes again. You’ll feel your inner light shining brighter again. Your kids will see a mom who LOVES life again. What a gift!
So start today and prioritize the things you love. Arrange your tasks into blocks of time. Let go of the “shoulds.” And be sure to join me for the upcoming free training all about How to Create More Time for the Things You Love (Without Neglecting Your Family or Feeling Guilty).
Seize the day. Make this your BEST HOLIDAY EVER. And you'll probably learn so much that 2017 will end up being your BEST YEAR EVER, too.
Hope to see you inside the class!