The holidays are almost here – which usually means a busy time for most jobs. No matter what field you work in, the holidays can create a lot of unwanted stress in your life because, even if your job isn’t too busy during the next few months, your personal life will likely have a lot going on!
It’s time to get a head start on the holiday season, so consider the following tips to help you organize your life!
1. Write down everything
Whether you’re the type who likes to use a 12-month planner and cross off all your items with a pen; or the tech-savvy worker who has an organized Google calendar, make sure you have everything on your to-do list, or any important events written down. Personally, I like to jump ahead in my planner and make note of the things that absolutely must be done by a certain date, or write a reminder of an event or phone call I need to make.
Moreover, when it comes to my Google calendar, I color-code all of my different tasks, with the most important deadlines being in red–that way they stand out and it’s hard to forget them!
2. Make deadlines and stick to them
Speaking of deadlines…set them! Even if it’s for a small task or to remind yourself to write holiday greeting cards, make a deadline for when you need to complete all of your upcoming projects and tasks. By setting these deadlines, your setting a goal for yourself and you’ll be able to better structure your days, weeks, and months as you’ll know exactly when you need to have everything completed by.
Lastly, it’s important to stick to those deadlines! Don’t allow yourself to move items around or push them back a week because you’re too tired – stick to the deadlines you set forward to keep yourself on schedule!
3. Keep your workspace and home space clean
Nothing brings you down like coming home or going to work to a messy and disorganized desk or apartment. Set aside some time this weekend to clean up your home so that everything in your home is neatly organized. By de-cluttering your home space, you’ll be amazed at how much less stressful it feels to be in it, especially after a long day at work. Moreover, set aside a day this week to clean up and organize your desk at work. Got a bunch of papers stacked in your drawer? Organize them or recycle the ones you no longer need. The less stress you have because of a messy space, the easier it will be to tackle projects during the busy months ahead.
Most importantly, set this rule for yourself: do not, under any circumstances, set something in your home or at your desk unless it’s in its rightful place. When you walk into your house, don’t just set your mail on the table or throw your jacket over your chair – put those items in their designated space because that’s the first step to a cluttered mess! Similarly, when you’re t your desk, don’t just set down your papers anywhere or leave your lunch tuber ware in the corner – put those items where they’re supposed to go!
4. Simplify all of your tasks
Think about the hardest, longest tasks or projects. Take a few moments to write out the most important parts of the project and compare it to a list of the unnecessary steps or the longest ones. Take the time to think through ways that you could be more efficient and simplify the process. Doing so could save you a lot of time and help you build a habit that’s much more efficient, which could make getting through the holiday season much more bearable!
5. Do one thing at a time
Lastly, the best thing you can do to help you organize yourself in time for the holidays is to try and focus on one thing at a time. I know that can be hard in this day and age since it’s so easy to multi-task, but, multi-tasking creates stress faster which, in turn, makes it harder to get all of your work done. Instead of trying to write e-mails while working on a project while also sitting in on a meeting–slow down. Take each assignment, task or project one at a time. If you have to make a bunch of phone calls for your job, set aside an hour where that’s all you do is catch up on your phone calls, and then set aside another hour where all you do is answer your e-mails.
Compartmentalizing your work into doing one project at a time can help you build a more streamlined way or getting through your day, which will come in handy when you’re hoping to leave work early for the holidays!