Prioritizing When Things Get Busy

The holidays are the busiest time of year for a reason. Between family visiting, you visiting family, work parties, friends' parties and family dinners it's hard to catch a break. At the end of the day, you're exhausted and stressed out thinking about what's happening tomorrow. It's impossible to think that you might actually be able to get everything you need to done. Well, it is possible. It just takes a little reorganization, a lot of prioritizing and the occasional 'no.' 

A lot of people think that sitting down and physically writing out everything they need to do is a waste of time when you can just get right to it. No. Sitting down and writing out your to-do's is actually a great thing because it will help you visualize everything that you have to get through and you'll be able to pick out what is important asap and what can wait a few days. There may even be a few things on that list that you don't need to get to at all. I am always putting much more on my plate than is necessary and to-dos are the only way for me to hash it all out and make sure I'm getting what needs to get done first.

Step 1: Write everything down. It takes 30 seconds to write a list of what you have to get done. If you want to get fancy, categorize them into things like work, house, etc. 

Step 2: Rank your list. Whether it's by specific deadlines or time sensitivity, rank all of your tasks. Separate them into columns of no more than five to-dos and make that your goal for the day. The idea behind separating the list into smaller ones is that you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by five to-dos as opposed to fifteen and then are much more motivated to get something accomplished.

Step 3: Celebrate the small victories. Whether you've crossed off one thing or five things, you should be proud! That's one less thing you don't have to do anymore. 

Step 4: Remember to take breaks. Killing yourself is only going to lead to a crash. Pace yourself as much as you can so you don't burn out. Without the energy to actually tackle your to-dos, you won't get much done and then you'll just get behind again. That helps no one.

Just remember, the holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year. If you're feeling too stressed out because things are crazy, see which parties or dinners you can say no to. It's fine not to RSVP yes to everything. If you feel guilty, suggest catching up with the host over a cup of coffee or lunch after things slow down. It shows that you're thinking of them and want to spend time with them but just cannot commit at the moment. They probably understand and are in a similar situation.