It feels like it’s been December for 3 years now, what with all the stress and the cramming, huh? It is the busiest month of the year mainly because it is when everyone is rushing to get everything for work or school done. Especially for salons or any business in the beauty and wellness industry, this is when you are finalising your 2018 high-end beauty collection that should be features just in time for new year, or making last minute promos to take advantage of the holiday crowd.
But most importantly, this is the most stressful time of the month because of the preparations everyone needs to finish by Christmas day. Yes, you have probably fallen victim to long lines at the department store or a waiting list at a catering company right about now. However, all it takes is good time management to avoid getting frazzled during this merry season.
Create a list
Organising the tasks you need to accomplish will help you see which ones you need to do first. You can create two columns on your list: one for gift shopping and the other for food orders. You can divide your list further by categorising which ones need to be done immediately. For instance, in your gift shopping list, your workmates might be listed there. Which means buying the gifts early, just in time for the office party. You can plot that for last week of November to first week of December.
Give yourself a buffer week
Most problems come from thinking that you still have time to finish everything. Just like when you are planning a project at work or a surprise for a loved one, always make sure that you give yourself time allowance. A buffer week means that your list should be complete a week before the event you are preparing for. If the target is the 25th of December, you should start completing tasks on November until the second week of December.
Ask for help
For the holidays, the ‘divide and conquer’ concept applies. You do not need to do everything on your own. In fact, if you can get someone to help you with wrapping gifts and finalising orders, you should do so. Just think about the time you will be saving when you ask for help, especially if you do not need to hire someone, but instead have friends or family who are more than willing to help. So do not hesitate to outsource tasks.
Another way to save time is buying some of the items on your list online. There are shops that offer free shipping if you fulfill the minimum amount for your purchases. Take advantage of that and start filling your online cart with gifts and wait for it to be delivered to your doorstep.
Call ahead before visiting a store
But if you cannot find the item you are looking for online, you have no choice but to drive down to the physical store. If you can, call ahead to make sure that it is available for purchase, then ask them to reserve the item. In the event that you cannot find it even in the physical store, you might just have to adjust and make changes on your list.
The core of time management is planning ahead. You have been doing this for years already, which means you know how much of a hassle it is to start ticking off tasks on December itself. You can even begin your preparations at least 5 months before December, then you can give yourself at least the whole month of December as a buffer.