After many years of running my Mary Kay business and feeling completely worn out by the end of the Christmas season, I got fed up. When you run a retail business, trying to manage your own time and personal obligations becomes quite challenging and eventually becomes the horrible feeling of obligation. That is the last thing that I ever wanted my Christmas season to become…an obligation.
So I developed a system that has worked wonders for me with respect to managing my professional and personal life so that I can enjoy my Christmas. This year it might be pushed to the test since I am now adding others’ schedules into my plan.
Here is what I do every year on November 30.
- Set my budget. This is key because spending at Christmas can get out of hand. When I set my budget I include costs for gift giving, meals that I am participating in, parties I am planning, hostess mini gifts for those I am attending, Christmas cards, etc. once I have my budget both for the individual items listed above and overall (I always add 10% to the overall budget), then everything else can come next.
- Next, I create a list of everyone I want to give a gift. This list includes family, friends, and now with a son and husband, their teachers, bosses, etc. I also have on the list hostesses of parties I know I usually attend. Once I make the list, by each name I put a thought of an idea of a gift for them. As for hostess gifts, I usually do a small item from my Mary Kay store like a small hand cream cutely wrapped but you can also do a bag of homemade cookies or something similar.
- Next, I make a list do projects, parties, tasks that need to get done and dates that impact my holiday season. For example, decorating the house, our friends Ron and Birgit’s parties, my son’s basketball games, baking, Serar Christmas party, Christmas Card photo, light viewing, my work schedule, blogging schedule and more all go on my list.
- Next, I print out a blank moth calendar for December. With this calendar, the first thing I do is put in the hard dates and time for events or tasks I have no control over. In this case, I have basketball games and snack bar duty, Serar Christmas party, our friend’s Christmas party, Cote Christmas Tea, etc. I then put in my work schedule for the blog and my Mary Kay business. Now with the blog, some of this may coincide with projects that I am doing for Christmas anyways but I will still put that time in before anything else. Once those items are on the calendar, I then take the rest of the list and start to schedule items based on priority. For example, I think decorating needs to take place before our Christmas photo since I want the Christmas decor in the photo.
- The next thing I will do this year, is post the schedule in our kitchen so that everyone in our house will know what is when.
The schedule works really well for me because then I don’t have to worry about when I am going to get something done. It’s been scheduled. When I didn’t do this, I found that by the time Christmas came, I had been scrambling to fit things in. That was when Christmas became no fun.
Here are things that I make sure to include on my schedule:
- Christmas card photo and ordering
- Christmas card letter
- Christmas card pick up, address, and mail
- Christmas gift shopping (usually I divide into two or three times)
- Homemade gift assembly
- Christmas light viewing
- Gift wrapping
- Decorating inside (top and bottom floor)
- Decorating outside
- Invitations to parties
- Christmas projects
- Party planning
- Parties attending and holding dates
I hope this helps you get a better jump on the holiday season and also keep you enjoying it instead of just surviving it.
See you next post.