It’s November, and all hell is about to break loose. Unlike any other time of the year, the last eight (8) weeks of the year seem to wreck havoc on our calendars. Now is when life, in general, becomes more hectic as we move deeper into the holiday season and social and family commitments increase. Similarly, work becomes crazier as we rev up efforts to close-out the year with more of our goals accomplished than not.

The countdown to the end of the year and the beginning of the new can be both celebratory and depleting! Can you relate? If so, here’s a single suggestion on how this holiday season can be festive without the usual fatigue: PROTECT YOUR TIME! Here’s how you can do it?

  • Take a month-at-a-glance look at November and December noting the appointments you already have;
  • Designate one day of each week as “open.” On these days, make a commitment not to put anything on your calendar that isn’t already there;
  • Add to your calendar any annual events/gatherings you plan to attend but for which you’ve yet to receive an invitation;
  • If you are hosting any holiday events, carve out more prep time than you think you really need;
  • If you and your family/friends are exchanging gifts, identify your shopping days and times and try to spread them out over several weeks. This is also a good time to set an overall and per person budget;
  • Say, “no,” to any invitation that immediately causes you to feel stressed out and offer a counter-invitation for a date/time in the New Year if it’s something you really, really want to do. Otherwise, let it go!

Follow just one of the above tips, and you’re good to go. Implement all six, you’ll likely feel like a new person during the 2010 holiday season!!

And as you are experimenting with these tips, if you come up with additional ideas that others would benefit from knowing, please share!

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