By Michele Robert Poche

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
-Michael Altshuler

Tis the season to be busy. From last minute shopping and perpetual gift-wrapping to competitive home decorating and remorseless gingerbread eating, how can we get it all done? With a little tweaking in the time management department, you can be as industrious as one of Santa’s elves this holiday season. 

Make a list … and check it twice. 

Actually, make as many lists as you need. Gift lists, party lists, holiday activities with kids lists … these little gems should be kept handy (I store mine in my phone so they’re always with me) to keep you organized, to enable you to multi-task on the go and, most importantly, to prevent you from forgetting anything.

Trim the tree and the fat.  

Take a look at your schedule as well as your daily/weekly/monthly routine to see what tasks can be eliminated for now. Doctor visits, cleaning out the attic and tackling that tricky recipe? They can all wait. Wait ‘til the new year, close the trap door and pull out the crock pot to make life easier for a while so you can get things done.

Plug yourself in.

Electronics are your friends. Use them! Shop on your own time with Amazon, eBay and other commerce websites. Schedule appointments and events then receive the necessary reminders for them with your calendar. Pinch pennies with coupon apps like Retail Me Not and Ibotta. Spread holiday greetings and invitations via social media, messaging and email.

Perfect the art of saying “No!” 

Truly, I feel like a hypocrite even typing these words, but I’m committed to this effort. It’s a work in progress. And every time I manage to keep yet another obligation from piling up on my plate, it’s a victory. It’s like getting a little time handed right back to me. And who among us can’t use more time?

Perfect the art of saying “Yes!” 

(Well, now I’m just being ridiculous, right?) The secret to keeping it together is taking the time to breathe. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you don’t stop to enjoy yourself. Whether you have no children, young children or even grandchildren, memories are being made year after year. Don’t miss being a part of them.

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