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Hi, tips for surviving Christmas
December 16, 2008

7 tips for surviving Christmas Hi <>

Volume 57
Merry Christmas to all our loyal and our new members. We have 32 new members this month. It's fantastic to have you on board. Here is another exciting edition of your Time Creation Newsletter filled with ideas on how to get more time and have a laugh too :-)

In this Edition:

  1. 7 time management tips for surviving Christmas.
  2. Action Exercise - Get a head start on 2009
  3. Laugh out loud - The Angel and the Christmas Tree
  4. More time management resources
7 time management tips for surviving Christmas
Remember Christmas is about love and fun.

Last December Sally fell ill just before Christmas day, and it ruined her Christmas.

She had been out most nights in December. Her calendar was full of catching-up with people she hardly saw during the year, plus family functions, work functions, her kids school functions. Sally is a people person and loves a party. Initially it felt great being invited to so many things and going along to the events. But she started to get tired. She hadn't finished her Christmas shopping. And most night were booked. She hadn't had time to think about what she would buy her husband or her mum and dad.

Part of the reason Sally "crashed" was that she felt she had to spend hours shopping looking for the presents. She felt under lots of pressure to get the right gift. And she felt under pressure at work to complete several projects before Christmas. Sally got sick and missed her own work Christmas function and her extended family event -- two of the most important events at Christmas for Sally. She was still feeling unwell on Christmas day and so she didn't feel the same joy as she usually did when her children opened their presents. She struggled through the day and she slept most of boxing day.

This year is very different for Sally as she has applied 7 time management tips for surviving Christmas. Sally has made sure she books in her most important events first. She has then made sure she has time to recover in between the important events, which has meant she said no to some functions. Sally clarified expectations at work and was able to change the due date of several projects to January. Shopping was completely different this year for Sally. She planned ahead and thought about the gifts she might buy. She used the internet to research the gifts.

More importantly Sally also thought about the true meaning of Christmas and realised that it is not about the gift, but how much of herself is relected in the gift. Sally made time to speak to her kids, friends and family about the true meaning of Christmas -- the story of Jesus being born -- and how different this is from the commercialised party and presents view of Christmas we can get caught up in. Sally scheduled time for herself this December. She took time to reflect on 2008 and how she felt about the year -- and she feels much happier about her 2008 Christmas.

Here are the time management tips that Sally used to make sure she has a great Christmas time in 2008.

  • See the people who mean the most to you, rather than going to everything or the events you were invited to first
    • Christmas can be a time where there are lots of events on and lots of people who want to "catch-up" before Christmas. We can fall in to the trap of saying yes to everything or too quickly, only to find that you have not made time for the most important people in your life. Don't let Christmas be a time of "catch-ups" with people you only see once a year. Ask those people to book time in January or February. Make sure you connect with the people that mean the most to you at Christmas.
  • Use your weekly planner to have a balanced Christmas, rather than finding you have something on every day for the last week or two before Christmas
    • It is easy to fall in to the trap of going to many events before Christmas only to find that you are tired and run down when you get to Christmas Day. Set yourself and your family some guidelines about how much you want to have on before Christmas and make sure you are excited and looking forward to Christmas Day.
  • Do NOT use Christmas as an artificial deadline for yourself or others.
    • Christmas can be used as a reason to get projects or tasks done, but I find that most businesses do not use the "product/outcome/report" until well into January (usually they don't even look at it until after New Year. When you set these artificial deadlines you create more stress and pressure leading into Christmas. If you don't really need the project or task done before Christmas, then set the deadline for early January.
  • Schedule recovery time -- allow time to recover from late night events (and/or work), have alcohol free days and continue some exercise.
    • Managing your energy levels is extremely important at Christmas time. Make sure you allow time to recover from those late nights. And give yourself some free time on the weekend and/or some early nights during the week so you can maintain high energy during Christmas time. Keep exercising, even if it is less often/time/intensity -- some exercise goes a long way to helping you refresh and maintain your energy.
  • Know what gifts you want to buy BEFORE you go shopping AND where you can get them.
    • You will save MASSIVE amounts of time and money when you do research before you go out to the shops. Use catalogues, the phone and especially the internet to do your shopping research before you go out. Then plan your trip to the mall and go to the store to buy the gift and get out. Most people will really like this approach. Some of you will want to explore the mall -- that's OK, BUT still do the research, you will find the experience much more enjoyable when you know what you need to get
  • Spend time connecting with the real meaning of Christmas
    • Talk to your kids, family and friends about the birth of Jesus. Give money or time to help charities or people in need. Meditate or pray. Give thanks for what you have (rather than complaining about what you don't have).
  • Make time for yourself.
    • Take some time to STOP and reflect. Reflect on what is happening for you in the lead up to Christmas, and will it make you happy. Reflect on 2008. Was it a good year for you and what will make 2009 a great year, a Personal best year.

Action Exercise:

Schedule 2 hours to reflect on 2008. Ask yourself these questions and write the answers in your journal.

What did this year mean to you? How do you feel when you look back on the year?
What were you doing when you felt fantastic, inspired, happy, loved and fulfilled?
What were you doing (or not doing) when you felt disappointed, sad, lonely, frustrated, angry or stressed?

Get a head start on 2009 by setting goals for next year as early as possible. You can use our Personal Best Year program to guide you. -- NOTE LINK NOT WORKING YET -- Download it for free.

Laugh out Loud
The Angel and the Christmas Tree

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

More great Time Management Information
Lots more time management tools, tips and resources to help you save time

Time Management Videos -- Free video presentations on time management.

Time Management Forms -- Download and use our time management forms to get control of your time

Time Management Articles -- A comprehensive library of time management articles with information that really saves you time.

Time Management Planners -- A short review of leading time management planners.

Thanks <> for spending your valuable time with us.

Michael, Graham and the Time Creation Team

© 2008 Time Creation Coaching. All rights reserved. Please pass the above in its entirety to anyone you wish.

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