By Liz Mellem - November 25th, 2016
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States which officially kicks off the holiday season. The popular shopping holiday, Black Friday will have shoppers lining up as soon as Thursday night, and Cyber Monday boasts incredible online deals to keep the buying season going. Along with finding the perfect gifts, you might also have a full calendar of holiday parties, traveling, or welcoming out-of-towners to your home.
Whatever you’ve got going on over the next month, it’s probably going to be a busy one. In the post below we’re sharing our most valuable holiday time saving tips for students and working professionals. Use these to make the holiday season enjoyable and stress-free without falling behind on assignments and projects.
#1 Create a complete holiday calendar:
Make note of any vacations or time off that you’ve got scheduled, if you have visitors coming into town, add their dates of travel as well. Include course deadlines, holiday plans and parties, kids’ break from school, or anything else that’s out of the ordinary. Having this visual representation of everything you’re going to need to juggle will help you survive the holiday season among all the festivities and time with loved ones.
#2 Plan ahead:
Utilize your complete holiday calendar to see what you can accomplish ahead of time so you’re not stressed as deadlines approach and can have fun with everyone else. Focus on what’s most important and prioritize. Work ahead on assignments and projects, make reservations for holiday events before it’s too late, and book travel arrangements now to get the best rates.
#3 Take care of yourself:
Among all the planning, focus, and working ahead, you need to also save time for personal stress-relieving activities. Schedule time for exercise, personal reading, a cozy nap, or a coffee break. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to an event if you’re getting overwhelmed. If you don’t take care of yourself, nothing else will matter.
#4 Keep time for what’s important:
Balance the holiday parties and gifts with quality time with loved ones. Remember what the holidays are all about and soak in the spirit of the season.
#5 Be prepared:
Traveling during the holidays is always a gamble, especially if you’re coming, going, or passing through a state with severe weather. Make sure you have access to your computer or tablet and can be in touch with co-workers or faculty in case something comes up. Don’t forget your chargers!
#6 Don’t procrastinate:
Millions of people wait until the day before their gift-giving holiday to buy presents. Instead of fighting crowds and settling for what’s left on the shelves, get ahead of what’s inevitable and take advantage of the time you have now. Utilize online shopping deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to save money and avoid the malls altogether.
#7 Get creative with your gifts:
If you’re traveling for the holidays, chances are you don’t want to haul packages. Purchase them online and have them sent to your destination or think outside the box…literally.
Experiential gifts that you do with loved ones can create memories that will outlast any material possessions. Treat one or more people on your list to a meal at a nice restaurant, a spa treatment, concert tickets, or a comedy show. Enjoy the event one-on-one or make it a group gift.
We hope these tips will help you improve your time management skills during the holidays and throughout the year. Regardless of how you spend your holiday season, CSU-Global wants to wish you a happy one! We’re so thankful for all of our students, alumni, staff, faculty, and readers. Thank you for letting us be a part of your educational and professional journey.
Liz lives in Denver, CO and worked as the content marketing specialist for Colorado State University-Global before freelancing full-time. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas in 2007, and her master’s degree in social work from New York University in 2008. Outside of work, Liz enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with friends.