Why Santa Claus is an Excellent Time Manager

Time management santaIn a few days, millions of children will anxiously wake up and rush to the Christmas tree to see what Santa brought for them. It’s a good thing Santa is an excellent time manager so he can ensure everything is finished on time! Here are three time management lessons we can take from the jolly man in red:

1. He makes a list and checks it twice.

Notice that Santa’s naughty and nice list doesn’t consist of multicolored post-it notes carelessly strewn about the North Pole. He keeps everything organized in one place so he can easily find it.

2. He delegates

Santa could try to make all those toys himself, and thus ensure that they were all made his way and to his standards, but then he wouldn’t have time for those important administrative tasks, like list-checking, travel-planning, and cookie-eating. Santa delegates effectively to his team of elves to make sure everything gets finished efficiently in time for Christmas.

3. He thinks outside the box

Imagine how much longer present-delivery would take if Santa had to fuss with keeping keys to each house and letting himself in through the front door! By using a more creative approach, the chimney, he’s able to speed up his process and finish it all in one night.

Now, some would argue that if they had 364 days to prepare for one project, they’d be great time managers too. Point taken. But regardless of what your job is, I sincerely hope that you are taking time to slow down and enjoy your family and friends this Holiday Season, and are ready to work efficiently and productively in the new year so you can always find time to relax and enjoy the important things in life.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Time Diet!

Did Santa bring you time management help this season?  Check out The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management for $12.99 on Amazon.com.

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One Way to Avoid Stress This Holiday Season

Time Management HolidayMy mouth has started watering for the massive turkey dinner I’ll be consuming this week, which means the holiday season is officially upon us…and all the stress that comes with it. As the year winds to a close, our to-do lists get incredibly long. Deadlines, holiday gatherings, huge projects we’ve been putting off…they all start to weigh on us and interfere with our holiday cheer. This season, I have one piece of advice for you to try…

Lower Your Expectations

What? Really Emily? That’s the advice you have for us? Isn’t that kind of…depressing?

No. Let me explain.

If you’re a great time manager all year, there is no reason you can’t also be a great time manager during the holidays. The thing that changes seems to be our expectations. I’m reading a fascinating book called Stumbling on Happiness and the author mentions that humans are the only animal to think and make predictions about the future. We spend vast amounts of time envisioning what the future should be like, and then become extremely disappointed if it doesn’t pan out that way.

When is this ever more true than during the holidays? We’ve spent all fall crafting a picture-perfect holiday image, looking forward to knocking everything off our to-do lists, curling up by a roaring fire with our care-free do-nothingness, sipping some eggnog and listening to the rain fall lightly on our back porch.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals or look forward to certain things about the holidays. I’m saying stop being so hard on yourself when things don’t happen exactly as you envisioned. There might still be a few things on your list that cling there through January. The eggnog might be apple cider because you got to the store late and the guy in front of you grabbed the last jug. It’s OK.

This holiday season, let go of perfection. And also, let go of your smartphone for a few minutes while you’re at it.  Put your impossible expectations to rest and accept that you’re going to finish what you can, doing the BEST you can, and that’s going to be good enough. Find time to relax with your friends and family, even if it doesn’t end up looking like something straight out of a holiday TV special.

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