It's that time of year when gals everywhere either go into panic mode because the holidays are coming or they get revved up because ... well, the holidays are coming!
I've been on both sides of this situation and have learned over the many, many years it is better to be ahead of the game vs. running to catch up. My daughter brought this website to my attention: http://www.flylady.net/i/pdf/hol_coj.pdf called: Flylady's Holiday Control Journal! This gal is a list maker and she's ready to help organize the procrastinator in all of us.
As a writer, it becomes very difficult to juggle time for writing in my everyday life, let alone during the holidays. Some years I close my office and promise, "I'll be back after Christmas!" Other years I've pushed myself to the breaking point trying to maintain a writing schedule. Whichever choice I make, I feel it is not the right one. It's that little voice in the back of my mind saying, "I want to do it all!" Well, that too, I've learned to stand up to. I do want to do it all. But again, experience has taught me, I can't do it all at once. I've learned to prioritize! Oh, how I love that word. What is really important today? Tomorrow and next week? Everything runs smoother with a plan.
My plan is to not over-schedule this year. My kids are snickering. I know they are; I see them rolling their eyes and saying, "Yeah, right, Mom!" I always over-schedule. There's so many things I enjoy doing and seeing. I enjoy hosting parties, I enjoy going to parties, plays and special outings. I love buying presents for my family. I enjoy baking - most of the time. And decorating? Well, don't get me started. I over-decorate. I have an addiction to fill every corner and crevice with holiday flare. Although I must admit I've down-sized considerably. I used to have four to five Christmas trees in my house and last year I only had three. So there is hope for me. I may yet survive another Christmas season without collapsing.
So, back to Flylady's advice. She suggests spending 15 minutes to de-clutter each room. Fifteen for the kitchen, 15 for the living room, etc. And she then suggests we rest for 15 minutes! She's not talking about deep cleaning, she advises picking up after oneself! Something we women have been asking our family members to do for generations! Pick up the papers around the house daily. Put away shoes daily. Hang coats daily. Empty the dishwasher daily. Fill said dishwasher daily. Do a load of wash daily. And isn't it the little things piling up daily that push us into a snarly mood and we feel overwhelmed at all the debris filling our living space?!?
When my kids were young, I was adamant about staying organized. If we didn't, we drowned in our own junk. Many of those regiments I began thirty-plus years ago, I still do today. I make my bed before leaving my bedroom, I throw a load of laundry in, I unload the dishwasher while my oatmeal cooks, the newspapers get tossed into the recycle bin, etc. Even with just my husband and I at home we compile a lot of litter. When I maintain this bit of organization, I feel better about spending time in my office working on my WIP. My house doesn't mock me for being neglected. I can focus. Isn't that what priorities are all about? Focusing so time is not wasted.
If time management is not your friend, visit the Flylady and see if she can help you become organized. It's only a click away. And really, it can't hurt to take a peek. I especially liked her buying/ordering page for presents. What a clever way to keep what has been purchased/ordered/received. With six grandkids, I need all the help I can find. I plan to order more this year. Flylady's tally sheet will help me tons.
Staying organized has never been easy for me, but once I am organized, it feels more like a blessing. I enjoy being organized. It's powerful and exhilarating. I like that!
Til next time ~