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The One Priority You Should Be Focusing On

We’re part way through December and the holiday season is truly upon us, all the store fronts are decorated, the malls are pumping Christmas music and Hanukkah begins tomorrow! The thing about December is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, to commit to too many social engagements or get too many presents for people you don’t really know that well!

As you know I’m a big fan of essentialism and I’ll be treating this holiday season exactly the same. My recommendation would be to think of the one thing you want to do before January (I know, really just one thing!) and put all your focus into that.

You don’t have to forget about everything else, but keep your number one priority in mind. Here are some example priorities and how to make the most out of them:

To spend more time with family – Holidays are meant to be about family, but we can sometimes end up spending more time making awkward small talk with your cousin’s neighbor  than  with your actual family. Politely decline invitations from the people you don’t really need to see and instead make a plan to hang out with your kids or your parents – even if it’s just staying on the sofa and watching Christmas movies. Read more

Holiday Lists to Make Right Now to Keep Your Sanity

When it comes to preparing for the holidays I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to start. Usually I start in August. This year though, I’ve been feeling more disorganized than usual. I’ve realized that when I was working at Fox News  I had settled into a pretty good routine. Now that I’m out on my own I’ve been struggling to find that balance again. When you work a job with a set finish time it’s much easier to check out mentally and compartmentalize your tasks.  As I get my footing as an entrepreneur it’s not as easy because I find myself doing everything all the time!

Luckily for me there’s still time to get organized – all I need is a list. If you’re in the same boat as me it’s fine, but we need to get started. Here’s a list of all the things to consider before the end of the year:

Presents Lists – This is the most obvious list to start with and maybe the one that requires the most thought. This year I’m taking a more essentialist approach to gifts. Instead of going overboard I’m thinking about what the people I care about could really use this year. In the new Bad Mom’s Christmas movie Mila Kunis’s character jokes how she’s bought so many unnecessary presents this year, going so far as to buy her barista a scented candle. We laugh – but who hasn’t gone overboard on gift shopping at least once? Look over your list and have a good think about who really belongs there! I like to keep ideas in my Evernote notebook throughout the year for times just like this when I can’t think of what to get. In that folder I keep ideas that I’ve found and notes on what people have told me through the year that they would like or need. Read more

3 Steps to Overcoming Your List-Writing Addiction

listsI got an email this week from a regular reader of this blog asking me for some help. She writes:

“What should I do if I’m spending more time writing out lists than crossing off tasks on those lists?”

Given that we make the most lists around holiday season I imagine a few of you might be suffering from this same problem, so I thought I would share my advice with you. Read more

I’m Way Behind on My Holiday Shopping!

Christmas gifts.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As many of you who follow this blog know — I always start my holiday shopping in August. And I remind everyone to do the same because it just makes us less stressed once the actual holidays come around.

However, I have a confession to make – I have not bought one single gift yet! Not one!

We’re closing in on the week before Thanksgiving and I’m sort of in a panic. I think that the reason this is happening is because I’m a little bit preoccupied with the excitement of my book Listful Thinking coming out in January and I’m putting together my VIP Launch Team (which I’m still accepting applications for until November 24) and I just have let my usual plan for getting stuff done slip through the cracks. Read more

Checklist to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Now

christmasI know it sounds a little extreme but I’m a big advocate of starting my Christmas shopping in August. Getting all the presents bought by Thanksgiving allows me to relax over the holiday season and avoid the shopping amateurs waiting until the last second and clogging up the mall parking lots in December.

Follow this month-by month guide to have a stress-free holiday season:

August – This is a great time to start planning and thinking about who you need to buy for and what you want to get. Each year I make two lists using Evernote. One list is of everyone I exchange gifts with for Hanukkah and Christmas.  I write down ideas for gifts and reference my list from last year to make sure I don’t get the person the same gift twice.  The other list is of random ideas, websites and clippings of gift ideas I’ve found throughout the year with no particular person in mind. I have an ongoing “gift ideas” notebook in Evernote of fun gift ideas. Read more