Dec 3, 2010

Planning ahead for Christmas

"Eat that Frog" (by Brian Tracy) is one of my all time favorite organizing/time management books.  It doesn't just teach you how to schedule your time, but how to set a goal and accomplish it. How to plan the things in life you like to do least - and get them over with. He has a wonderful quote: "Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it right now." I thrive on planning/making lists.

For me, decorating for Christmas is not one of my favorite things in life. I'm not sure why, because I love the way my house looks after I decorate, but the whole lug-the-boxes-out-of-the-basement-thing just isn't one of my favorite things to do.

You've heard me say it before - I'm a list maker. Without a list, I have a tendency to wait 'til the last minute to get things done, and then do it half-heartedly. It's so much easier to do things at a leisurely pace; to take the time to appreciate what you're doing and why you're doing it. I already hear people grumbling about Christmas - they don't have their shopping done, their tree isn't up -- and here it is, only December 3rd. It occurred to me if they (or I) grumble and complain from now until Christmas -- that's 22 days of negativity. By the time Christmas arrives, I'll have myself in a negative mood and just want to be done with it all. What kind of way is that to spend this holiday season?

Tonight I sat down and made a list of things to do each day - with most tasks lasting less than an hour - to not only get ready for Christmas, but to appreciate this special season.

And just to show I'm actually doing what I'm blogging about, I'm going to post one photo a day of the Christmas list item to show I've accomplished it! See the calendar with photos here.

So here is my list:

Fri 12/3 - Put Christmas music on and do a Christmas craft with Mr. B. See photo here.
Sat 12/4 - Work on Christmas postcards See photo here.
Sun 12/5 - Finish Christmas postcards - Went Christmas shopping instead!
Mon 12/6 - Get out Christmas quilt, pillows, mantle cloth and wreath quilt for family room.
  Spend 30 minutes wrapping.
Tues 12/7 - Take Mr. B shopping for gift for his mom and toy to donate to charity.
Wed 12/8 - Wrap 30 minutes, order honey-baked ham
Thurs 12/9 - Go to Post Office, mail packages and cards
Fri 12/10 - With Mr. B, start putting out Christmas candles
Sat 12/11 - Put up tree.
Sun 12/12 - Celebrate Jeff's birthday; decorate stairway
Mon 12/13 - Wrap presents, decorate dining room table
Tues 12/14 - Finish putting out Christmas candles; School Christmas program
Wed 12/15 - Shopping - finish stocking stuffers
Thurs 12/16 - Wrap presents
Fri 12/17 - Christmas Craft with Mr. B, watch a Christmas movie
Sat 12/18 - Plan Christmas Eve dinner; make grocery list
Sun 12/19 - Go to Sharon Woods Christmas drive
Mon 12/20 - Grocery shopping
Tues 12/21 - Make cookies with Mr. B - "Elf" the neighbors
Wed 12/22 - Wrap stocking stuffers
Thurs 12/23 - Bake pies, rolls, pick up honey-baked ham
Fri 12/24 - Christmas Eve dinner with family


Anita - aka Granny Patches said...

Oooo good idea!

I've been trying to send you an email but it keeps bouncing back to me. Would you mind emailing me? estesanita at bellsouth dot net

Marge said...

I'm like you, I have to schedule or have it in my routine so at Christime I make a list. I'm a Flylady fan because of routines. Any thing to make my life easier. I love Christmas and all the hussle bussle because I have a schedule and know that everything will get done and the house will be clean and decorated, gifts bought, and dinner planned and pre-cooked. After the first year of scheduling it an AH-Ha moment and from there on you schedule.
Merry Christmas!!

jilly said...

If I don't make a list, I certainly get off track. Just walking into a room I may see something that will get me sidetracked. My list and my timer help greatly.

What a wonderful blog you have, found you through Company Girl.


Karen said...

sounds like you have everything under control. I refuse to let Christmas intimidate me. It's meant to be enjoyed, and I refused to get so stressed out that I don't enjoy it.