As we are getting closer to the holidays – it’s time to start pulling our previous steps together.
In step #4 you broke each activity that you participate in during the holidays into the smallest possible step. When you put the most recent post (Step #5) into action, you continued to delete some activities and delegate others.
If you’ve just found the Stress Free Holiday Series – welcome! So far, we’ve covered –
- Week #1 – Mentally create the holiday of your dreams.
- Week #2 – List all the activities you currently participate in during the holidays.
- Week #3 – Categorize these activities – how much do you enjoy doing them?
- Week #4 – Break down each activity into the smallest possible next step.
- Week #5 – Delegate tasks – you can’t do it all!
Using the list you created in week #4, create a master calendar including start dates, end dates, and the person responsible for each task.
You can use a blank paper calendar to fill in your dates, or you can put reminders in your phone, or you can use Google Calendars, or Outlook, or whatever scheduling system you use. The important part is that you start to fill in the dates!
The features my clients have found most helpful when implementing this step is
- Reusable – it’s important not to reinvent the wheel each year. Adapt the calendar as you go. You may find you forgot action steps, you over or under estimated your time frame, or you added or deleted activities. That’s ok . . . this calendar is a work in progress. If you are putting dates in your phone, use the repeat feature so each task automatically populates to the following year.
- Plenty of Room – It’s important to see the task and the person responsible – so make sure the blocks on the calendar are large enough.
- Ability to Add Color – Some clients color code tasks according to the person responsible. Other code tasks green for start dates and red for end dates. Experiment and find the system for you.
Often, clients ask how many months should they use to create their calendar. I recommend the first month of your calendar corresponds to one month prior to the first task. For example, if you decided that your earliest task is to contact a cleaning service to set an appointment to deep clean your house. You want to make sure to get an appointment, so you decide the best time to call to reserve a slot on their calendar is October. Since your first task is in October, start your holiday calendar in September. This allows you to easily move start dates earlier if needed the following year.
Go – pull out your task list, print off some blank calendar sheets, and start filling in the start dates, end dates, and person responsible for each task!
Check back next week for Step #7 which focuses on self-care around the holidays.
I’m curious – what calendar scheduling tips to you find most helpful?
What platform do you like best for templates/reusable calendars?
What change are you going to implement after reading this post?
What are you most looking forward to this season?
I have provided you with a number of idea starters – please take one and run with it! Post your comments below!