Thursday, December 5, 2013

Stick to a plan when family gathers

What’s most important to you and your family during the holidays? 
Most of us would say it’s being together with relatives and friends. But there are so many things that creep in to change that priority. 
Shopping, decorating, wrapping gifts and preparing for holiday events outside the home can quickly eat away at your time and become distractions, said Laurie Martin, owner of Simplicity, a professional organizing company in Charlotte.
“We get caught up in the cyclone of doing too much and being too busy and we miss the big picture,” Martin said. 
She recommends checking in with everyone before they arrive to decide what to do with the time that you’ll have together. Agree on a plan, write it down and share it with everyone. Avoid other activities and events unless they fit with the group’s priorities. 
“Try not to cram too much into your schedule,” she said. “When there’s less on your schedule, you have more time to appreciate what you’re doing.” 
Here are other ways to keep your focus on the people you’ll be spending time with: 
  • Think of ways to simplify your plan for holiday decorating. 
  • For the jobs that have to get done, find ways to delegate, defer until after the holiday or hire out.
  • Ask everyone to turn off tech gadgets and give their full attention to the people in the room during activities the group agreed on. 
  • Most importantly, during the hectic times, remind yourself again what is most important.

Sullivan: and @sullivan_obs on Twitter