By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands
With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, most of us are already facing “one of those weeks.” Despite the fun, festivities and traditions that come with it, typically this week represents hectic schedules, sometimes chaotic atmospheres and a general need for more hours in the day.
There are, of course, simple steps you can take to make the upcoming extended holiday weekend one of joy. It takes good planning a little discipline, but in the broad scope of things, it is well worth the effort.
Just like other weeks, you need to start each day creating a to-do list. The to-dos of this week, however, are certain to eclipse those of a typical week, so planning and prioritizing is a must. The best way to do this while saving plenty of time to actually enjoy Thanksgiving is to estimate and stick to task times. This will allow for a more precise daily schedule to be developed and followed.
But doing this is often easier said than done. The following tips can help you accomplish a more-defined and concise to-do list and schedule. Give them a look and a try:
- Be realistic. Don’t short-change yourself by allotting little opportunity to do a task that you know will be time consuming. When setting these times, give yourself a little breathing room by rounding each time up 10 minutes—it’s always easier to have extra time on your hands than to run over schedule.
- Take smaller bites. Like the first tip, be realistic and don’t bite off more than you can chew. However, when you do take a bite, make it small and manageable. This may involve breaking a larger task down into multiple smaller tasks.
- Write it down. Not only should you write down your to-do list with each allotted task time for better retention and to minimize the chance of forgetting something, but also to visualize the time-line of events. Seeing is believing, and if you see errors of judgment or simple over-booking, they’ll be spotted immediately.
- Be conservative. Distractions and unplanned events will take place. If you create a tight schedule from the onset, you’re certain to run out of time. Allow extra wiggle room for these unanticipated hurdles.
- Preparation is part of the process. Many tasks involve time for preparation or certain steps to be taken before they can be addressed. Allow time for all of this.
- Give yourself breathing room. Include transition times between tasks and events, not to mention personal time for breaks and recharging. This will give your body and mind the time they need to stay sharp.
You can see a clear pattern here—don’t overtax your time and plan for unexpected (but sometimes needed) changes of events. Setting a precise yet feasible timeline to knock out your tasks will keep you on schedule and fend off procrastination. And, for this week in particular, it will give you the time you deserve to truly enjoy the holiday, family and the traditions that come with it. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AT-A-GLANCE!
[photo by iwona_kellie]