Day 3 – Discover Your Secret Christmas Time-Stealers – And They Might Not Be What You Think
Welcome to your De-Stress Your Christmas Advent Calendar count-down – day 3! Today we’re looking at what steals your time at Christmas.
Time stealers rarely come with the warning they deserve. How could you spot yours this Christmas?
You’re in the middle of Christmas preparations and the phone rings. Half an hour later the kids demand a snack, then you spot the ironing, a few unpaid bills and catch up on your emails or Facebook. Before you know it the day has gone.
Time stealers tend, instead, to sneak up on us without us realising, overstaying their welcome and rarely saying thank you for the care we lavished on them.
And they might not be physical interruptions. They can be as simple as getting lost on BuzzFeed or catching up with your Facebook friends – and suddenly not just minutes, but an hour has disappeared.
No one is suggesting that the kids should stay hungry or that bills should fester. But you can be clever about how you manage these interruptions.
Sometimes delaying dealing with them for just 10 minutes can give you the space to finish a job and cut your stress levels.
Sometimes having set times each day to deal with emails / bills / phone calls can be a useful tactic.
A bit of planning can have a huge impact.
Each of us will have developed ways we can squeeze these kinds of jobs, to get on with the “real stuff”.
What could you do today, to reduce the impact of your regular time stealers?
How about keeping a mental note, just for the next few hours, and noticing what is stealing your time? It might not be what you think!
What are your biggest time-stealers?
And how might you handle them, this Christmas?
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And Here’s Why Christmas Multi-Tasking Might Be Your Worst Enemy
Ok, I have to confess that I am terrible at this one. Or rather I’m great at it, which is the real problem.
I’m a champion juggler, when it comes to my to-do list. You could even call me a grasshopper (and people have), as I jump from one thing to the next, whilst balancing the previous thing on one foot.
I love starting jobs, but I get very little satisfaction from finishing them. But not finishing things off does cause me stress…
I’m very fortunate to know some wonderful people who are amazing at what psychologists call being a “completer-finisher” – in other words they get deep satisfaction from completing a project. So I’ve been able to see how much difference it can make to stress levels.
At Christmas, when you’re likely to be taking multi-tasking to near-Olympic gold medal heights, finishing tasks is vital.
That means wrapping up the final present and then putting the paper away.
That means writing that final Christmas card address on the envelope and actually posting it, rather than leaving it lurking guiltily in a drawer, till January.
The opposite of multi-tasking is finishing one job before you start the next.
It might feel boring, but you’ll quick learn to love the release you feel as you let the completed task go and tick it off your list. In fact, it stops you from ‘spinning that plate’ – it stops the task from draining your energy and you know it’s done – you don’t have to think about it any more.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of ticking a job off a list.
Confession: do you ever ADD anything to a list that you have already done, just so you can tick it off? I do… 😉
It’s about being present in the ‘here and now’, rather than doing one thing while thinking about the next.
It’s about laser-focus. It’s about efficiency.
It’s ultimately about de-stressing!
And it’s only for Christmas, after all!
If you enjoyed this article, then here’s where you can find the rest of your Advent Calendar – and scroll down to register for a free quick reminder, so you catch each instalment – AND a gift copy of my book: 101 Ways To De-Stress Your Christmas.
I would LOVE to hear how you got on with today’s message, via the comments.
What are your secret time-stealers?
And what are you going to do about them?
See you tomorrow with Day 4!
With love, Namaste,
P.S. If stress is a big thing for you, then you might want to check out my Master Your Emotions Kickstart course. It has already helped many people, just like you, to get a handle on their stress levels and to get off the emotional rollercoaster.