7 Time Management Tips for a Joyful Christmas

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UseTimeWisely2There’s nothing slow about December. Finding time to take a shower is tricky with all the flurry of activities the holidays bring. Time can become your biggest enemy during the holiday season. If you let it.

Last week, Time and I duked it out. A lot. I burned the candle at both ends, and, yes, I suffered the consequences. I struggled with my attitude toward my family. I drank way too much caffeine. I overindulged in bad foods. I let important things–like my prayer time–slide. And, of course, the housework was completely neglected.

Lest I continue in the losing battle against Time & completely miss out this Christmas, I’ve committed to actively pursuing better time management skills. If you’re struggling with time management, perhaps these suggestions may help you, too.

7 Time Management Tips for a Joyful Christmas

1. Submit your day to the Lord.

Before you rise from bed, commit the day and all its adventures to the One who sovereignly controls it all. Stop thinking you have everything to do with what gets accomplished. Seek first His will for your day, and be willing to let some things go that may be high on your to-do list but low on God’s.

2. Guard your quiet time jealously.

If you don’t have daily quiet time, you should. We all need time in the day to focus, meditate, pray, and reflect in complete solitude. Even Jesus did it. If you can, have your quiet time first thing in the morning when you’re at your most refreshed. Submit your day to the Lord, read the Bible, pray, and really open your ears and listen. He deserves our first and best, so give it to Him. Don’t compromise your quiet time for an-y-thing.

3. Prioritize.

To-DoListMy to-do list is a mile long, but, I realize, not everything is a priority: Paying bills…yes. Going to the library…no. Fixing supper…yes. Writing a blog post…no. Doing laundry…yes. Making 5 dozen Christmas cookies…no. Pick 3 “have to’s” and commit to accomplishing them first. Despite what you may think, multitasking does not work, so stop it.

Submit your to-do list to the Lord, offering each thing on it to God for His approval or rejection. Seek His superior wisdom and direction for  your day.

4. Say “no” when your plate is full.

For people-pleasers, this is incredibly hard. Just this past week, I said “no” to 3 activities, 2 of which I had previously committed to. I hate to let people down, but I’ve discovered that ultimately my family suffers when I’m over-committed. If your plate is full, give a firm “no” or “maybe later, but not now.” When you feel bad saying “no,” suggest someone else who might be able to to take your place.

5. Be present.

As you go about your day, don’t hide behind the computer screen or your phone. Block out any & all distractions so you can be there. In the moment. With your children, your husband, or whoever is there with you. God wants us to “[b]e very careful…how [we] live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” {Ephesians 5:15-16}. Turn off the phone, chat, & Facebook. Instead, engage with your loved ones. Be present.

6. Strive to do your best.

Perfection is not the goal, simply your best. Solomon said: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” {Ecclesiastes 9:10}. Be dedicated to the task at hand and diligent in your work. Strive for excellence in what you do. Pursue quality over quantity.

7. Take time to rest & recharge.

RestJesus made solitude a priority, so you must too {Matthew 14:23}. In order to be at your best and achieve all the Lord has set out for you to do, you need time alone to rest. Although the busy holidays don’t offer many opportunities for peace and quiet, you must seek it out, just as Christ did. Pencil it in on your to-do list.

It’s easy to lose track of time with all the daily tasks plus the extra activities that Christmastime brings. But make sure you’re using your time wisely. Commit each day to Him and guard your quiet time zealously. Prioritize your to-do list, say “no” when your plate is full, and be present in each moment. Strive for excellence in what you are called to do, and make time to rest. Taking a few steps toward better time management will help you achieve a more joyful, less stressful holiday season.

Your Turn Do you struggle with time management? Is it especially challenging at Christmas?

  If so, what can YOU do to improve?

Wishing you a joyful Christmas,

Please consider leaving a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. Great tips, Keri! I’m a yes-man by nature so I’ve had to guard extra-hard over the last couple of years against taking too many commitments on. Life is so much simpler and pleasant without so many non-essential activities in the schedule!
    Lisha recently posted…It’s not about herMy Profile

    • I agree. I am learning that lesson the hard way this year. I’ve had to say no for the first time ever this year and it’s been hard but so worth it for my family and my sanity.

    • I needed this, it’s invaluable to my ears. This is nuggets of wisdom, this steers me in the direction of learning how to balance out my life and still have time for everyone.

      Thanks and May god continue to bless you all!

      • Thank you, Deanna. I appreciate your words of encouragement more than you can know. Merry Christmas, and God bless you too!

  2. I know that my plate is full. Thanks for these tips!
    Paula recently posted…My Favorite Christmas TreatsMy Profile

    • Mine, too, Paula. Next year I’m going to start making my list of commitments in November and once I reach my cap, then I’m going to start saying “no.” My problem is that I hate to say “no.”

  3. Great post and I love your 7 tips. It’s so important to say no and realize it’s okay. We don’t have to do it all, in fact most of the time it’s better not to.
    Deanna recently posted…Look UpwardMy Profile

  4. These thoughts were precious to me. Thank you.

  5. Amen to guarding the quiet time, introvert sister! I love all the activities with my children at the holidays, but if I don’t get just a little bit of quiet in the afternoon, especially if I’ve missed it in the morning, I can tell by evening. Thank you for the reminders. I think by this point in December we all could use some rest. Merry Christmas!

    • Me, too, Meghan. I am in desperate need of a timeout when I don’t get my quiet time for sure. And I think it’s important to get some rest whenver you can. December is too crazy: you’ve got to snag when you can!

  6. Great post! Saying no is the hardest for me but the one that usually makes the most difference!

    • You’re so right. I always think I can do it; it’s just one more thing. But it’s never something simple I’ve said yes to in the first place. I have felt such peace after saying no though.

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