The Last-Minute Holiday Guide for Being Organized and Stress Free

holidaysDoes it feel like your holidays are quickly spinning out of control? Well rest assured there’s still time to get things back into shape.

Here are a few last-minute pieces of advice for enjoying a successful, stress-free holiday season:


Holiday emotions bring out the biggest aspirations in all of us. We love our holidays with all the trimmings. But you must lower your expectations and reduce your workload.

  • Start by making a list of everything you need to do
  • Cut that list in half by eliminating non-essential items
  • Now, one more time, trim the fat by making vital choices of what’s really important

It’s crunch time, so stick with the essential and forget the rest. Ten days from now, only the important parts will count.


Don’t get out of bed and start running. Slow down your world for 15 minutes each morning and plan the next day of your life. Make a “must-do” list and double-check your appointments. Make a habit of using your day planner and checking off your to-do list. Everyone wants to be more organized in the New Year, so why not start today?


Shorter, busier, and colder days only mean one thing — more time spent indoors with less physical activity. Schedule a 15-minute walk outside each day for the rest of December. A little fresh air and exercise goes a long way toward reducing your stress. At work, step outside with a co-worker and talk about something besides work.


Get holiday recipieslast minute holiday gift ideas, or shop. Get directions, find some useful advice like this, communicate with friends, or do whatever you can to leverage your time through the internet. It’s all there online, so use it to your advantage.


If they’re not sent yet, stop worrying. Instead, spend 10-15 minutes writing five sentences of gratitude to each of your important friends and family members. (Get the others done after Christmas, if you choose.) Lose the guilt. These days a thoughtful email is much more personal than the mass-produced, perfectly-staged, generically-messaged photo cards that have become all the rage. Don’t get fancy. Write from the heart.


In other words, remember the big picture here. The holidays represent many significant ideas and traditions, but the one you can honor today is the quality time spent with family and friends. If your actions are in alignment with your goals, this shouldn’t be too difficult of a plan to follow. Focus on the people, the conversations, and the sights and sounds. Give yourself over to the occasion.

Have a safe and joyous holidays from all of us at Day-Timer and ACCO Brands!

Jeff Doubek can be reached at