How to plan and prepare like a pro for a hectic month
By the time 1st December hits, it can be overwhelming just thinking about your plans! Becky Stanton is here to guide you through how to manage a hectic month and (try to) maintain your sanity...
By Becky Stanton
The glorious festive season is approaching and that can only mean one thing. A very “full” month ahead of us. More events, more socialising, more family visits, more beauty appointments! As well as our usual work and home responsibilities.
If you’re anything like me, your calendar will start getting booked up by late October. You will have entered this planning mode with a positive mind-set of “I will make it work”, “it will be fun and Christmassy” and “it only happens once a year”.
By the time 1st December hits, it can be overwhelming just thinking about your plans! So I’m here to guide you through how to manage a hectic month and maintain your sanity (as best as you can!).
I use my 3-step process: Plan, Prepare, Pro-active Action. It’s a simple method that can be applied to ANYTHING that overwhelms you to keep you focused and intentional for ultimate effectiveness. It’s perfect for when your work and social schedules are full-on and the pressure on your productivity and effectiveness is high.
Create a meticulous plan for your month – including the work tasks, events and your energy (see prepare)!
Plan it backwards. Focus on the outcome first – your goals and priorities for December – and from there, you will be able to ascertain the focus for each week and the daily tasks that will need to be accomplished. During this time, family, connection and fun may be a priority for you!
In a schedule, plot any confirmed deadlines, appointments, responsibilities, events and gatherings into your schedule. Plus, any required travel time.
This will show you the time gaps in your schedule where you can prioritise your daily tasks to meet your monthly goals. You can use time-blocking and batch-working to efficiently plan your time to be the most efficient with your energy. You can also assign tasks to certain areas of your calendar, like travel time and getting ready for the day. Tasks like self-care moments, or reading books, or replying to emails can be bolted on to another task for greater efficiency!
By doing this, you will have a monthly schedule to work towards which will keep you focused and intentional, as well as saving you time every day ‘deciding what needs to be done’.
Once you have a plan of action, take time and energy to suitably prepare for the month ahead. It is essential to not neglect yourself and your energy.
Self-care can be more than a hot bubbly bath with oils and a face mask. Self-care is nourishing your mental, emotional and physical body. It’s a true act of selfishness (the positive kind) to focus on yourself in order to add any value to others.
To avoid becoming a zombie throughout December, prioritise any activities that support your mind, body and soul to boost your energy levels. Whether it’s regular exercise, mindfulness, time alone, hobbies or personal passions. When your schedule is busier than usual, schedule more time for you and show up for yourself with no resistance, worry or judgement.
Remember it’s okay to say “no” to invites and opportunities. This is also a form of self-care as you are protecting your energy. Embrace JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out – this December. You will never regret doing this!
Thirdly, take glorious action on your plan. That means committing to your self-care as well as the tasks you have set yourself and not skipping your morning routine because you are “busy”. If you ever think, “I don’t have time for exercise today”, that’s an even bigger reason to do the exercise! You will be able to enjoy the month so much more knowing you have a plan to succeed and by executing it.
Keep track of your progress visually in your workspace so that you can celebrate successes and stay accountable to the plan.
Wishing you all a wonderfully planned and joyous December!
About Becky Stanton
Becky helps business owners create their ‘Work Sanctuary’ at home for greater effectiveness, purposeful working and intentional success. She specialises in re-aligning your personal energy with your home energy for a holistic business strategy. Becky also has a weekly blog and free resources on her website www.beckystanton.com.https://www.beckystanton.com