It's that time of year again! You know - that time

It's that time of year again! You know - that time when you are supposed to be enjoying the holidays but your "To-Do" List looks so endless that the idea of relaxing could be the straw that just might break the camels' back! Who can relax with all those things hanging over your head....like mistletoe!?

I admit that I, too, have a hard time relaxing when my To-Do List appears unending. But that's when I force myself to prioritize and simplify. My "To-Do List Technique" involves putting the tasks in order of importance and then alternating between completing the larger, time-consuming, tasks at the top with an easier task from anywhere on the list that I can accomplish quickly. It's a great way to cross the bigger important items off the list while allowing me to feel that I am keeping things moving. 

Another time-management skill I have been working on is delegating the tasks that are non-essential to the bottom of the list. Yes, I am guilty of trying to do everything AND trying to do them all by myself. But by re-evaluating a task or chore I really gauge whether it will truly make a difference in my long-term goal?

This came into play when I was decorating my historic home for the Bethlehem Historic District Holiday Home Tour. Getting three floors of my home fully decorated by 12/9 -while wrapping up client projects for the holidays - was overwhelming. Then one afternoon, before Thanksgiving, I asked my creative daughter, Jackie, to do a pre-tour of my rooms and my vision for each space. After reviewing my concepts for each room with her and brainstorming some simpler ideas, it became clear that less was more and I could even let some areas shine while simply clearing out clutter from other spaces and not decorating at all.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with committee members to discuss areas where I still needed docents (volunteer guides) and once I saw the plan in hard copy I realized we had the situation pretty much under control. Several dear friends, a few family members along with a handful of terrific neighbors all gave up a few hours of their time during on a snowy Saturday to help tell the "story" of our 100+-year-old property.

Not everything went as planned. But despite the snowstorm, a couple docents calling out last minute with the flu, and some of the non-essential tasks not getting done....everything worked out. 

Some wonderful new friends and even one of my contractors stepped in as substitute guides. I ended up using beach towels to dry off my "house guests". I even got over the fact that the boldly striped beach towels didn't match my carefully planned decor. 

In the end, a sold-out crowd of 1200 people toured 9 homes and studios within the Historic District of Bethlehem. It was an honor showing our home to this enthusiastic crowd and looking on the bright side - my house was decorated for Christmas earlier than ever before. Now onto the Christmas cards.....

Wishing you all safe travels, wonderful time with family and friends, AND at least one day that you don't even look at your "To-Do" list for 2018 until next year!

Carrie Oesmann2 Comments