I have a real knack for getting overwhelmed during the holiday season. I mean really, who doesn’t? But it seems to me that the time from Halloween to Valentine’s Day is one big blur. Coincidentally this time of festivities coincides with scarf selling season. So being in business for myself makes this situation two-fold. I get busy, find extra things to do, get stressed, and make mistakes. Fixing these mistakes is the extra time that “frosts the cake”, if you will.
I’ve started to consider the possibility that I’m not as busy as I think I am. An outsider (let’s say my husband for example) might say that my “to do list” isn’t worthy of a freak-out. But if reality is nothing more than your own perception of life, how do I rationalize myself out of this predicament? Do I simply not attempt to do all the things I want to do?
Anyway, I’m just here to admit that I’m getting in my own way. In just three weeks I’ve made three mistakes. They were all pretty minor. But with this most recent episode I’ve noticed they’re adding up. If you don’t mind, I’m going to elaborate on the latest issue so you catch my drift. Someone ordered an item online. I packaged it up for her and mailed it out the next day. The problem is that I packaged it while finishing up a few other pieces, baking gingerbread cookies, and getting ready for a holiday party. Due to this level of multitasking I forgot to confirm that I put the right item in the envelope. So, of course, I sent the wrong item. How embarrassing. What a ding-dong. Luckily I caught it before the customer did. Now it is just a matter of making it right, and trying to get the other piece back. In all this I have created three times as much work for myself.
Since this issue I have been harping on myself because I knew I would get busy and act this way. So I’ve made a list of holiday conduct.
- SLOW DOWN!
- FOLLOW STANDARD PROCEDURES Don’t rush and assume you’ve remembered item numbers, titles of pieces, or you house keys for that matter. Check.
- ALLOW YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME TO WORK Be reasonable. Figure out how much time you have and then realize how much you can accomplish. Do the most important things first. Don’t make up extra things to do.
- DO NOT DO TWO THINGS AT ONCE No matter what.
- BE CONTENT WITH ANY ACCOMPLISHMENT Everyday doesn’t have to be record-breaking. Continue working. Don’t cut yourself an unneccessary break, but stop trying to constantly out-do yourself.
Those steps that must be performed immediately are underlined. These steps must be performed without reference to the checklist. When the situation permits, non-underlined steps can be accomplished with reference to the checklist.
(I’m helping my husband study for flight school. I’ve modeled my list after his study guide. Typing it has made me laugh. I have obviously memorized a few things too. If it works for the army it should work for me too.)
By not following these simple steps I’ve created more work and stress for myself this week. In addition, I looked like a rookie. Not anymore. I’m shaving this mustache!