So many of us utilize holiday shipping services to either receive gifts in time to wrap them for events we’ll be attending or deliver gifts directly to friends, clients, family and loved ones.

My favorite phrases when it came to holiday shipping used to be “Free 2-Day Shipping for Prime Members” and “Guaranteed Delivery.” But that’s changed.

I’ve been a member of Amazon Prime for several years, and I enjoy being able to get almost any item on the planet delivered – for “free” (it’s not really free since that’s what the membership fee goes toward) – to myself or a different address within two days. But every so often, the shipping timeline message in the shopping cart during checkout or on the confirmation screen after checkout differs from what plays out.

On multiple occasions, I’ve found out that an item is going to arrive late. Sometimes I’m notified through a friendly message like this one:

Other times, I’ve discovered that a package will not arrive as promised when I log into my account and check on the tracking.

The word “guarantee” does not mean what it used to. Once when I paid for expedited shipping, there was a delay in delivery. (I did receive a refund on the upgraded shipping charge, but the item arrived after I needed it.)

This is not a knock against Amazon or any other services that promise prompt delivery. Amazon has delivered as promised to me 95% of the time. Instead, this is a reminder to not wait until the last minute during the holiday season to order your decorations, party supplies, and gifts. Stuff happens. There might be a sudden change in inventory or a blizzard snarling transportation. Build in a few extra days of cushion in case there is some kind of hiccup in the holiday shipping universe.

By planning ahead, you can save time and avoid panic and stress.

Happy Holidays!

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead? The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits. Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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