You might think September is a tad early to address holiday planning 2020, but this year has been like no other, wouldn’t you agree?

If you haven’t made an intentional effort to put your positive hat on, you might have succumbed more often than not to the negative view that 2020 has been the year of the apocalypse! During only the first three quarters of the year, we’ve seen this country experience:

*the Coronavirus / novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic

*economic hardships caused by the pandemic shutting down sectors of industries

*quarantine and shelter-at-home mandates

*separation from family and friends

*no international travel and limited domestic travel

*demonstrations turning into unrest

*intensified political bickering

*storm damage

*wildfire damage

*an increase in last-minute changes and pivots because everything around us this year seems unprecedented

Yeah, it’s been one heck of a year. Hopefully it’s the last of its kind when it comes to bad things happening.

But this holiday season could turn into one of the best holiday seasons ever because we might have a new-found appreciation and value of spending time with loved ones who don’t reside with us, gratitude for good health, and relief we’re in a position to even consider holiday planning.

I’ve watched the stress levels of many people increase during past holiday seasons because of pressure they put on themselves to impress others and/or not planning and/or over-packing their schedule. If you want to enjoy the 2020 holiday season, let’s take a quick look at stress-avoidance considerations:

Your Health

In addition to our normal flu and cold season, COVID-19 will be in the mix. Step up your usual health precautions: get plenty of sleep, eat well, stay hydrated and – as we’ve been told for the past eight months – wash your hands and avoid touching your face. If you need to get a flu shot, don’t wait until the last minute.

Schedule Your Plans

If you plan to decorate, when will that happen? Do you know which days you’ll have off from work? When would you like to spend quality time with your household members? How much time would you like to spend with those outside of your household? Do you need to block off time for traveling to and from a destination? When will you have some me-time?

Travel

If you haven’t searched for flights lately, you might not be aware that airlines have cut back tremendously on the number of flight options. If you’re planning to fly to see family, you might not want to wait for that tremendously low last-minute fare to rejoice about. There are a limited number of seats, and you might not get one if you wait until the 11th hour.

Social Distancing

You’re probably used to the six foot rule by now. But sometimes we just plain forget about that when we’re around people we know and love. The holidays tend to be full of events with people crammed into close quarters. We most likely won’t be able to do that this year. Do you need to plan for your family gathering in shifts so that there are fewer people present at one time? Or do you need to forego the extra long dining table and instead have smaller tables spread throughout the house? What’s the safest way for you to host or attend any holiday gatherings?

Gifts

Onsite shopping has been quite different this year because of local ordinances, including limited numbers allowed in stores, enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19. Will you need to do your shopping a little differently this year? Or would you prefer to do more of your shopping online than in the past? Either way, there might be some delays involved, so consider making that list and checking it twice a bit earlier than usual.

Dial It Back

If you normally operate at beyond-peak performance during the holidays so that everyone around you thinks you’re superhuman, you might want to consider going peak performance-light this year. Give yourself a break and truly enjoy the holiday season.

Whether you’ll spend the 2020 holiday season on your own, with only your household members or with the usual set of family and friends, make it the best one yet!

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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