Get Organized for the Holidays! (2021 edition)

Back in the beginning of this year, I recommended that you reflect on the prior months and record a quick debrief of your 2020 holidays in order to get organized for your holidays in 2021.

Can you believe it? The 2021 holidays are just around the corner, so it’s time to get a-crackin’!

Do you want to do more of the same that you did in 2020, or do you want to cut some items or activities (or people) from your list? If you recorded your answers back in January, now is the time to review them and schedule appointments with yourself on your calendar to complete those items.

If you didn’t capture these thoughts while the 2020 holidays were still fresh in your memory, don’t panic! Now is your chance to pause and think about what you want your 2021 holidays to be like. If you’re paper-inclined, get out a notebook or sheet of paper. If you’re digitally inclined, open up a spreadsheet or word processing document. Using your preferred method of capturing your thoughts, record your answers to the following questions in order to get organized for the holidays in the next few weeks:

What went well during the 2020 holiday season?

Reflect on what made you proud or what made you smile last year. Did you schedule some relaxation time? Did you decorate more – or less? You probably went to fewer parties – if any – last year due to COVID. What about this year? Do you want to go to more or fewer parties? Did you spend more quality time with your family? Did you cook more – or have your favorite restaurant deliver the meal for your gathering? What made your holidays enjoyable?

*What occurrences or plans from 2020 need adjustments for 2021?

Were there plans or events or tasks that went relatively smoothly, but with a little tweaking they could be even better? Maybe if you set the turkey out an hour earlier, you wouldn’t have rushed so much? Or should you have shopped for that bottle of Blanton’s a little earlier in the month? Or did the “guaranteed shipping date” items arrive at the last minute, keeping you on pins and needles? What went well, but could be fine-tuned?

*What do you need to purchase or donate?

Were some ornaments a little worn, so do they need to be replaced? Were you almost ready to let go of that faded 1978 snow globe, but decided to wait until the next holiday season? (Which is now!) Do you need to purchase some extra strings of lights? Will you need some additional serving bowls for your Thanksgiving meal?

*What did not go well at all last year and should be removed from your list of to-do’s or events?

What made you cry (and not in a loving, nostalgic way)? What bothered you? What stressed you out? Do you need to stop inviting that super negative person to your holiday gathering? Do you need to stop going to an event that’s just not any fun? What irked you – and really, truly doesn’t need to happen during this holiday season? Yes, you’ll momentarily dredge up some unpleasant memories in order to make sure they don’t get repeated this year.

*Do you want to try anything new? 

Do you have any off-the-wall ideas? Or have you been putting off trying something you heard about some time ago? If you will make the time for it, is there anything new you would like to try?

After you compile all your answers, schedule time on your calendar to get these things done. By making appointments with yourself, you will accomplish your goal of being less stressed and even happier this winter.

Here’s to a glorious 2021 holiday season!

Planning for the holiday season is just as important as being efficient at work. For the complete guide to creating more time in your personal life as well as your professional life, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.

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.


  1. Julie Bestry on November 3, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Thanks to the pandemic, we seem to have leapfrogged from the 2019 holiday season to now, with everyone having a bit of whiplash. These tips should help to gentle everyone into a more productive holiday-prepping mode!

    • Helene Segura on January 19, 2022 at 11:04 am

      Hope your holiday season was fabulous! And may your 2022 be your best year yet!

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