Prioritize and Delegate to Make The Holidays Stress Free

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Now that December is quickly passing we need to add two words to our vocabulary, prioritize and delegate. It is hard to believe December is almost over. Some households are counting down the days until Christmas and if that is your deadline for being prepared, time probably is beginning to feel like it is getting short. With less than a week left, what is the best strategy?

First, determine what is a priority and handle those things first.

 1.    If gifts need to be sent out-of-town deadlines are approaching. The United States Postal Service has deadlines of December 20 for First Class and Priority and December 22 for Priority Express service.

2.    Ordering gifts online can save time but get those orders in soon to avoid paying extra shipping charges. The good news is with overnight shipping services some websites allow ordering a day or two before Christmas, but that comes with a hefty shipping charge. Orders placed now might still qualify for free standard shipping but that window is quickly closing. 

3.    Planning a family get together at a favorite restaurant during the holiday? Now is the time to make those reservations. Popular restaurants might be difficult to get into as the holiday approaches. Calling ahead is the best option, but as an alternative many restaurants allow reservations to be made using apps such as Open Table.

You’ve got the priority items handled, the next step is to delegate. Determine what else needs to be done and then hire some help. When it comes to getting things done during the holidays every mom can use a little assistance. Some things you will need to take care of personally, but not everything. A busy mom does not need to do everything herself.

 Now is the time to consider how to leverage your time. What services can be used to lessen the load? Some tasks and chores can be done by other members of your family and some things can be hired out. Since more and more services are available for hire, determine what you do yourself and what you don’t. These might seem to be added financial costs, but your time is also valuable so consider it an investment to increase your efficiency.

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 1.    Holiday meals and entertaining can mean more trips to the grocery story. The great news is grocery delivery services are becoming more and more prevalent. Order online, schedule the delivery at your home or pick up items to save hours at the grocery store. I have been a recent adopter of this service and have been surprised at how much time has been freed up during the weekend. It might not seem like a lot, but this small convenience has added hours to my Saturday.

2.    Never thought you would use the services of a housekeeper? This is the time of year to consider hiring a service to clean your home so you can spend those hours taking care of other tasks. Professionals can do the job quickly and efficiently and lessen your stress.

3.    Gift shopping can be made easier with more and more stores offering order online and pick up in store. The convenience of not having to wait for items to be shipped, combined with avoiding long holiday lines seems like a win-win for moms.

 Some last tips for making the holiday a little less stressful and more economical.

 1.    Sometimes we are caught off guard when we receive an unanticipated gift from a friend. If this happens don’t be unprepared instead have an extra gift or two at home so you can reciprocate and avoid making another trip to the store.

2.    If entertaining family and/or friends stock up on staples so you do not run out of toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, and other non-perishables. Extra boxes of a favorite breakfast cereal and snacks will help when you hear the crowd is hungry between meals.

3.    Keep an eye out for end of season sales. It is hard to believe but stores are already advertising Christmas Clearance sales, so you might be able to pick up a special gift at a really special price!

 A final thought is to make sure you buy something for yourself this season. Moms are always thinking about other people and often put others first. This is a wonderful thing to do, but we must also take care of ourselves. As we are told on flights, put your oxygen mask on first and then assist others, take some time to shop for yourself. Go ahead and treat yourself to something special. With all you have done this month and with all that is left to do, you deserve it!

 Happy Holidays to everyone in the Mother Honestly community. My best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season. Next week in my last post I will help you recalibrate financially for 2019. 

 Asalyn Coachman is a Registered Representative of and offers Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC, 39395 W Twelve Mile Rd., Ste 102 Farmington Hills, MI 48331 (248) 482-3600. Investment Advisory Services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company.  Financial Architects, Inc. and Mother Honestly are not subsidiaries or affiliates of The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment Management Company