We’ve all heard the exclamations of passers by at the sight of the first Christmas decoration in a shop window “Christmas gets earlier every year!”

Retail businesses getting the cards and the mince pies on the shelves early is often simply seen as a ploy to maximize on profits, but is there something else to learn from preparing for season celebrations early?

Of course, who doesn’t want to avoid the last minute dashes to the crammed shopping malls, the choice of the best presents for their loved ones. But then why have we all said one of these at least once?

“… Christmas has crept up on me this year… Time has just slipped away… Is it that time of year already?… I wanted to start early but… I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet!”

The fact of the matter is, Christmas is a time of year where many people’s time management skills are exposed. So, before Christmas takes over completely, use it to give yourself some time management training! 5 top tips to help you this Christmas;

  1. Start early and set realistic objectives- decide what to buy, who you need to buy for and where you need to go.
  2. Prioritise and use the right times of day for the most important tasks- get the big ones done when you’re feeling most productive- If you’re a morning person, shop for the difficult presents then. If you’re not, book in a late night shop!
  3. Consider your options- if you’re looking for something in particular, do your research online before rushing out to the shopping mall to find it’s not in stock. Failing to plan is planning to fail!
  4. Give yourself a break- many people fall short on their Christmas shopping because they only allow a short space of time to get it all done. Give yourself a ‘buffer’ incase things don’t go well and plan for the unknown- i.e. do you have an alternative gift if your ideal doesn’t work out? Factor in another half day shopping just incase things don’t go according to plan the first time.
  5. Give yourself the best possible chance of achieving your goal and pick your shopping partner wisely! Remember to have fun!