Holiday Project Management 101

The holiday season is in full swing. Consider approaching the holidays as a project by identifying all the tasks that need to be accomplished.  Update your calendar with family, social, work and school events so you are on top of your commitments. Being organized can help to reduce stress and make the holidays more manageable.


Make a Plan

  • Priorities – identify the must do tasks first followed by the lower priority tasks. Can you eliminate or streamline any tasks to give yourself more time? Keep your expectations reasonable.
  • Health – the holidays are packed with lots of opportunity for overeating and drinking. Identify a plan to build in exercise and healthy food choices so at the end of the holidays you won’t feel like you have to start over with your health and fitness routine.
  • Give To Yourself – the holidays won’t be enjoyable if your stress level is high the entire time. Schedule downtime to do something you enjoy. Be prepared for things to change and accept the changes gracefully.
  • Volunteering –working with people who are less fortunate than you can provide you with an important perspective on what is important.


Adjust Your Scope

When the holidays come around, we are often filled with the idea that everything must be perfect, which is literally impossible. Make this a year where you look at your holiday traditions and consider making some adjustments. Here are some ideas:

  • Cutting down or eliminating Christmas cards
  • Reducing the amount of holiday baking
  • Avoid overscheduling, it’s okay to say “no”
  • Simplify gift giving and decorating
  • Keep meal planning simple, ask guests to bring food/drink


Manage Resources

Delegation is the key to getting tasks completed and avoiding burnout during the holidays. It can be hard to delegate. This tends to be true especially for those who think no one else can do it. Relax and let others help.

  • Keep a list of tasks that others can do
  • Ask for help with shopping, wrapping, food prep and clean-up
  • Don’t overspend – make a budget and stick to it. It’s important to remember that spending more money does not make the holidays happier.
  • Avoid being around friends and family that create negative energy.



Now is a great time to teach and include younger generations in your holiday traditions. Each family has their own unique decorations, foods, drinks and entertainment. It’s important to pass along the history and knowledge of these traditions so they are not forgotten. This can be useful for future delegation.



  • Traveling – traveling during the holidays can be particularly stressful since so many people are traveling this time of year. Choose your travel days carefully and book early. Allow plenty of time to avoid the frustration of missing a flight.


  • Shopping – make a list and stick to your budget. Take advantage of sales, discounts and promo codes when ordering on-line. Try not to leave shopping until the last minute.


  • Family Gatherings – holidays should be a joyful and special time to celebrate with family and friends. The reality is that this time of year can create significant family stress. Recognize the trigger points and have a plan to positively manage them.


Taking the time to make a holiday plan will help keep you organized, healthy and happier. Keep your expectations reasonable and instead of striving for perfection, strive for happiness.


We wish you a wonderful holiday season!




Contributed by Amy Noel