Perhaps no time of year is as busy as the holiday season, when social engagements and holiday shopping combine to dominate so much of what is normally our free time. Additionally, holiday travel and late nights spent at work to make up for lost time also cut into our free time, leaving many people in search of ways to add more hours to the day. Though there’s no way to make a day last longer, there are ways to save some time this holiday season.
- Go it alone. Holiday shopping can be very time consuming, but shoppers who decide to shop alone may find themselves more productive and focused on the task at hand. Rather than going from store to store and checking items off multiple shopping lists, shoppers who shop singularly can devote all of their attention to their own lists.
- Shop online. Another way to save time when shopping for the holidays is to shop online. This saves you the time it takes to drive to and from the mall and walk around multiple stores, all the while saving you from the often frustrating and time-consuming experience of finding a parking space. In addition, you can shop online at any time of day. So rather than just eating lunch at your desk on your lunch hour or spending the last hour before you go to bed for the night idling away on the couch, you can make more efficient use of that time by doing some holiday shopping.
- Plan ahead. Whether shopping for holiday gifts, taking the family to buy a Christmas tree or organizing a holiday dinner with friends, the more you can plan ahead of the holiday season the less time you will waste once the season hits full swing. For example, when choosing a weekend to go Christmas tree shopping, inform others a few weeks in advance and let them know you want to go early to avoid crowds. This saves you time and might just help you land one of the best trees on the lot.The same principle of planning can be applied to other aspects of the holiday season as well. Planning a meal early allows you to gradually stock up on menu items, saving you the hassle of rushing to the store at the last minute or planning a menu in the days before the party when you will already have enough on your plate.
- Don’t shy away from shortcuts when hosting holiday dinners. Hosting a holiday dinner is a big undertaking, one that often finds hosts spending a significant amount of time in the kitchen. But hosts can save time by taking some shortcuts regarding the menu. For instance, when hosting an especially large meal, don’t be afraid to buy some pre-made side dishes from a local grocery store or buy a bakery cake rather than whipping up your own homemade dessert. Guests will understand if you cut some corners in an effort to save some time, and the food will likely be just as delicious.
- Stay home. Travel is a big commitment come the holiday season, but what about staying home this season? If the time commitment of traveling is something you truly want to avoid this year, invite some friends and family over to your home instead. You might be more busy on the day of the holiday, but you will save yourself the travel days you usually build into the holiday season. Parents of young children might prefer to stay home so they can create their own unique holiday memories, while those without children might just appreciate some peace and quiet during this hectic time of year.
Staying home for the holidays can save families a significant amount of time during this busy time of year.