Let’s face it. The holiday season is busy!

Life begins rolling at faster speeds around this time of year—and for some, it doesn’t slow down until well into the New Year. There are so many things to accomplish, tasks to do, dinners to host, presents to wrap—and seemingly not enough hours in the day!

But amid all of the hustle and bustle, and our desperation to cram things in, it’s easy to let certain priorities slide. This is unfortunate since often the things that are the first to go are the very ones that are vital to our health, well-being, and relationships.

This holiday season, instead of getting sucked into the chaos, and letting your to-do list dictate the course of your life for the next two months, why not take a different approach? Instead, try to make it your goal to lead an intentional life this season.

If you’d like to reign in the holidays and keep stress to a minimum, here’s a look at some tips for a smoother, more intentional season!

Prioritize the Most Important First

Wondering how you’re going to fit everything in this year? It’s all about prioritizing and starting with the most important tasks.

We love the analogy that Dr. Stephen Covey coined. Imagine that you have a jar along with some rocks, pebbles, and sand that you need to fill it with. What’s the best way to get everything in? To start, you’ll want to fill the jar with the big rocks first, and then let the pebbles and finally the sand fill in the remaining spaces. If you were to instead fill the jar with sand first, then you wouldn’t have room for the rocks and many of the pebbles.

When it comes to prioritizing in life, the same principles apply. You’ll want to fit in time for the most important things first: your personal needs, your family, your health, and so on. Next, you’ll want to fill in with pebbles—those things that matter to you but aren’t as pivotal. This could include things like hobbies or volunteer work—or any number of ways that we can use our time and energy. Finally, you can fill in last of all with the sand—things that, while important, might not align as closely with our overarching goals and priorities in life.

As the holiday season approaches, taking this approach can help you to maintain some balance and focus. Don’t forget to put the most important things in your ‘jar’ first before you add the rest. In other words, remember to prioritize and schedule these first and foremost.

This holiday season, don’t let the busyness of the season crowd out those things that are most important to you. Prioritize yourself, your relationships, and your tasks with meaning—and make sure you’re using your resources wisely. Schedule out the most important things for the week, and then pencil in other things that would be nice to do, if there’s time. Don’t pressure yourself to fit more than you reasonably can in, and don’t forget to give yourself some breathing room. Leave some white space in your planner—a buffer in between tasks.

The holiday season can be a stressful time, but with proper planning and giving yourself grace, you can manage your season and go about it with intention. It’s all about prioritizing and making sure the things that you love actually happen!


How do you keep your to-do lists from taking over during the holidays? Share in the comments below.