By Phil D'Amico, Director of Business Development
I know this time of year goes by faster than warp speed. I never understood that term, although, full disclosure: I am NOT a “Trekie”. I will however save you the math and simply say that “warp” speed is speed faster than the speed of light. So, basically, it’s fast... Once you hit Thanksgiving, you are already looking at January and the start of a new year.
I am always amused when I hear the phrase, “Take time to stop and smell the roses”. In a literal translation, how often, even if we did have time, would we truly stop and smell the roses? The concept in a non-literal sense, however, provides great clarity. When you really think about it, how often do we take any time out of our busy schedule to truly enjoy those many blessing we have in life? How often, throughout our busy schedules this time of year, do we get through the holiday season only to say, I wish I had…
The concept of “TIME” during the holiday season is a most fascinating phenomenon. Think about the speed concept for a holiday season. While price we pay for a product still remains the number one factor among consumers this time of year on making a purchasing decision, a very close second to price is that of SPEED:
- How long does it take us to find a parking spot at our selected mall for holiday shopping?
- How long will the checkout line be once I am at the store? I have even heard of long lines just to get into specific stores.
- Throw in younger children and we ask, how long until we eat or leave?
- Even if we shop on-line, we want to know how long until the package gets to my destination?
- Then of course my favorite all time question this time of year, how long until we get to open the presents under the tree? Anticipation has no age limits. I am not sure about you, but I still get as excited today for that last part as I did when I was 8 years old.
Over 80% of all consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product if they could guarantee it be in their possession by a specific date they have in mind. Also, to note, that the ease of time, the speed of receiving a product, has led to more on-line shopping. The ease and speed of buying on-line led to over $9 BILLION in Cyber Monday retail sales, with many retailers offing free shipping. The in store Black Friday numbers continue to flat line or drop, with this year coming in at just shy of $2 Billion.
Now you may be asking yourself, what my point is in sharing all of this. It’s simple: with everyone looking for speedier services and more free time, I wonder what we are doing with our time this season, and how do we slow it down, even for a moment?
The ultimate gold standard of the holiday season is to create more time to really enjoy the important things: spending time with our family, friends and those that matter the most to us in our life. It is also a time for us to decompress, get some much-needed rest, and recharge the batteries for the track meet that begins in January.
Here are 5 tips for you that may help to create that precious time we seek and help you enjoy the many wonders of the holiday season:
- It's perfectly fine to not be perfect. We stress ourselves out and are our own worst enemies because we think everything must be amazingly perfect. Good enough is fine in many instances and areas of your planning; save the perfection for the time you will get to spend with the people you love the most.
- Ask for help. There are many people who would love nothing more than to help you out on the many tasks and time constraints you have; as a matter of fact engaging those people close to you will actually help you with spending quality time with the ones you love. Consider those things that will shave time off your schedule and utilize those willing to help you get the necessary tasks completed. We are all managers at our jobs, use those managerial skills when planning the holidays.
- Make a list and prioritize. Putting together a list and prioritizing such items will avoid the panic attack many of us get when we suddenly look at the calendar and it’s the 23rd of December and our house is about to be invaded by Cousin Eddy from the movie Christmas Vacation. Developing a must do list by certain dates, and then listing items not as important will take the stress and strain away of unmet expectations. Also coming up with a list takes out the threat of what am I forgetting.
- Take a breather. Who is the most important person during this busy time of year? No doubt, it is you. Adding private time to your schedule and making a priority of getting out once or twice a week to decompress and catch your proverbial breath is going to help you manage the stress level of the holidays. Don’t be afraid to sit down, grab a cup of your favorite holiday drink (coffee or spirits), and just reflect on something positive.
- Simply simplify. Don’t be afraid to say NO; again, YOU are the priority, not everyone else. You don’t have to go to every party or every function. Prioritize your schedule, adding the must do’s and eliminating those that will help free you up for the people and things that matter most. Don’t commit to those things that you know up front will be almost impossible to attend, as those add stress and discomfort, as well as take away the holiday joy. Simplify your schedule, appointments and tasks.
Former college basketball coaching great Jim Valvano (Jimmy V.), right before his way too early, untimely passing, gave a speech in which he said that we should all do three things everyday of our lives:
- Number one is LAUGH;
- Number two is THINK;
- And number 3 is CRY or move our emotions to tears.
The holiday season rush, stressed or not, is a perfect time for all three of those. The question for you is, can we make the TIME to do just that?
On behalf of all of us at Holladay Properties and Holladay Construction, we wish to extend to you and yours, a very blessed, safe and happy holiday season. May your holidays be everything you want them to be, and much more.