If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to remember key events better, then it’s time to start getting organised now. Even the most organised of us can be guilty of forgetting an important date – but when it becomes a regular thing, you know you need to do something about it soon!
Planning ahead is the key to remembering special events like birthdays and anniversaries. The big day always seems so far away until suddenly it isn’t. Don’t fool yourself into thinking time is of the essence because your partner’s birthday or your nephew’s graduation is months away. The days creep up on you and if you’re horrible with dates, you need a full-proof plan to put into action! Here’s a few tips to get you started.
1. Set Early Digital Reminders to Remember Important Dates
In this digital age we live in, almost all of us are glued to our mobile phones, laptops or computers. If you’re not using one, chances are you’re on the other. Use this to your advantage and set digital reminders at the start of every month for what gifts you need to organise for the following month. This gives you a good 4 weeks to get creative and find something special. Consider going a step further by adding a link in the reminder to your favourite gift or online hamper company to make life easier for you. Some places will even let you create customised gift hampers to tailor the gift to better suit the occasion or person to really show you’ve put thought into it.
Utilise online digital tools to help you remember key dates too. LinkedIn does a good job of letting you know professional milestones coming up within your network. You can also create a Google sheet to track birthdays, anniversaries and other special events or utilise online reminders and free aps to prompt you.
2. Keep a Visible List of Important Events
Not all of us are tech-savvy and sometimes a visual list can resonate better as a reminder. Invest in a good yearly calendar, personal planner or diary to write down key dates. Keep a running list of everyone’s special dates in a prominent place and update it regularly. It’s also worth writing down any gift ideas that pop up next to each person. Perhaps your friend mentioned their favourite new guilty snack that you could include in a hamper for their next birthday or you noticed your mum has started going to a new salon where a possible gift voucher could be on the cards for Mother’s Day. If your partner mentions a new gadget or tool they’re after, add all these ideas to your list so you have a few go-to items come their special day.
3. Shop for Presents All Year Round
Don’t stress yourself out by shopping for the perfect gift a few days before the special event. You may spot something that the recipient will like months in advance. If you do, get it – and keep a record of the gifts you’ve purchased for who. Just because you may be bad at remembering the dates of special occasions, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eyes peeled for ideas throughout the year!
Take advantage of after Christmas sales to get a good bargain on something your friend or family member might like for their birthday next year. End of Financial Year will see some good sales take place too. By shopping for presents all year round you’ll be able to feel much more prepared and save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Just make sure you keep the presents hidden somewhere safe!
4. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is essential to giving good gifts. At the start of the year when you’re using your online tools or diary to jot down everyone’s special date, write down as many ideas as you can think of for what to buy them too. It doesn’t always have to be something materialistic too remember, the gift of time and sharing an experience can be just as valuable and offer a unique spin on the regular gift giving.
By planning ahead as much as possible, you won’t only train your brain to help remember the special occasions but you’re more likely going to give a present that’s meaningful, rather than a superficial choice.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who recommends Just in Time Gourmet for the best choice of gifts, hampers and gourmet treats. With a diverse range of hampers and tasty food products, there is something to quench every appetite. You can catch her on Google+.
As we fast approach the end of November, now is the best time to start talking about Christmas. Planning early leads to more relaxation time and helps to lower those stress levels during the rush. So, why is it many of us always leave things to last minute? There’s nothing worse than organising Christmas shopping and holiday planning mid to late December. This year, we encourage everyone to start planning early to avoid the rush. Not to mention; the more celebrating time you’ll get to enjoy once everything’s done! Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Organise Presents Early Online
Most people like to avoid the shopping centres as much as possible come Christmas rush time – and with good reason too! The comfort of shopping in your own home, as well as the significant savings, makes online shopping the go to option for most consumers. Ordering Christmas gifts for friends, family and colleagues is convenient but getting in early is essential for delivery times and beating the Christmas rush.
Where possible, find one site to order all your online goodies. This way you’ll be able to schedule a delivery date in one go and save the hassle of extra shipping costs. Think Christmas hampers with tasty selections, gift boxes and other treats you can find for half the cost and hassle online!
Keep the Menu Simple
One of the best things about Christmas is the food. Let’s face it though, it’s very easy to go over the top with it. Keep the menu simple if you’re putting on Christmas at your house. Put food orders in as early as possible so you can trust it’ll be ready for the day. Bake and prepare any food as early as possible before Christmas day to prevent last minute stressing. Use recipes that are easy for you to make or if you’re trying something new, practice it well before the day.
The art of the festive season is planning and simplicity. If you have freezer room, buy food in advance and take advantage of storage space. Organising food and drinks doesn’t need to be complicated. Instead, make a list of what everyone wants and dietary requirements and tick off as you buy items. Don’t feel the need to take it all on yourself either – delegating other people to buy items off the list will make the day even more stress free.
Do a Pantry Stocktake
Use this time to go through the cupboards and do a pantry stocktake. Make sure you have the essential supplies to avoid needing to tackle the shops the day before Christmas or right afterwards. If the festive season is at yours it’s a good idea to check whether you have enough plates, serving tools and cutlery so there’s time to buy more or borrow from family and friends beforehand. Double checking this now will save some serious panic!
Book Christmas Parties
If you’re planning on dining out for Christmas or arranging work festive parties – you need to start booking now. It’s not uncommon for places to start booking out in November so it’s essential to get in early to avoid disappointment.
Be organised well in advance by making a list who’ll be attending and possible venues. You’ll need to ensure everyone agrees on a date and send out a reminder to put it the calendar. Drop expensive, high-stress rituals; instead stick with something simple everyone will enjoy.
Get Appointment Ready Now
It’s not unusual to put appointments to the bottom of the list when you’re planning everything. Book in any hair appointments in the lead up to the festive celebrations and make sure you and the family are on top of everything. This goes for doctor appointments for the kids before the rush and New Year, any check-ups that need to be secured early.
Streamline Your Holiday Planning
If you’re lucky enough to be heading away for the holiday season, make sure you take advantage of travel apps. It’s a busy season trying to squeeze in family visits, some ‘me’ time and relax. Not to mention all the coordinating you need to do with other people too. There’s heaps of travel planning apps that help take the stress out by simplifying your plans, creating itineraries or making to-do lists so nothing is forgotten. You can use custom Google Maps and simple spreadsheets to streamline your plans too.
Know When to Stop
The most important way to enjoy the Christmas period is to do just that – enjoy it. This means knowing when to stop and actually relax, and knowing when to ask other people for help in the process. The real meaning of Christmas is about spending time with family and friends and celebrating together. By keeping calm, planning early and focusing on the big picture; you’ll enjoy your time off much more.