Plan for Less holiday stress + Feel Confident about making progress towards your degree
It’s the time of year that most of us start to feel a little stressed, frazzled, and overwhelming. There is never enough time or money to do everything that we want. With the holidays arriving soon, it is time to start considering your holiday budgets and this year, I suggest you work on a new type of budget for the holidays—a study budget for your time. (I write more about time as an asset you can budget on TimeManagementNinja.com)
Assess your Spending
Before you can set a budget of any type, you need to do a full assessment of your current and future spending. Just like with money, we can do this with time commitments. Grab a piece of paper and last year’s calendar if it’s available. Make a list of the time commitments from last year. This may include:
- work parties
- family events
- get-togethers with friends
- school programs with your kids
- volunteer work
- anything else you spend time on at the holidays
Now, look over your list and ask yourself what the value of each item is. Is it valuable enough to spend your time on this year? It can be a hard thing to consider because many of our holiday activities are ingrained in our lives and we are emotionally tied to them. We feel guilty thinking about skipping one.
I get that, but it’s all in how you look at things.
A great exercise is to imagine yourself in 5 years looking back on this holiday season. Would future you remember the event? Will you want to spend your time on these events 5 years from now?
Looking at the whole list, consider how much of your time is budgeted to study. Is it enough to help you reach your college goals? How does future you feel about earning a college degree?
Create Your Study Budget
Hopefully, by now you are starting to prioritize and are ready to set a budget for your time. I recommend you first plan to work on your studies and set your study budget first (shocker, right?). I feel confident future YOU with his or her college degree will look back on this holiday season proud to have made progress in courses and to have earned a degree.
You knew that was coming, right? 🙂
Then start to prioritize the other items and make a list ahead of time. You may be able to easily identify some things that won’t make the final budget and you will skip this year. You can always re-evaluate next year and decide to return to the activity if it makes sense for your life then. It is OK to say goodbye for this year so you can value and prioritize other things.
There may be other activities you aren’t ready to say goodbye to or feel you aren’t able to let go of. Go ahead and make a list in order of priority and hang on to it. When you get closer to the holidays and start to see your calendar filling up you can look at your list again and use it to remind you how to make decisions about budgeting your time.
If you need some help planning things out, start with this free Study Planner. It helps balance all of the things you need to do, including study time! And remember there are ways you can approach what you work on today to create free time for tomorrow.
Try It Yourself: 30-minute Challenge
- Follow the steps above to assess your spending.
- Continue to work on creating a budget for this year
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