Only during tax season do we feel disorganized equal intensity as the beginning of Fall, just before the holidays. Why? Because faced with deadlines we can't control, change or move, we feel even more stress as workloads increase and the pressure to fulfill social and family obligations grows to sometimes unbearable levels.

So just when is the best time to "start getting organized?" Actually, that's the wrong question. The question really is, when is a good time to learn how to effectively and easily manage life. The answer? Well, when the water's up to your lips you can either learn to swim or drown lamenting not having taken lessons. In other words, most often the very best times to learn something is when you actually need it. In fact, studies show that need actually speeds up the learning process! So now. Now is always the best time. The seven keys to happy holidays are simple. All you need to learn is that:

You Want the Freedom to Enjoy the Holidays
Planning and strategizing for home and work tasks allows you to reach the holidays having done more of what you need and want to do, so you can really relax and enjoy the season.

You Want to Release the Stress of Disorganization
Disorganization generates high levels of stress both visually, mentally and emotionally. That's a lot of energy to waste! Stress, in turns, affects your ability to concentrate and think effectively by reducing blood flow to the decision-making part of the brain. Stress also depresses the immune system, the digestive system and increases blood pressure making it even harder for you to think. Learning to eliminate stresses that are time-based helps you to be more productive at work and at home, to be healthier, and thus to reach the holidays themselves with less stress.

Practicing good time management skills can actually give you back as much as a week of extra time
On average you waste between one and two hours a day to disorganization and poor time management skills, or a full week over the holiday season. Being organized is an easy way to reclaim that time.

Becoming skilled in organizing is not only easy it results in a relaxed end of year and readiness for the new year
A result of your practicing simple organizing skills for this holiday season, everything will begin to start getting done on time, or even early, and your holidays will start to become a time of relaxation, even vacation. This in turn gives the focus and availability to fully focus on the new year and get started effectively.

If you want to be respected at work, being organized will get you there faster and easier than any other method.
Organized people tend to get more respect and admiration at work during the holiday season, because they are the calm in the middle of the end-of-year storm, poised, on time, ready for everything. Since annual reviews are usually done early the following year, this calm, organized attitude has been known to result in promotions. Your efforts in becoming organized and managing your resources at home will both show and flow over to your work too.

Saving money is not just easy, it's a natural result of being organized
As you become more organized throughout the holiday season, you'll find the financial rewards could be some of the most exciting! Being organized saves you money because the risks of buying duplicates, having to rush and grab a gift for more than expected, or being tempted by all the offers and activity in stores into spending much more than intended, is greatly reduced, and easily adds up to hundreds of dollars saved per person each year.

Knowing how to plan for the holidays will become knowing how to plan for everything
The skills you learn getting organized this holiday season easily transfer in any other area of your personal or professional life. Everyday life as well as special events, unique work projects and even those occasional crisis will become more manageable and less stressful.

And the bonus reason: Learning to get organized and manage your time this holiday season will pay off residual benefits forever
Once your plan is set for the holidays, the decorations are organized, an end-of-year schedule is created, keeping it in a binder means that the full planning will already be done for the next year, and the year after that, leaving time to refine, create, invent more things – or not.

Ready to get your life and environment organized this holiday season? Not sure how to do it? Do a quick search for terms such as "holiday survival", "avoid end of year stress" and "organizing for the holidays" to find resources that will help you acquire those skills.

Author's Bio: 

Karin Stewart Ph.D. is a peaceful productivity expert and author of the popular Holiday Survival to Holiday Delight (, an eGuide that walks you through a peaceful and relaxed holiday season. She works with clients who want to bring calm into their busy lives, be truly productive and achieve the results they really want. To learn how to become a peacefully productive Daily Master and get your f*r*e*e Time Management Guide, go to