Finding time to live each moment to its fullest is a core goal and fundamental value of the Heart-Based Time Management™ System. Preparing and planning ahead is one of the best ways to create the climate for living your moments fully. Doing the groundwork ahead of time means that you'll find more time to relax, open your heart, and enjoy friends and family throughout this special season.

Here are 3 Tips to think about when planning ahead for the holidays – or really for anything:

1. One rule of thumb for holiday preparation is the "Times Three Rule." You may have heard me talk about the "Times Two Rule" in other articles or in teleclasses … or on my blog The Time Finder. The “Times Two Rule” states that everything you set out to do will take twice as long as you anticipate. So, when you are planning, you need to allot twice the time you think is needed.

• My advice to you is that, in the very busy time from October to January, you try changing this to the "Times Three Rule." As multiple holidays come and go during the period between Halloween and New Year’s, you can count on everything taking three times longer than you think it will.

• This ensures that you have the time you need to complete these tasks without feeling stressed and overwhelmed by them. And really, if you think about it, don’t you want the holiday preparation to have the same spirit that you bring to the holiday itself? The more you are in sync with the spirit, each step along the way, the better you’ll feel. Giving yourself enough time is key to making this happen.

2. You might even consider doing less this year. Try giving yourself permission to do that. Simplifying your schedule can provide essential breathing room, safeguard your health, and open you up to possibilities you may not have imagined! When it comes to simplifying, making a proactive choice, as opposed to defaulting on plans at the last minute, helps you avoid disappointment and frustration.

3. Start mapping the season as soon as you can. It helps to chart tasks and events on a calendar that displays the full month at a glance. This will help you see your timeline.

• Notice important details like the date of a holiday (if it varies) and the specific days of the week on which they occur.

• Be sure to include others’ events and activities that need to be taken into account. For example, elementary school, high school, and college vacation schedules can vary widely. It’s really helpful to mark items like these vacation days on your holiday planning schedule.

• Most importantly, schedule time for the preparations that are key to your holiday celebration. If you decorate your home for a specific holiday, be sure to set aside the time that you will need to complete your decorations. Will others be involved? If so, you’ll need to plan a time that they are available, too. Then remember, whatever time you allot, multiply it by three.

• Apply this time-specific and date-specific approach to all the activities you need to complete. Examples might include holiday food-shopping, food preparation, purchasing gifts, wrapping gifts, and being sure all holiday messages go out in time.

By keeping the Times Three Rule in mind, giving yourself permission to simplify, and setting up your holiday activity calendar, you enable yourself to find time for the things that are most important to you. What a gift to YOU – for the holidays and beyond!

So, are you ready to celebrate the precious times of your life with far less stress? Here’s one idea for taking your next step. Sign up for our free gift, "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" at

This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Eder, PhD, the Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.

Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.

To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.