With Christmas just around the corner, many people begin the mad rush to send out all the Christmas cards they resolved to send out on time last year. No matter what the retail stores choose to call the season, many people purchase stacks of holiday cards with the intention of sending them all out. Unfortunately, many of them end up in a box and collect dust until they’re pondered next year. This often happens because in the chaos of the season it’s difficult for many to master such a task because they don’t have a system that applies basic time management skills to getting their cards out on time. Here are some tips for breaking this process down and to let friends and family know you’re thinking of them before this Christmas is over, courtesy of [http://www.the-time-mamagement-guy.com]. 1. Decide your priorities. Is it really a priority for you to send out Christmas and holiday cards this year? If it is, then make that affirmation. This is one of the most important steps for setting any goal. Now that you know this is a priority for you, take action. 2. Make a list. It may sound cliché but without a list, how do you know who you’ve left off of it? Make your list on a large sheet of paper. Write down the names of all the people to whom you wish to send cards. Using small sticky notes or index cards are not effective because you simply don’t have enough room to be creative and to get your ideas down on paper. 3. Use color to break down the list. Somewhere on your list, use a few colored markers, pencils or crayons and make a little key to help you break it down. If there are people on the list that are top priority, use red as the priority color and make a check mark beside those names. If you have cards for Hanukkah to send out, you could use blue and make a check beside those names. There may be some who should get an extra special card. Assign them a unique color as well. Don’t make any more categories than absolutely necessary but make enough to help you break down the task. 4. Make one shopping trip. Now that you have your list, go out and buy the cards. Don’t forget to buy stamps while you’re out. If you purchased some oversized cards be sure to get extra postage. If you’re not sure if the card is going to need extra postage, take it into the post office with you and have it weighed. If you’re planning on adding anything extra into the envelope make sure you know what the combined weight is so you don’t end up with cards returned by the Post Office. 5. Make the card the backdrop for your greeting. It’s not necessary to buy the fanciest cards for everyone. Purchase cards that reflect your personal style and your message for the season, but make what you write in the card your personal greeting. You’ll save time by purchasing boxes of cards instead of an individual card for each person. 6. Get help. Solicit or conscript the help of family. Younger children can take completed cards and apply a return address label and the stamp. Older children can help address the envelopes and even look up the addresses in your contact manager. Play some music. Have a plate of cookies. Help turn the task into a fun event. Mailing out cards should be something fun every year. By breaking the task down into small chunks it’s easy to do and easy to get done on time. This is the essence of effective time management and can help you have a very Merry Christmas.