gift exchange header
Marcie Hopkins, U of U Health.
Holiday Procrastination is Not Your Friend
Believe it or not, the holidays have arrived. But have no fear, Senior Value Engineer Cindy Spangler is here with three steps you can take to carve out time now and avoid the woes of the holiday rush.

he holidays and gift exchange season are fast approaching. And like most years, procrastination is not your friend. Every year I tell myself I’m going to start my holiday shopping and shipping sooner than mid-December. Some years prove more successful than others. 

As ecommerce increases, the likelihood that my delivery will be delayed increases. According to Adobe Analytics, online sales increased 7.8% compared to last year. This is straining an already strained merchant supply chain.

What does that mean for a consumer such as me? It means I need to prioritize my gift ordering now or face significantly higher shipping costs for everything arrive to on time for the holidays. It’s not always easy to reprioritize upcoming tasks with the current workload and unforeseen fires to address. However, I know that with my continued procrastination, the future problem will grow. Longer lines, longer shipping times, and possible delays or errors with purchases.

Here are three steps to carve out time now to avoid the woes of the holiday rush:

1. Assess my current projects and obligations to determine what can be intentionally delayed

DO: Evaluate current tasks not yet addressed. Reprioritize those tasks that a later completion date does not significantly impact the outcome or amount of energy needed to address them. Examples include putting up my Christmas Lights, decorating my tree, or cleaning my house.

RESULT: Delaying these tasks frees up time to address projects that will increase in difficulty if I delay them.

2. Prioritize and plan the shopping and shipping project

DO: Prioritize time to plan this project that will save me time and energy in the long run.

RESULT: By organizing the “who,” “what gift” and “where” for each order, I can leverage curbside pickup and plan for deliveries.

BONUS: It will also help me highlight items that will take a longer completion time and I can focus my efforts on those sooner rather than later.

3. Reassess my task and project load each day

DO: Look at my current tasks and potential upcoming challenges.

RESULT: I can target my limited time resources to the appropriate issues and keep my high-priority items on task. 

By taking these steps, I can prevent a time-sensitive task from becoming a major time and financial burden. Also, I can save some time and money, while I enjoy meeting the quality expectations of holiday gift giving.


Cindy Spangler

Quality Manager, Global Surgery, University of Utah Health

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