The holiday season is a time reserved for family. However, responsibilities don’t all disappear during this time, and you might not want to spend all month with your in-laws. Scheduling your time can help you find the perfect balance.

Whether it’s Christmastime, Thanksgiving, or even a family Easter gathering, you can make the best use of your time back at home with your online calendar. Here’s what to schedule to maximize your return home for the holidays:

Start With Family Commitments

Before you fill out the rest of your online calendar, mark down any family commitments you have. Of course, planned dinners, movie nights, and other family activities should take precedence. This is why you’re traveling home in the first place, after all, so it should be the bulk of your online calendar for the duration of the trip.

Once your online calendar is filled with family events, you can fill in the cracks with anything else that needs attention. However, it’ll be much more challenging to find the time you need to tend to personal responsibilities without scheduling things out.

Other family commitments may include getting Christmas presents for everyone or bringing a meal to a family potluck. Use your online calendar to make time for these commitments, whether it’s a reminder to go shopping or planning a cooking schedule for holiday dinner.

Get Travel Plans in Order

Will you need to make a long trek to visit family? The better you plan your travel itinerary, the less holiday stress you have to endure. Start by scheduling times to pack, so you don’t forget anything in the last-minute rush.

If you plan on flying, schedule your departure time to get to the airport on time, and note arrival times if the family will be picking you up. If you opt to drive, schedule your own departure time that works best for everyone. Whichever option you choose, be sure to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In some scenarios, you might end up staying in a hotel rather than with a family member. If this is the case, you can add check-in times to your online calendar to work around the rest of your schedule. Be sure to take note of any breakfast served!

Make Time for Work

At least for this holiday season, you might have to take work home with you. This is because so many employees who moved to remote work due to COVID-19 were offered a lot of flexibility — but also the likelihood that you’ll have a few projects to tackle over the extended break. So be sure to add time during your trip to complete these projects before returning home.

If your trip home includes time off, straighten out your work schedule before and after the days of your trip. Many people want time off during the holidays, so the sooner you can request your days off, the better. You can even pick up some shifts before and after your trip to help out your fellow employees.

Here’s a pro tip for your online calendar; plan out the week of your return before you even leave for your trip. This way, meetings, and deadlines are all straightened out for you right when you get home. You won’t have to fuss over any details during or after your trip if they’re already squared away.

Straighten Out Duties at Home

Just because you’re on a trip doesn’t mean that responsibilities get waived at home. Got some pets at home? Some plants that need to be watered?  Make sure everything is cared for even while you’re away, even if that requires some extra help.

You can hire a pet sitter or a housesitter while you’re gone. But, if you do, sync up an online calendar with them to know precisely what needs to be done at what times. Then, with proper communication, you’ll come home with everything looking like you never left.

Keeping your home safe while you’re away should also be a high priority. You can ask a neighbor to pick up scheduled mail and packages and to keep an eye out on your property while you’re away, allowing you to have some peace of mind.

Stick With Your Routine

You should have a good routine going that keeps your life in order from sun up to sundown. If you aren’t already, use your online calendar to help you stick with it every day. Your online calendar will really come in handy when sticking to a routine on the road.

If you maintain your routine throughout your trip, you’ll more easily adjust when you return home. Of course, some aspects of your routine might need some adjustments, like substituting your morning workouts for evening pickleball tournaments with the family. However, you should try to maintain as closely as possible, like a healthy sleep schedule built for maximum productivity.

Give Yourself Time to Recover

A long trip with the family can be exhausting. So before you make a return to reality, schedule some time to recover. Some good old-fashioned “me time” will do the trick.

When planning your trip, add a day or two to the end of it just to relax and get your affairs in order. Heading right back to work after a long trip can make you feel exhausted, stressed, and even depressed. Take care of yourself before getting back to business.

More than anything, do your best to have fun when visiting family, regardless of the occasion. Your online calendar will help you take advantage of every moment, leaving no time block left behind.

Image Credit: Nicole Michalou Pexels; Thank you!