Tips for a Stress-Less Holiday

North Carolina time-management expert Molly Gold knows just how stressful the holidays can be. Here, she shares her tips for getting organized this season while having fun.
Erin Shaw Street

Molly Gold was the kind of kid who color-coded her calendar in junior high. Her organization prowess paid off in school and her work as a corporate event planner. Then came a major life change: Her first child was born, and she discovered that her old calendars no longer helped her organize her time.

So in 2000, this Apex, North Carolina, resident launched GoMom Inc., a business devoted to helping women of all ages and life stages control their schedules. Nine years later, Molly still works with women to help them find solutions to their time-management challenges. She’s created calendars, a Web site filled with organizational advice, and online classes. With so much information out there now about how to get organized, Molly says even she feels overwhelmed. “If you spend all your time organizing your life, you can miss the joys of experiencing life,” she says.

We talked with her about her approach to staying balanced, solutions for busy Southern women, and how to find more happiness and fewer “to-dos” this holiday season.

Q: What drew you to become a time-management expert?
A: Growing up I was involved in a ton of activities. I loved the anticipation of events and learned to budget my time and keep track of details. I realized I had a knack for juggling many things at once, so after college I became an event planner. But when I had a baby, everything changed.

Q: What happened?
A: I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but the physical and mental work of caring for a child was different than anything I’d experienced. As efficient as I was in the business world I thought, “Surely I should be able to figure out how to run a house and take care of a child.” That’s when I came up with the idea of creating a business to help women better manage their time.

Q: What’s your organizational philosophy?
A: There’s no “best” way to approach organization and time management. I suggest women make a list of the things they do well and play on those strengths. It’s important to create systems that work for you, which is different for each of us.

Q: Do Southern women face additional pressures when it comes to having a well-run home?
A: Before the moving truck arrived at my new house, there was already a Junior League cookbook and seasoned skillet waiting on the doorstep. While it was such a kind gesture, it also gave me some anxiety. I believe that Southern women have this ideal they’re striving for and it can be challenging if we don’t meet certain expectations. But, at the end of the day, the measure of a woman isn’t how much you have crossed off your “to-do” list. It’s what kind of a friend, sister, and woman you are.

Q: The holidays bring an extra level of stress. What is your advice for keeping calm?
A:
One trap we fall into around the holidays is creating memorable moments but not living them. My family knows what’s meaningful to us, and we choose to focus on those things. If it means we don’t attend every party, that’s okay.

 
For more information about GoMom, visit gomominc.com.