5 stress-free Christmas shopping tips to save you time and money

Christmas shopping is well underway but if you are still gearing yourself up to embark on a high street marathon this weekend, arm yourself with a simple 5-step, scientifically proven plan to ensure a stress-free success.

DISCOVER: 10 ways to save money on kids' presents this Christmas

The main difficulties afflicting struggling shoppers at this time of year are financial stress, cognitive overload and a lack of planning - we can relate! But after working with a team of behavioural scientists, TK Maxx has come up with a list of brilliant tips to help shoppers nail their Christmas shopping and avoid any unnecessary worries.

WATCH: Dr Ellie Cannon gives her tips on how to stay healthy this winter

Keep scrolling to discover how to make your next trip to the shops a more productive and relaxing experience.

SEE: 23 Christmas things to do in London: Ice skating, carol concerts & more


The Festive Five

1. Get Personal

The perfect present is a more personal gift.

A Behavioural Science principle called the "Labour Illusion" suggests we value really unique personal gifts more, as we perceive more effort has gone into them.

2. Work out Who's Who

Create groups or categories for those you need to buy gifts for.

Give your brain a break by creating groups and categories. This term is called "Chunking" and it is a behavioural thinking strategy that gives your brain a rest by compartmentalising.

For instance, you could work out who your fashionistas are from your budding chefs on your list of recipients, or organise by budget - for maximum efficiency.

MORE: 15 wellness trends to try in 2022 that will help manage your anxiety

3. Get a Game Plan

Make a plan and stick to it.

Checklists really are a brilliant idea! The behavioural science principle of "Implementation Intentions" says that we are much more likely to follow through on our goals if we make a simple plan of how we will carry them out.

lone woman smiling serenely at the christmas lights above
lone woman smiling serenely at the christmas lights above

Achieve the 'Goal Gradient Effect'

Ticking things off a checklist as we go also leverages the "Goal Gradient Effect" which shows that the closer we think we are to completing a goal, the more we try to achieve it.

4. Enhance Your Focus

Get yourself a shopping playlist because music matters.

Studies show that classical music has been shown to increase focus and concentration, whilst upbeat music can help with feeling positive and motivated. This practice can also be applied to completing household chores and undertaking the Christmas dinner

READ: Queen Elizabeth II's delicious guilty pleasure finally revealed

5. Go On… Treat Yourself

Raise a glass – or mug to your hard work.

Whether it’s a cup of tea and cake or a glass of wine with cheese, psychological research has shown that motivation increases significantly when we reward ourselves immediately after the completion of a task.

Where to next? TK Maxx offers everything that you need under one roof, from clothing to homeware, beauty products and gifts for foodies. Find your nearest treasure trove at www.tkmaxx.com

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