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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! newsletters to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.