The Black Friday Battle Plan You Need To Survive

It's the day you've spent weeks preparing for, and now, Black Friday is finally here (oh wait, did you think I was talking about Thanksgiving?). You've scoured the doorbuster deals ahead of time (and you better believe there's a discounted iPad 2 with your name on it), you've made a list of all the people you have to buy for this year, and you've mentally and emotionally prepped yourself for the chaos you're about to experience. You've practiced setting your alarm at the crack of dawn every morning, you've given yourself daily affirmative pep talks in the mirror, and now? All that's left to do is brush up on your Black Friday battle plan — which is where this infographic by Lucidworks comes in handy. Look, this is crunch time. You wouldn't head into a big exam without frantically going over your notes one last time, right? And for this ultimate test of shopping stamina and strength, you're going to need all the extra help you can get.

Created by a company that specializes in visually representing data in a way that's informational and easy on the eyes, this chart is your last minute cheat sheet for winning Black Friday. While some of the advice is a little silly — I wouldn't suggest deploying overcooked ham smoke to fend off other shoppers, but that's just me — some of the takeaways are actually pretty informative. For instance, apparently it's best to go shopping after 10 a.m. to avoid the worst of the Black Friday crowds, since most shoppers intend to hit the stores between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Who knew?

There are also a few statistics that are just downright terrifying — did you know there have been seven Black Friday-related deaths between 2006 and 2013? Or that California is the state with the most incidents of Black Friday injuries? And before you even think about stepping foot in a single store, it's important to know exactly what it is you're up against: This year, 66 percent of consumers say they intend to shop on Black Friday, up from 42 percent in 2008. So yes. It's going to be a madhouse.

Lucidworks puts it best: "Conquering the greatest deals is no laughing matter; it's an art form in which many survive and few will thrive, and sometimes it's quite literally a matter of life or death." So without further ado, here's your ultimate Black Friday battle plan. May the odds be ever in your favor. Er, I mean happy shopping.

Visit our Black Friday Explore page for more on shopping’s biggest day of the year.

Images: Lucidworks; Giphy