I’ve been drained the past few days, going from state to state, house to house, entertaining kids, catching up with old friends. As much as I love the holidays, I’m also glad when it’s over because now I can relax and focus on me. But now that it’s a New year, how do I focus on a new me? Are my bad habits and old ways really gone? Maybe not right away, but they can be if I start off simple and start with organizing!
I have plenty of goals for this new year and maybe you do to. Maybe you want to find a new job or be promoted at your current employer. Perhaps you want to lose weight, kick a bad habit, or learn a new instrument, skill or language. And if you’re feeling daring, maybe this is the year you finally surf, skydive or ski. Okay, I’m not THAT daring, but I might try indoor sky diving this year!
There are so many new and exciting things you can do this year, but you can’t tackle any of these lofty goals until you figure out a way to organize your day-to-day life. As daunting as that task may seem, even the smallest organizational changes can have a big impact, so start applying the five tips below and you’ll be on the airplane, surfboard or skis before you know it … or in my case, simply enjoying life as it is without all those death-defying stunts.
* Start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t conquer your organizational problems in one either. In fact, trying to tackle all your organizational problems at once will make the task seem more daunting and dissuade you from doing important work. Instead, start with a manageable task, be it cleaning a room, setting a budget or establishing a workout routine, then work from there. Thinking back to these early victories will give you the motivation you need to tackle those more difficult issues. To start off simple, I recommend the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
* Prioritize your News Feed. You visit social media to connect with others and stay up to date about the world around you. So instituting a little time-saving organization will make your time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. even more meaningful. Visit your News Feed preferences to prioritize the people and things you care about most with the See First option. You can also choose to unfollow people or pages you don’t want to hear from right now, and they’ll never know you did so. It’s an easy way to bring some order to your digital life.
* Dedicate 15 minutes a day to organization. Maybe it’s 15 minutes before you go to bed or it’s a quick break from another task, but you’ll be surprised how even these few minutes can support your overall organization goals. Sort the mail, clean a room or start the first in a series of sessions to see what’s in the back of your cupboards. These sessions will help you keep organized and accomplish tasks you would have never thought of otherwise.
* Shop smart. Sometimes wandering around a store can be fun, but if you’re looking to bring a little order to your shopping, start by liking your favorite publications and stores on social media or from store apps. This way you’ll get the news from the sources you value most and you’ll never miss an event or sale because it slipped past you. Impulse shopping is the first way to get yourself into debt, so making a shopping list prior to going can help you organize what you plan to get, how much you plan to spend, and make the most of your valuable time.
* Use only one calendar. You’ve heard advice before that you’ll be more organized if you put things on your calendar. So you do, on all them, and the result is you’re more lost than ever. Cataloging information on a calendar is great so long as the calendar isn’t one of many. Consolidate your calendars to one master document and you’ll never have to worry about writing that important date in the wrong place. I use Google Calendar to sync with all my mobile devices and all the family devices as well. Whatever I update is “automagically” updated on my husband’s schedule and my kids schedule as well. Not sure how to use Google Calendar? Start here.
Improving your organizational skills is a great habit to start in 2017, and there’s no time like the present. Let these five tips be your starting place and introduce the world to a new, more organized you in the weeks and months ahead.