In the first days of January, I always hear people say how the last year flew by. There’s a sense of reflection, and sometimes regret, but then the conversation turns to optimism and the exciting possibilities for the coming year. For many, welcoming a new year means making a fresh start. That fresh start includes making resolutions to change anything we feel we could do better. What was your resolution? Did you resolve to get more organized this year?
According to Nielsen, getting organized was the sixth most popular New Year’s resolution for 2015 – beaten out of first place by the ever popular getting fit and losing weight, along with several other traditional favorites.
Getting organized is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to increasing productivity. And in my years as a productivity expert, I’ve found that organization and productivity go hand in hand. But we all know how quickly those well-intended New Year’s resolutions can be abandoned. So… in the spirit of helping those of you who chose getting organized as your resolution, here are a few simple suggestions to give you a strong start on your quest in 2016.[wpob id=”2″]
Keep Your Email Clean:
Nothing can destroy a productive streak faster than a cluttered inbox. How much time have you wasted searching for an email you received a week ago that contained important information you need for a meeting TODAY? You wonder, during your frantic search, if it’s buried in a sea of spam or if maybe (gasp) you accidentally deleted it. And how many emails build up over the course of a few days? Do you dread checking your inbox?
Reviewing your emails at least once a day will help. You can organize all your important emails into different folders so they’re easier to find. And when you review emails, make decisions immediately about the action you will take with each. Delete, forward, delegate, file, etc. right away so you’re always making progress and staying ahead of the overload.
Organize Your Office:
You’re entering a new year, wouldn’t it be great to start it off with a clean slate – or maybe I should say a clean space? You may find your productivity off to a rocky start if your office is consistently messy. However, cleaning your office as part of a New Year’s fresh start allows you to move forward feeling as if you’ve hit the reset button and are open to improving your productivity.
There are lots of great office accessories that can help you clear that desk and have a place for everything. Staples, Office Max/Office Depot and many other places offer these products. Get creative, let your personality show and have some fun with it, but go ahead and splurge on those pieces that will keep what you need on hand, while neatly storing the rest.
Also, I have some great resources for what paperwork to keep and what should be tossed, filed or scanned.
Make a Detailed Schedule:
One of the biggest setbacks to productivity is being easily distracted, which keeps you from staying on task. The number one way to guard against distraction is to make a detailed schedule for the day. This will prevent you from aimlessly shifting between activities or trying to decide what you need to do next.
The schedule will give you a clear-cut plan of action. The best part is, if for whatever reason the schedule doesn’t suit you or something comes up that needs your immediate attention, it’s yours to play around with. But at least start with a schedule to get you focused on what needs to be accomplished each day.
The New Year can be seen as a point of starting fresh. However, to achieve success in making your resolution to get organized last, you need to have a plan. I have many more tips and strategies to help you manage your workload and your time, get organized, and stay focused so that, next year at this time, you’ll look back and be amazed by the positive changes you’ve made. Feel free to call me at 314.267.3969 or email me at Cathy@TheProductivityExoerts.com. I’d be happy to help!
Happy New Year… and may 2016 be your best, most productive year yet!