Refresh for the New Year: Tips for Staying Organized
Now that the holidays are over and we’re not focused on entertaining and buying gifts, we can turn our attention to starting off the year organized. It’s never easy to do, but with winter weather keeping us inside, we can tick off a few tasks before spring arrives. Here are 6 tips for staying organized for the new year.
Act Now Beating out the habit of procrastination can put you on the fast track to organizing every facet of your life. This means completing tasks as they arise like doing dishes as you dirty them, putting away laundry as you fold it and putting the cap back on the toothpaste when you’re done with it. These are small tasks that are easy to tackle on their own, but when we let them pile up, it takes a lot more time and energy to get them all completed. We have the power of efficiency at our fingertips, we just have to use it.
Compartmentalize Everything in your home and office needs a spot of its own. Whether it’s gloves in a basket or files in a cabinet, find a place for everything you see scattered about your living and working spaces. When you have a place for things, it takes them out of site to declutter your space and mind. Though these things may not make sound disruptive, they can create mental noise that leads to stress. By putting them in their place, not only will you be more organized, you’ll also be more calm.
Use Your Computer It seems like a no-brainer, but using your computer can probably save you more time and energy than you’re letting it. Accept the electric company’s offer for paperless billing so your house doesn’t get cluttered with useless paper (and you have one less thing to shred!), use a password manager to save you time creating new ones and trying to remember old ones (and they increase your security!) and use calendar alerts for all the tasks you’ve been keeping track of in your head.
Create Procedures Most, if not all, of us have bedtime routines like washing our faces or brushing our teeth — these types of good habits can be applied to other parts of our lives to make us more organized and productive, we just have to isolate the activity and come up with a policy that makes sense to complete it. It can be anything from putting your shoes in the basket at the door to washing dishes as you dirty them. Starting good habits is tough, but once they become habits, you’ll discover the work is worth it.
Once You Start, Don’t Stop When you set out to complete a task, finish it before you start a new one. There are a couple reasons for this one: 1) having several unfinished tasks creates mental and physical clutter — when you complete one task you can put away everything it requires to complete 2) not only does multitasking make us less efficient, but it also damages our brains. When you have a lot on your plate, break up your tasks into digestible pieces and work out one piece at a time.
Timing is Everything Audit your time both at work and at home. Figure out what periods you’re most productive and then do your most difficult and time-consuming tasks at those times. It saves you a lot of time and frustration in the long run and you’ll ultimately be more relaxed and organized.
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