Monday, January 5, 2009

start off the new year right

There are lots of resolutions made on the 1st of the year including taking off some holiday pounds, eating better, being nicer to people and spending less. However, one of the most important resolutions (or goals as I like to call them) you can declare for yourself is to get organized in 2009. I guarantee that it will affect every area of your life. No matter what your goals are, organizing is at the center of all of those goals. If you don't apply organizing principles to the things you wish to do, your thoughts, ideas and results are going to be haphazard.

1. Remove the clutter: Whether it's in your bedroom, your basement, your email inbox or your mind, clutter takes up precious space that could be used for the important things.

2. Write it down: If it's just in your mind, it's floating around up there with everything else you have to think about. Write it down, make it concrete, and get it done.

3. Prioritize: Have three important things to complete in every day and do them in the order of importance. If you don't complete one of them, put it on your list for tomorrow.

4. Get help:
If you try to do it all yourself, you're going to get stressed, exhausted and frustrated. Delegate some responsibilities to others in your home or at work. If you live alone, hire help or ask for volunteer help from students or neighbors.

5. A little bit each day: No matter what it is you wish to do, if you just do a little bit each day to get you closer to your goal, you'll get there. Set your watch for 5 pm each day. If you haven't worked on your goal for at least 15 minutes by then, stop everything and work on it immediately.

6. Just say no: Respect your time. Most of us like volunteering, and that's a good thing. However, if you have too much going on, your goals will get pushed to the wayside. It's OK to say NO to some of those time requests--especially when they don't fit with your goals.

7. Streamline: Using a time log for a few weeks, determine what's taking up your time. Eliminate the time wasters.

8. Reward yourself: Yes, just getting something done may be a reward in itself, but why not add a cherry on top? Designate mini-rewards, like a 10-minute break to enjoy a cup of tea, for accomplishments like getting the medicine cabinet organized or clearing out your email inbox.

Get things done and have fun in 2009. May this New Year be your best yet!

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