I recognize that many of you may just be getting back to the office after an extended Holiday. I hope the past few weeks have provided you fun and memorable experiences.
Whenever I see lists of the year’s top New Year’s Resolutions, I often see the phrase “Get Organized.” So it’s probably no surprise that January is National Get Organized Month.
Many people hit January hard, with all the gusto they’ve got in order to make drastic changes to their homes and their personal and professional lives. My warning is to take things slowly otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Here’s my equation for being successful in reaching your New Year’s goals:
Slow + Steady = Long Term Success
So you want to have less clutter on your desk at work? Start out by doing 2 things. Get rid of old and outdated papers sitting on your desk. This might mean using the garbage can, recycle bin or creating files for items that must be saved. Next, take a look at the amount of office supplies you have in and around your desk. In reality, only a few are actually needed. Only keep a few pens/markers, rubber bands, paper clips, 1-2 pads of sticky notes, etc. Limit the amount of personal items such as photos and children’s artwork as well. The phrase “Less is more” really applies to what sits on your desk.
Need help with your email Inbox? Start out by creating Email File Folders for those old emails, including a file folder for January-November of 2013. (See image.) Drag your emails into the appropriate folders, leaving December 2013 and January 2014 emails in your current Inbox. Next, devote 15 minutes each day to sorting through the oldest emails sitting in your Inbox. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin making decisions. Once your Inbox is manageable, use those daily 15 minutes to tackle older email stored in other file folders.
Tired of the never-ending To Do List? Use what I call the Magic Six List when creating a To Do list of things to tackle each day. Whether it’s a writing assignment, budget report or a batch of phone calls, choosing up to six items to work on is more manageable than looking at a master list of dozens of items that eventually need your attention. Being realistic in what you can get done in a day will help you focus on the task at hand as well as feel great at the end of the day.