Now that the Christmas rush is over and the decorations have been put away, it’s time to get organized. January and February are often the quiet months but that doesn’t mean it can’t be productive.
The New Year is the time we look forward and the time we look back, so it helps to start the year off on the right note. We assess what’s working and what needs improvement and it’s also the time to clean up, organize files and get the ball rolling. This organization can set the right tone the whole year long.
But where to begin?
Start small then build as you go along so you can get more done. Even if you spend 30 minutes a day on this, it will help.
Here’s how to start:
Create stronger passwords
When you refresh your passwords not only are adding security, you are also giving yourself peace of mind. However, according to Wired Magazine, recent research suggests when we are asked to change our passwords too often we stop putting effort into it. So instead of reinventing the whole thing that you have been accustomed to using, why not make a new year’s habit of making your password stronger. If you have a strong password that utilizes numbers, symbols, and capital and lower case letters you are already playing with a safe deck. After that, it’s easier to tweak it without reinventing something completely new resulting in you forgetting what you’re working with.
Delete apps you’re not using
We are app crazy, it’s true. All those latest greatest apps take up room on your phone, Ipad, and your computer. Ask yourself this: have you used these apps at all in the last 6 months? Do you plan to? How much space are they taking up? Not all apps are useful and not all apps are well designed and some are not updated that often creating glitches and performance issues. Read up on the top apps and how to use them if you are not ready to hit that delete button just yet, but all the others? <Delete>!
Clean out your mailbox
New Year’s cleaning feels good, am I right? Your inbox is screaming for you to delete everything. We know emails can pile up faster than laundry – so make sure all the junk, spam and newsletters you have read and/or don’t want to read make it to the trash can.
Set up a posting schedule
Pre-planning and scheduling posts is a handy social media hack to help you stay active online without wasting too much time. Social media has a funny way of sucking us in but if we go in with a set schedule to create a monthly newsletter, a blog article and social media posts on Twitter and Facebook we can easily stay on track.
Unsubscribe from useless email subscriptions
Too much email? Are most of it useless subscriptions? Check to see what you are really reading and start there. It’s easy to sign up for newsletters, sadly we don’t always have time to read them.
Get those tax papers ready
A shoebox might be a great method for you – but not for your tax accountant. Tax season is around the corner so set up some files to organize receipts, bills, invoices and any other important papers. The more organized you are the easier it will be to file and it can cut down on your tax preparation fees. You’d be surprised how many little things are overlooked that could result in a better return.
Update your address book
Your contact list is important so make sure phones numbers, addresses and emails are accurate and up to date. Now is a good time to add all those business cards to your database.
Tame the paper dragon
Piles of paper are one of the messiest things we have in our offices. Invoices and files – and every sticky note imaginable – can create quite an organization beast to tame. Tired of the mess? Why not go paperless? Many companies are sending invoices, bills, newsletters and promotional materials electronically. It also saves money so you can invest in things like new business cards and website updates. Also, make sure you have a paper shredder. This keeps important things from prying eyes and makes it easier to recycle.
Start planning this year’s events
What better way to start off January and February than a great list of events to look forward too? Right now is a good time to set up events that you want to host yourself or events that you want to attend come this winter, spring, and summer. All those networking meetings, coffee houses, seminars, business talks and conventions can be a huge boost especially during the winter months to keep you motivated and inspired. The best part: you can make many new contacts this year and the new year to come.
Here’s to a very successful and happy 2017.