With the holidays upon us, we have officially entered the home stretch of 2016. Once the calendar hits 1 January, each individual will start a new chapter in life.
To start your 2017 with a clear head and inspiration in your heart, here are five ways to tidy up and ready yourself for the year. Even if you don’t finish your list by New Year’s Day, you will still benefit from spending a little time on these helpful tasks. The first week of January is usually quiet, so try to keep working until you have spent time on all five.
1. Clean Out Your Email
If you are an email hoarder, it’s time to clean out that inbox and start fresh. File away or archive emails that are important. Only leave emails in your inbox that require specific action. You may be surprised at what you find, perhaps even opportunities you missed earlier in the year. Delete everything else. Be efficient and brutal about clearing out the tasks. If you didn’t look at it for more than three months, and you still can’t deal with the issue, then it’s probably not that important. If you are left with more than 35 emails in your inbox then it’s probably time to consider a personal assistant.
2. Sort Through Your Facebook Friends
One of the reasons you can’t keep up with the newsfeed is that too many people are posting things you don’t care about. It was fun at first to connect with everyone. Now it’s just noise. Make Facebook a useful personal tool again by reducing your friend list to people who are truly important in your life. Leave the business networking to LinkedIn and the news-sharing to Twitter. Then you can keep up and enjoy the personal sharing. Yes, of course, someone may be upset that they were un-friended. But heck, they didn’t consider your feelings of annoyance every time they asked you to join Candy Crush Saga. Hint: If you don’t remember who they are and how you met them then they aren’t really friends.
3. Sort Out Your LinkedIn
Go through your list, look at the profiles, and identify 10 specific people who can actually help you with your desired objectives. Send each of them a Happy New Year greeting and begin a conversation. Sort through your Groups and eliminate the ones that no longer support your interests. Reduce all your digest mailings to once a week to unclutter your daily email.
4. Clean Your Desk
Even people who happily tolerate clutter will benefit from a freshly cleaned workspace. Every time I sort through the stacks on my desk I find papers/coupons/receipts that have long been dealt with or expired. Move as much paperwork to electronic filing as possible. Electronic banking, faxes, and signatures can make paper almost disappear from your filing system if carefully planned. You’ll clear your view, your mind and might even save a tree or two.
5. Set Your Top 5 Priorities for Q1
Start the year with clear purpose. Take a few hours to identify the priorities that will advance your journey this year. Write out your top five initiatives for the next three months or post them on the wall by your desk. Take a picture and make it the home screen on your smart phone or post them on your mirror or your computer monitor. You willl be pleasantly surprised how quickly these items will get accomplished. As Napoleon Hill said, ” What the mind of man can see and believe, it can achieve.”
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