I hope you are looking forward to a new year as much as I am! The promise of a new year brings opportunity to start again, try again, rejuvenate, improve. Direct a little of that goodwill and good intention towards organizing yourself with these 5 ideas that will bring a little peace of mind with the new year!
5 Quick Organization Tips to Kickoff 2015
- Clean out your email inbox. Set a timer and spend 1 hour clearing out old emails, organizing messages into folders, and mark the top 3 emails you need to respond by the new year.
- Clear off unnecessary icons on your desktop. If your desktop screen looks like a jigsaw puzzle of 100 documents, app shortcuts, and images…clean it up. Put docs in a proper online folder, delete unnecessary files or images and make your desktop a more serene place. Again, set a time limit (e.g. 1.5 hrs) or else you’ll get sucked in and this will become an all-day effort.
- Update programs. Mmm, hhmmm. We have all, at some point, repeatedly hit the “install later”, “update later”, “skip for now ” button that notoriously pops up when we attempt to open an outdated app or program on our system. I’ll admit for the past 3 months, I’ve been ignoring the Adobe Flash Player warning, hitting the “Update later” button over and over again until I finally decided that enough is enough and took the 5 minutes to update the program. Give yourself an hour or two to update your programs before 2015 kicks in. Imagine signing onto your computer for the first time in 2015 without the nuance of those pop-ups.
- Clean out your voicemail box. Going through 10 skipped messages and 20 saved messages to get to that one voicemail with John’s work number on it has got to be bugging you (and costing you time). Take 30 minutes to delete old or unnecessary emails and respond to the top 3-4 voicemails that is requiring you to take some sort of action before you can delete them (“Hey Jan, can you call me? If you have a good tech guy I’d love to have his number. Thanks!” To delete this message, press 1). Then take another 5 minutes to update your voicemail greeting for 2015.
- Donate old business and productivity books. Do you have business ‘how-to’ books that you’ve already read or will never read? Consider donating them to an adult learning program in your community. You’ll make space for new ones in 2015 or you will simply enjoy the lack of clutter that comes along with letting go.
Wash, rinse, repeat at least two times a year.
These quick organization tips can be done in a matter of 5 hours over the next few days. Get moving and let us know how it goes?
Chrystal Richardson is Managing Partner of CE Wilson Consulting, a project management and business efficiency consulting firm that has managed projects for technology, mining, medical, utility and manufacturing clients since 2001.