So I’ve been MIA even longer than Elyse, but alas, I am also back in the New Year. I would recap my holiday experiences and give you all excuses as to why I’ve been such a slacker, but I doubt you want to hear all about the movies I was watched and hours I was worked….so let’s just put all that behind us and start fresh in 2013.
As for resolutions, I’m in complete agreement with Elyse on this one. I don’t believe in setting firm or specific resolutions because then it becomes so easy to quit when you mess up the first time. However, I have been working on a little self-improvement project recently that’s been going pretty well, so I’ve kind of made it my resolution to keep it going through the New Year.
My goal: become more organized – this applies to work, finances, and general cleanliness/preparedness. Nothing listed below should be any kind of new revelation, but it’s just some stuff I finally decided to give a try and it has actually been working.
Some things I’ve been doing to accomplish this:
Doing things right away
- Seriously how long does it take to hang my coat up or put my shoes in the closet as soon as I walk in the door? Do I need to leave the pasta box on the counter after making food? Couldn’t I just do my one dish from dinner right away instead of letting it sit in the sink? All things that literally take seconds, but make the world of a difference for avoiding massive cleaning sprees and stress later.
- One of the worst feelings is to have something looming over you – like an email you have to send, a call you should probably make, or an errand you have to run. So my new motto is ‘just do it.’ (I know that’s totally plagiarized…but I’m using it kinda differently so it’s fine). But seriously, how hard can it be to sit down for 3 minutes and just type out that email? Probably less hard then continuing to add it to my to-do list everyday and whining about how I really need to get it done.
- Getting home from work and getting all my stuff ready for the next day right away. Once I plop down on the couch when I get home, it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to do anything productive for the rest of the night. And even though that’s all I want to do when I walk in the door, I make an effort to either make my lunch for the next day or make a little bit extra with my dinner so I can do the whole leftovers thing. I know that makes me sound like a middle-aged soccer mom, but if I don’t do it the night before, there is no way I’m rolling out of bed any earlier than usual to make anything, and I’ll just end up having to buy fast food somewhere, which is costly and gross.
- I currently (and for the first time in my life) have 1 unread e-mail and 15 total e-mails in my inbox. Delete or archive anything that isn’t urgent or doesn’t require action. Unsubscribe from the e-mails you never read anyway. Take 10 minutes a day to actually read the ones you don’t want to unsubscribe to. It’s such a relief to have a clean inbox that it automatically makes me feel more organized.
- If you e-mail someone and need a response back, BCC yourself and keep it in your inbox until you hear back. This serves as a reminder to follow-up with them in case they don’t respond.
Keeping track of my finances
- I’ve tried to use a checkbook, I’ve tried to keep my receipts, I’ve also tried just ignoring it all and paying my bills at the end of every month. None of it worked. But I think I’ve finally found something that actually does. Old-school people beware; it’s an app that’s literally connected to my debit card, so every transaction is automatically loaded right onto my phone. Having a constant reminder of my account balance and breakdown of where I’m spending my money is a perfect way to hold myself accountable for my spending habits! [The app is called Mint.com]
I’m no expert, and these are not things I do everyday, it’s more like things I’m making a concerted effort to do more often. And the results I’ve been seeing have been serving as my motivation to continue. My next bold move is making a serious effort to keep a planner. But let’s see if this other stuff works out first.
If anyone else out there has any other helpful organization tips – send them our way!