Well here we are again....every year, I spend time in December
getting organized and ready for the upcoming year. My organizing
actually starts during the holidays--with every present I receive, I'm
thinking "Out with the old and in with the new." So this year it will
begin with every present I receive, make a decision on what to do with
an old item, ebay, craigslist, etc. So I have developed a few keys for
you to make your 2012 more than your 2011 was.
1. Clean, organize and purge your desk. Update your files and replace all torn files. Buy new files, in different colors, and organize them by color: green for financial papers, purple for clients and so on. Be sure to label all the files, and then organize them alphabetically within each color scheme. And never, ever put the word "Misc" on any file--once you file it, you'll forget what you put in it. If you can say out loud what the file is, you have your label.
2. Be like Santa every day of the week. Make a list and check it twice. There's nothing more satisfying than checking things off your "to do" list! Make a list every night of all the things you need to accomplish the next day. Do this every night, including the weekends, so you get in the habit of relying on your to-do list to help you get things done.
3. Use only one calendar. Choose the one that works best for you: one on your computer, a handheld one like a PDA, or a paper one on your desk. Then get rid of all your other calendars and use just the one to record and keep track of everything. If you're maintaining more than one person's schedule, like your children's, use different colored inks to record information for each family member. My personal favorite is using Google Calendar, as it syncs with my phone. I leave it open all day long and when new things are added, I set a reminder, so that when it comes, my phone lets me know.
4. Make a note on your calendar, one week ahead of any event, about what you need to do for that event. Have you ever heard of the 5 P's? "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance." Nothing worse than showing up totally unprepared. Do you need to buy rolls to bring to a housewarming party? Do you need to send flowers for your mother's birthday? Whatever it is, make a note of it in advance so you can stay of top of your tasks.
7. Get rid of any office supplies you haven't used in the past year. Return them to the store for credit or donate them to your favorite charity. The less clutter there is in your office, the more happiness there'll be in your life. If you buy a new printer, donate the old one. You don't need two printers--the old one is just taking up space. This goes for everything in your office.
8. Start planning now for the next tax year. Label a box "Next Year's Taxes," and put it in your office. This box will hold all your tax-related documents throughout the year: bank statements, receipts for business expenses, online statements indicating what bills you paid and charity receipts. At the end of the year, remove the contents from the box and make two piles--business and personal--for your accountant (or for yourself, if you do your own taxes). The box will be the one place you put everything that has anything to do with your taxes. It sure beats searching for the paperwork at the end of the year.
9. Update your rolodex. Clear out all the cards of people you never called last year. I can tell you that if a year goes by and you haven't contacted them, chances are, you'll never call them. If you feel you need to keep the information, put all the "maybe I'll call them one of these days" cards in a file and label it that.
10. Feng Shui your desk and surroundings. If it's good enough for Donald Trump, it's good enough for you!
Here is to you in a bigger better 2012!
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