The new year brings new opportunities for self-improvement. It’s safe to say that 2020 left many people feeling financially and mentally drained. Fortunately, the only way is up. With these top tips for getting organized, you can expect to see a much brighter 2021 – with hopefully less of the drama.
The key is in planning ahead. Sometimes, life is unpredictable and presents us with very stressful situations. While it isn’t possible to prepare for every outcome, staying organized gives you the best means to cope with any future obstacles.
Out with the old, in with the new.
One of the best ways to get organized is clearing out. Start small with items of clothing and work up to household items and more valuable possessions. Deciding what to get rid of is challenging at first, especially for those who are hoarders at heart. The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself, do I need this pair of shoes? If you’ve never worn them now, you probably aren’t going to.
Set yourself a target of clearing out one particular thing each week, or maybe a specific room. You might find that once you start, you do it in bulk. As you begin to see how much tidier and spacious your home feels, the process becomes addictive!
Clearing out old junk will make space for new additions. If you are hoping to refurbish at some point, having this step out of the way will make it ten times easier.
Decluttering your home will also give you a clearer mind. If you are working from home, you can enjoy working in a more pleasant environment. Having a tidy home is proven to improve productivity and concentration, so the benefits of clearing out don’t stop at just making the house look pretty.
Some may use the new-found space to refurbish, while others may enjoy a more minimalistic look. Whatever your style, decluttering will give you a fresh start and make you feel more on top of your life.
Setting goals for yourself.
We all set goals in our mind, but the next crucial step is writing them down. Research finds that you are 47% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down.
This can include exercise, diet, work, personal life, and even small day-to-day goals. Once you get into a habit of identifying and writing down your ambitions, it becomes second nature.
Setting goals doesn’t mean putting pressure on yourself. So don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t achieve one of them by a particular time. It’s all about identifying what your goals are and generally working towards them. Knowing what you want to achieve helps to align your behavior to this goal.
When you write something down, you are essentially manifesting it. Writing down the goal is a step towards it in itself. If we merely think about what we want to achieve, this alone doesn’t do much. On the other hand, writing your goals down is the first step in your journey towards them.
If you feel overwhelmed and have multiple things you wish to change, limit yourself to three targets per week. For many of these, it will be a work in progress and not an overnight achievement. We cannot be productive at all times, so taking some down-time and being realistic with yourself is equally as important as identifying your future goals.
Work to a schedule.
On a similar note to writing down your goals, working to a schedule will keep you on track. Particularly for those working at home, being in the house, and staying focused isn’t always easy.
Set yourself a schedule containing your most important daily goals in it, as well as any meetings or plans. Visually presenting this schedule and pinning it on your wall will help you to bear in mind what you’ve got planned ahead for the day. This reduces the risk of having to make last-minute cancellations due to accidentally double-booking – that awkward situation we have all been in.
Sometimes, it’s just too easy to briefly scribble down a meeting time and then forget about it later. With an exact schedule, you have a designated place to enter these details into. You could take it further by making the schedule look beautiful with highlighting and a splash of colour. Making it more eye-catching will further enhance its effectiveness, as you will be drawn to it and more likely to remember what’s written down there.
It’s helpful to have a work and a non-work schedule—one for business meetings and lunch plans, and one for family time and weekend activities. Your weekend schedule might look a lot more flexible but can contain a few ideas of things you’ll do.
Scheduling in watching a film one evening is a great way to spend time with your partner. If this is written down and everyone is aware of it, there is less likely to be any clashing of plans. The schedule is something everyone can be included in, adding their own suggestions each week of fun things to do.
Stay one step ahead with your finances.
2020 has shown us that you can never be too prepared when it comes to your finances. When looking to the future, there are many ways you can be more organized with your earnings.
Using an hourly pay calculator, you can figure out exactly how much you’ll be earning after-tax whether it’s yearly, hourly, or monthly. This means that whatever your employment type and the amount you work, there is a means by which you can clearly estimate your future earnings. For those who are self-employed or work irregular hours, taking an average is a great way to plan ahead.
Having a rough estimate of your earnings for the year will help you to plan around this. Undeniably, bouncing back from 2020 financially is going to have its challenges. The good news is that you can make safer financial choices in planning and working around specific figures.
If you are worried about covering all of your outgoing costs, you can think about alternative income streams. After decluttering your home, you will have lots of items that you can sell on. Setting up a small business such as a blog or offering freelance services will provide you with that extra bit of cash to keep you comfortable.
There are always options out there to support you, such as taking out a loan. Take it one step at a time and look at your different options. In planning, you will have the means to organize your finances quickly and effectively if things get tricky.
The most important tip is to be kind to yourself. As human beings, we are not supposed to be in full-productivity mode at all times. Forgetting things, making mistakes, and feeling disorganized sometimes is all part of life. Taking some key ideas in mind when planning ahead helps to minimize the chances of future chaos.
If there are things you want to achieve, but you don’t know how – consider who to ask. If the concern is financial, consider speaking to a financial or loan adviser. If you want to change your home but don’t know where to start, you can reach out to an interior designer so that they can guide you. Take it little by little, being realistic with your goals. Taking a more organized approach across the different areas of life will undoubtedly provide you with a smoother, more chilled out year.