When I came back from taking a few days off from the holidays, I hate a hard time getting my butt in gear. While I was excited about planning for the New Year and sinking my teeth into some great client projects, I just had trouble diving right in.
I wasn’t starting with a clean slate. I had too many things distracting me and getting in the way.
For me to start off on the right foot and prepare myself for 2012, I found that there were a few things I needed to do to get in the right mindset for the year.
Here are some things I did (and I encourage you to do) if you want to get the year started right.
Declutter your space.
When my office is a chaotic mess, I find it difficult to concentrate on my work. Not only that, when you’re busy, a messy office makes it difficult to put your hands on things when you need them.
We harbor so much clutter through the year that now is a good time to tidy things up a bit. To make things easy, make a decision with each paper or item you touch – file or toss. There’s no in between.
Having a tidy workspace does wonders for your creativity and productivity. Trust me.
Clean your Inbox.
For the most part, I was disconnected over the holidays. While I enjoyed the reprieve, it meant I came back to a bloated inbox.
I’m sure you did too.
Take some time to get caught up with your messages. (This is a great email management strategy if you need one).
As you’re going along, be sure to unsubscribe from emails you don’t read anymore. Even though you may have good intentions, if you’re not reading them, they are just taking up time and filling up your inbox.
Review your to-do list.
If you’re like me, you’re to-do list is a mile long. There are always the items that are “must-dos”, like client work and other deadines.
But, the bigger problem are those things you want to look into someday. For me, it’s things like testing out new social networks like Pinterest or trying out a new plugin for the blog.
The problem is the items on this list rarely get crossed off. They just keep accumulating and taking up mental space.
Know what I’m talking about, right?
So, here’s what I propose – carve out an 30 minutes to go through that list and make some decisions. Much like the physical clutter, make a decision for each item – either designate time to look into those things or just let them drop off the list.
Start good habits now.
One of my three guiding principles for the year is discipline – and for good reason. One of the reasons we often fail to meet our goals is that we fail to create good habits.
With running, for example, it’s important that I designate days and times to run otherwise, I won’t do it. Without a schedule, it’s far too easy to renege. The same goes with blogging, social media interaction, and a whole host of other efforts.
The trick is to set a schedule for the items on your list that will help you reach your goals this year. For instance, if one of your goals is to get two new clients every month, set aside time every day or every week to do one thing that will help you get closer to that goal.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but doing these few things will help you give you a nice, clean canvas to start working your magic on for the year.
Have you done any of these things to get started for the year? What would you add to the list?
Image credit: Hamad AL-Mohannna