There’s two things inevitable about December in the workplace: 1. Too many holiday treats, and 2. A *little* bit of downtime. Unless you take a lot of vacation days this month and aren’t there, the office gets a bit less hectic come the weeks of Christmas and New Years. While I can’t do anything about the treats (except tell you to run afterward using one of my playlists), I can give a few tips that will make coming into the office in January more seamless. Since the week between Christmas and New Year is typically slower, this is probably the best time. Or between now and the new year, take 30 minutes (or even 15) each day to take time for a few projects that will get you organized and ready to kick 2012’s butt.
1. Invest in an epic planner
I’ve been using a planner since about the fifth grade. My first one was Ziggy day planner circa 1994. In middle school they forced us to use a planner to write down homework assignments. I gladly obliged. I’ve been using one ever since, all throughout college and now at work. When I first starting using a BlackBerry about four years ago I attempted to sync my work calendar and personal calendar on one handy device. After hours of being on the phone with a RIM employee in Canada trying to troubleshoot duplicates and missing dates, I quickly resorted back to the tried-and-true day planner. Besides, there’s nothing better than highlighting, color coding and crossing things off the list. I want my 2012 planner to be both a calendar, to-do list and note important work deadlines. Not to mention track my marathon training. I originally liked this from Pinterest:
You can print out your own here. But, you wanna know what’s even better that I just discovered? THIS:
2. Streamline your contacts
Unlike my day planner, I CANNOT have my contacts in a hand-written book. I need emails and phone numbers available on my phone, 24/7. So, I am still trying to manage that process. Right now, I’ve got 3 separate email contacts that my phone pulls plus the original phone contacts I had when I got the phone, plus Google+ contacts I don’t need. That’s a lot of pluses. Anyways, there are lots duplicates in my phone, and goofy things going on within the “notes” section, and some contacts have their old information in it. VERY annoying. So 0ver the holidays, I am going to backup the phone, then completely wipe it and reload with current, relevant info. Annoying? Yes. Necessary? Definitely. And I will be stopping at Verizon with my laptop and phone in hand gladly willing to accept free help. Any suggestions that can help this process? Leave a comment!
3. Unsubscribe to, or reorganize emails
My Twitter friend @Julia_Prior tweeted this yesterday, and it could not have been more timely:
Well said, Julia. The takeaway is “never get around to reading.” My Yahoo email BLOWS UP with emails daily, most of which I delete, and sometimes I am missing emails from friends and family because of it. So, take 30 minutes to evaluate what’s useful to you and what’s not, then unsubscribe. Feel like you’ll miss a deal or important blog post? Create a new email address for email subscriptions only so you can capture things like Groupons, travel deals and important industry news. Then transfer everything over there so when you do need it, it’s there.
4. Organize & purge
If you’re anything like me, papers pile up. I’m not even a big paper/printing person. So, go through all of those manilla folders and get rid of things you will never use again in terms of old files. I have a lot of folders with my chicken scratch in them. Or, store files somewhere if you think you will need them again. Just get them off your desk. I also have a pile of magazines and newsletters collecting dust. By now those are old news, so I’ll toss those in the recycle bin or offer to my coworkers. Cutting the clutter makes for a more organized work space. Same goes for computer files and emails. Delete old ones, store those you need, and start light and fresh for 2012 (Inbox=0 for January 1!)
5. Clean & redecorate!
I’ve been looking at my cube lately, and it’s the pits. Granted, you don’t have much to work with in a cubical, but there’s an opportunity to make it a little more homey. After all, you spend a LOT of time here. But first — clean it. Offices collect lots of dust and germs, so use some disinfectant wipes to wipe it all down. This includes your desk, shelves, drawers, phone, computer, etc. This should be a regular habit. I’m also looking to invest in a cute lamp and cork board as well as picture frames to spice up my space. Again, Pinterest has been giving me fun ideas, like this:
Make a list of 2012 goals for work. Yes, it sounds corny. But it’s effective.When it’s in writing, you can look at your goals often and make them attainable. Or make a “bucket list” like another Twitter friend Arik Hanson did. Very fun!
Here’s to a successful and fun 2012..and making it to 2013 😉