5 Ways to Get Organized and Prep for Your Best Year Yet
Now that the holiday craze has died down and it’s back to reality, it’s time to get serious about what lies ahead for 2015. Before you dive headfirst into your new year’s resolutions list (which you dusted off from last year), we’ve compiled a list that will help you get your life and career on track for the coming year.
(Image Credit: Juhan Sonin/Flickr)
There’s something extremely satisfying and therapeutic about getting organized. Maybe it’s the “out with the old” cleansing that helps clear out mental and physical space and allow for growth to occur. Maybe it’s the fact that you gain a sense of ownership and control when things are organized and in their place. Whatever the reason may be, getting your life in order does a body (and career) good. Rather than letting yet another year go by laden with missed opportunities and defeat, it’s time to get a system in order that will facilitate positive change and success.
1. Make a list and check it twice.
Lists can either be your best friend or your biggest nemesis. If you generally feel like lists are working against you, then you’re probably using them wrong, and should check out these apps that make checking off to-dos a snap and fun: Wunderlist, Pocket Lists, or Task.
Lists can help you organize and prioritize different aspects of your personal and professional life. For instance, you wouldn’t combine your grocery shopping list with your to-do list for work, so break up the different facets of your life into lists and create a system that works for each. You’ll be surprised how breaking out your life into smaller, more digestible chunks can help you gain perspective on the big picture and not get so overwhelmed with life’s to-dos. Learn how to build the perfect to-do list, here.
2. Out of sight, out of mind.
One of the first things on your list is to de-clutter your life, in every sense. If clutter (whatever that is for you) is physically out of your sight, then maybe … just maybe … it won’t bog you down every time you see it and do nothing about it. We mean it, get a trash bag and throw stuff away that is just taking up space. Spend a few hours, or however long it takes, tackling one room or drawer at a time. The key is to start small, so as to not get overwhelmed by the monstrosity that is your desk, office, car, house, or life. Baby steps, folks. Once you complete your first organizational project, however small or large, you’ll be much more motivated to move on to the next project thereafter. Consider selling some of your old belongings on Craigslist or eBay — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you’ll make some extra cash in the process.
3. Figure out what the heck you’re doing in life.
Whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or end of your career, it’s never too late to reassess what exactly you’re doing and whether or not it’s fulfilling your purpose in life. Whip out a piece of paper, a journal, or your laptop and start jotting down your passions, your hobbies (or ones that you’d like to try out), your likes and dislikes, the pros and cons of your current career, and map out what it would take to take the first step in making your dream career a reality, if you don’t have it already. According to the World Health Organization, adults spend approximately one-third of their entire lives working, so if you’re not in a satisfying career, then you’re, literally, wasting your life away … well, roughly one-third of it. If you work for a promising employer, then you might want to set your sights on advancing within your current organization. Maybe a fresh start in an entirely new industry is what it’s going to take to make 2015 the year that makes, not breaks, your career. Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is all you need, really.
4. And … ACTION!
Now that you’ve gotten the ball rolling on getting your life organized, it’s time to make an action plan and set some fierce career goals, y’all! We’re talking about those reach-for-the-stars goals, those sky’s-the-limit goals that scare the living daylights out of you and make you nearly pass out because they’re so damn frightening — because you aren’t really living unless you’ve ralphed a few times from uncertainty as a direct result of going after your dreams.
The first step is always the hardest, but it’s well worth it. If your goal is to start your own business one day, then make a plan and start chipping away at it. This doesn’t mean up and quit your job and think that clients are just going to pour in, because they won’t. Rather, it means to take baby steps towards your goal. For said example of starting your own business, use whatever free time you have to start working on your business plan, then get your business’s website up and running. (Beginner’s tutorial, here.) If learning a new skill (like learning to code, for example) to advance your career is what you have in mind, then look into taking online or night courses to learn, or download one of these nifty coding apps, selected by Graphite.org, and begin your journey. The key, here, is to start small and build momentum.
5. Make time for you.
One reason many people get burned out is because they forget about taking time to evaluate their achievements and the lessons learned along the way. Remember, when you’re hustling and working hard on achieving your goals, it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and access your progress. Be sure not to beat yourself up if you haven’t achieved what you think you should have thus far — this is a good time to reassess your goals, your time-management, and, possibly, your expectations. You are your worst enemy, so ensure that you’re keeping yourself motivated, healthy, and on track throughout your journey.
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