How to keep a New Year’s Resolution!

During December, undoubtedly the busiest month of the year, many of us promise ourselves that come 2016 we will be thinner, more active, better read and most importantly, more organised.

But New Year’s Resolutions are easily made and easily broken. With that in mind, I’ve put together some of my own tips, gleaned from many years as a professional organiser, on how to ensure you keep your promise.

These little hints don’t require fancy technology or hard work – they are simple changes that you can easily make to your everyday life and unlike so many of those resolutions, are easy to stick to!

  1. Write everything down. Either use a notepad and pen or the ‘Notes’ function on your mobile (almost every phone has one!). Check it once a day – you’ll be amazed how many things pop in and out of your head that you never even knew you wanted to remember!
  2. Only pick things up once. Deal with that difficult email as soon as you read it, file that document straight away – once you have picked something up, make the next time you put it down the last time.
  3. Put blocks of time in your calendar for everything – that way you know it will all get done because you’ve allocated time to do it.
  4. Related to tip 3, always block out more time than you think you will need – tasks hoover up time, so plan for more than enough.
  5. Delegate. If someone in your office can help, just ask. Most people are helpful, so don’t struggle in silence! If you have a PA, make sure you use them, and if you don’t, consider hiring a VA.
  6. Go paperless. Send emails rather than letters, scan in any post as soon as you open it, then recycle the original document (unless it’s crucial to keep a hard copy for legal reasons). The more you can do electronically, the clearer your desk will be.
  7. Be ruthless. Wage a war on clutter and get rid of anything on your desk that hasn’t moved in three months. Chances are, if you haven’t touched it in that time, you never will!
  8. Plan ahead. Once a week, have a ‘Power Hour’ where you do all your thinking and strategising, and treat it as sacrosanct – if you think an hour per week is a luxury you can’t afford, ask me how to create more time in the day!