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How Can You Organise Yourself for Success? New Year Strategy.

Organising for Success: 5 Expert Tips for a Great Start in the New Year

New Year. New Beginnings. New Year Resolutions. “There are dreamers and there are planners; the planners make their dreams come true.” Edwin Louise Cole.
Have you started organising yourself for a successful start for the year?

The first step towards planning for a productive year ahead is to establish your short term and long-term goals so that you can stay clear and focussed on tracking towards your goals. Read more in our article here on setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals.
The next step? Organising yourself for success by setting the right framework and systems in place. Here are 5 principles to embrace and give you a great start to your year.

1. Develop habits and develop routine

“Often The Difference Between Organised and Dis-Organised Is The Little Habits We Do Each Day Without Really Thinking” – Chrissy Halton

Setting up good habits for long-term success helps us towards our goals of better time management, health and happiness. This is a good time to evaluate your habits in life and assess what is working, what you should get rid off and what new habits you will need to adopt to reach your goals.

For example:

  • Do you tend to hit the snooze button and end up sleeping longer than necessary instead of hitting the road for exercise?
  • Do you spend excessively indulging on your habits which brings about credit card debts?
  • Have you set up a recurring savings and investment plan?
  • Do you spend too much time on your social media?

While building good habits is not easy, most of the time, starting an action for the first 10 minutes is the biggest hurdle you need to get through to break the inertia. James Clear provides fabulous research-based recommendations in his book “Atomic Habits” (or you could just watch him on YouTube) on how to create new habits that will lead you to achieving your goals.

“Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to be. They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite literally, you become your habits.”

Once you have decided on which habits you would like to adopt, put them into a routine that helps you become more productive.

2. Plan in Advance

“Fail to plan, plan to fail” – Churchill.

Time management and Organisation Gurus have repeatedly advocated that we set aside 15 minutes at the end of our day, to organise for tomorrow. That way, you can start your day all set up to be productive. It is also recommended that we spend 1 hour a week just on organisation.

“Fifteen minutes before you leave for the day, put things away: file papers, return items to other offices, bring recyclables or trash to where it needs to go, rewrite your to-do list,” says Cohen. “You will come to work the next morning with a neat work area and a direction for the day.”

And another consideration – SCHEDULE your “organising” time or it will not happen with these tips:

  • Plan and schedule small things as they all add up (no surprises here)
  • Overestimate how long a task will take you
  • Time-block your day

In Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, she stresses the importance of planning your week:

  • “…well-planned blocks of 168 hours are big enough to accommodate full-time work, intense involvement with your family, rejuvenating leisure time, adequate sleep, and everything else that actually matters.”

An important tip is not to wait until the end of the day to get all your organisation done. Instead, you need to do this THROUGHOUT the day. That little 5 minutes spent on filing and putting things in the correct folder, will go a long way. Add organisation time to your day.

You could also use organisation tools and make lists that would help you capture disrupting thoughts throughout the day and that would help you to control your impulses in addressing the “immediate” and focus on addressing the “important”.

3. Consistently Prioritise

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey.

In our attempt to live the perfect life, often times we end up juggling too many balls and watching them crash to the ground, feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day.

Instead, prioritise long-term sustainability with balance and self-care. Emphasise consistency over perfection and reward progress because the impact of incremental progress has the power of compounding effort and you will reap for more than what you sow (beware that this works the other way round too).

Here are a few suggestions to help keep your balance:

  • Prioritise your health
  • Avoid overextending yourself at work
  • Remember to nurture important relationships in your life
  • Protect your sleep time
  • Find some solitude time to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries so you can support those who depend on you

4. Simplify and De-clutter

“Life Truly Begins When You Put Your House In Order” – Marie Kondo

It is so easy to complicate our lives in today’s modern world. The myriad of choices continue to exponentially multiply and even simple decision such as making a purchase can be daunting. Case in point – buying a caffe latte – you could have almond milk, oat milk, hazelnut milk, soy milk, low fat, skimmed, full fat milk, cashew milk, rice milk etc.

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to make space –physically, digitally, and mentally.

At work, it is recommended that you only keep 4 items on your desk. You can clear the clutter –trinkets and extra papers and staplers and tape and that mug filled with 50 pens–and leave room only for your computer, inbox–the old school paper tray kind, if that’s your thing–phone, and to-do list. Create space.

At home, it’s simple for a home to get messy. A few used cups here, some unfolded laundry there, that item you haven’t used for a while but you might someday maybe need…all of a sudden, your house is in chaos. Instead, regularly take time to take-out items you no longer need and consider “does this item spark joy?”

Reducing clutter in your life means more freedom and comes with great benefits including a calmer and more peaceful life. And finally, the good old-age advice: “A Place For Everything, And Everything In Its Place” – Mrs Beeton

5. Automate and Delegate

You really don’t have to do everything by yourself. Find opportunities to delegate out the mundane task and ways to automate recurring ones. This tactic is a huge time-saver. Here are some examples where you can automate or delegate:

  • Personal finance (e.g. paying bills, investments, etc.)
  • Work (e.g. sending emails using templates, coordinating projects, booking by hiring a virtual assistant, etc.)
  • Home (e.g. grocery shopping, meal prep, furniture assembly, cleaning, lawn mowing etc.)

Of course, outsourcing comes with a cost. If you have budget constraints, outsource tasks the good ol’ fashion way: by delegating to your partner and children (or housemates). Assign responsibilities clearly to every one of them formally.

Finally, do give yourself time for the new habits to settle in. Habits may take up to 30 days of consistency to form a new natural inclination in us. So don’t give up after a few attempts. Try something new out for at least a month and expect to keep tweaking them until they work with your life.

The team at Time Conti Sheffield wishes all our Owners, Tenants, Family and Friends a beautiful and successful new year ahead.


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