My husband and I vary on our thoughts and feelings about New Years. To my husband, it’s just another day and you don’t have to have plans sorted out, and you can have a plan any day of the year which I guess on some level is true, however……
I find that there is something incredibly powerful about the New Year period as a marker for a clean slate. A knowing that you can start again, a reminder to pause, reflect and take stock before moving forward again. A time of ritual to mark the end and closing of one year and the celebration of dreams for the year ahead.
Because this New Year also marks the end of a decade and the beginning of a new one, I am feeling an extra strong pull to get the decade off to a good start and begin with an extra clean slate. Here are some things that I will be getting straight and in order to start the new decade fresh.
Oh there is nothing better than an Inbox that fits on one page. Am I right? Each day we get hundreds of emails from varying sources probably most of them unopened because the amount of emails you receive far outweighs the time you are able to spend on them. And if you are anything like me you sign up for all sorts of freebies and promises of shiny unicorns that pass your eyes in news feeds and website pop ups on a regular basis and forget to unsubscribe when you no longer find them useful. All it does is create noise in your inbox and noise in your life that you just don’t need. Do you really want to continue hearing about a particular company whom you only signed up with to try and win a prize… yeah we’ve all done it. Are you really going to go back and find the time to read all those emails? I can guarantee that you probably won’t because there are other things that you value in your life and could be spending your precious time on.
An overcrowded inbox gives me a feeling that I’m already behind before I even start my day. Can you imagine the feeling at the beginning of a new decade with…. 10 years!! worth of emails hanging around in your inbox….
Here are some tips on how I am cleaning out my inbox this new year:
- Scan your email list and if you don’t remember who the person is and what they do and why you signed up; chances are it was either a competition or a freebie and you don’t really follow them. So open one of the emails and unsubscribe using the unsubscribe link that is generally in the footer of the email. Once you have unsubscribed from the list, search for all their emails in your inbox and do a mass delete of all their emails in your inbox. This could take some time depending on how many you have signed up for and if you are anything like me, that’s a lot!
- Create folders for the people / influences that you want to continue to be subscribed to AND you actually read their emails and follow them or their work. Some email platforms allow you to set ‘rules’ so that when their emails hit your inbox you can automatically send them to a specific folder so you can come back and read them when you have time and they aren’t taking up space in amongst your important emails.
- Deal with any emails in your inbox that you need to deal with and either delete when they are dealt with or create a folder to archive them in if you feel that you may need to refer to the email at a later stage.
- Clear out the trash and the spam folders.……. Ahhhh doesn’t that feel great!
House including Home Office
With having primary school aged kids this is a constant struggle on mine. It sometimes feel that as soon as you have cleaned they come behind you and make it messy again. But sometimes in my home office I am my own worst enemy…. Dumping items on my desk to make the house look clean and then shutting the office door. Yeah, I know, just moving the mess.
When my home is clutter free and clean and tidy my headspace feels clearer, I’m more able to engage in work tasks or other activities without the guilt of “oh I should be cleaning the house”. And when my office is clean it’s a space that I enjoy to be in and actually feel more motivated to get work done. Anyone else?
I love my car and it is an extension of my home and is often my mobile office. I can often be found sitting in the car in the school park with my laptop and working on something or planning. Also, I will admit that much to my frustration, the joys of having children also means that the back seat of my car becomes a mobile toy box / junk box with toys, shoes, hats, colouring pencils, homework books etc scattered in the footwell.
I think that the new year calls for new stricter rules about what goes in and out of the car but I am also aiming to spend some time before the new year cleaning it inside and out so I can start the new year feeling like I’m driving a new car….. for a little while anyway.
Oh man I hate to admit it, but I am a hoarder when it comes to electronic files. Remember all those shiny unicorn freebies?….. I should have shares in cloud storage companies, and yes I was the one at university with the cross referenced filing cabinet full of research articles. I have soooooo many electronic files and documents stored on my various drives that I don’t even remember what I have and so if I’m looking for some information on something, rather that searching through what I already have, I go looking for more *face palm*. One thing that I have learnt the hard way though is never saving anything on the desktop of my computer, I always save anything I want to relook at in my cloud based storage drive (I’ve lost way too many files that I’ve been working on or have wanted to keep including family photos).
Here are some tips on how I will be cleaning out, and simplifying my electronic files:
- Delete, delete, delete! Delete anything that you saved on a whim or for the purposes of ‘one day’
- Create folders and a system that works for you. Everyone will have their own way of storing/filing files however you need to find a system that works for you so that you can find what you need, when you need it.
Habits & Routines
It’s time to get crystal clear on which routines and habits were helpful and that you want in your life and which ones you do not. James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits said “Habits are the compound interest of self-development”. Your small habits when repeated regularly build to greater benefits to you and your life. A bit like the shampoo ad ‘it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen’. If you eat a salad one day you may not feel healthy but develop the habit of eating nourishing food everyday and you will definitely feel the benefits.
Here are some tips on how I review my habits:
- Make a list of all your habits – the good, the bad and the ugly. You may not notice some things as being a habit and that’s ok, when you discover it (awareness is key) you can add it to the list.
- Make 3 columns – ‘Continue’, ‘Stop’ and ‘Start’. Allocate the habits on your list to the ‘Continue’ or ‘Stop’ Columns. Add any habits you would like to start to the ‘Start’ Column.
- Jot down some ideas to make your habits easier to complete. E.g. Set out your running clothes and shoes the night before.
- Use a habit tracker to keep track of your habits and your success. My Life Designer – Work+Life Planner has a mini weekly habit tracker or you may like to download and use this monthly habit tracker.
- Review how your habits are going and adjust if necessary and of course CELEBRATE!