New year's resolutions - should we bother?

A friend once told me to list everything I'd achieved at the end of every year.  I now have a list  dating back to 2009.  Its only a simple list, kept on the 'Notes' pages of my phone and also includes social reminders such as who got married, who was born...etc. But it's the more poignant and specific achievements I like to look back upon, such as:

  • Set up Organisation Unlimited OU;
  • Secured my Xth client;  
  • Reached my Year 2 goals;
  • Redesigned and decorated then upstairs of my house;  
  • Learned how to ride a motorbike... etc.  
  • Oh, and also the odd Bridget Jones-style entry such as lost / gained xlbs!

Its the only New Years resolution that Ive ever really stuck to, but adding to that list throughout the year on a quiet Sunday night and then looking back on it afterwards has given me an enormous amount of self pride.  We are all too quick to overlook our achievements and forget that just living is hard work. And doing it well is even harder.  Remember to take care of yourself and as you make your New Years resolutions, make them challenging but achievable.  

Some of us struggle to organise ourselves, to delegate, and to maintain a general air of calm and order.  The solution? Implement processes into your life to make it more manageable. Routine is often described as a bore, but some routine is essential and, after a while, it becomes a habit rather than a chore.   Routines for personal life

  • Declutter: use Storage Solutions to efficiently store items you only use occasionally; this will enable you to find them easily when you next need them, rather than searching through a clutter junk area.
  • Detach: remove all electronic devices from the bedroom. It is amazing how much better you sleep without the interference of phones beeping, flashing and buzzing around you.  You think you don't notice it but once you remove them, you will realise that they are disturbing.
  • Discover: Make a New Year resolution to improve on a skill or learn a new one. – you will love yourself for it! Spend a weekend on a butchery course, take up a new fitness class, become a master of wine, join a camera club, put some time aside to finally learn how to garden and develop your own garden at the same time.  The choices are endless.

Routines for work life

  • Email etiquette – remember the mantra:
    • Do - use flags and colour coding
    • Delegate– use reminders and sub-folders
    • Delete– and  learn how to use the archive function
  • Set rules for regular emails like newsletters; send them to a Read folder to be accessed on a quiet day, but keep them out of your inbox! I try to have no more than 50 emails at any one time in my inbox, and all those emails require some form of action.
  • Colour code your calendar - internal, external, fee-earning, social....etc – this will give you a really good quick look at how you are spending your time and, therefore, how you might manage it more effectively.
  • Stop multi-tasking - you are much more productive when you concentrate on one task at a time. Making a concentrated effort on a task with minimal distractions will lead to better work and fewer mistakes which, in turn, means less  time and energy being wasted by going back to fix those mistakes.
  • Time your activities.You will be surprised how long it can take to achieve many mundane and everyday tasks; in your mind its 2 minutes, but in reality its 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Plan ahead. Taking the time to plan your day or your project is always time well spent.  Effort is only wasted when there is not a clear path....impatience is the enemy of efficiency!  

In summary, its up to you to manage your personal/work life balance – it is said that one amazing employee is as effective as 3 average you want to be average, or amazing?!