Today, we're walking you through our top tips for goal setting, workspace curating, habit building, and more for a fresh start in the new year. Read on for easy-to-implement strategies for getting organized (plus why you should rethink those new year's resolutions). Let's get started:
Rethink Your Space
At Appointed, we believe that curating a thoughtful workspace and surrounding yourself with what inspires you is key to both productivity and mood—giving you a clearer mind to tackle big goals. The start of a new year is the perfect time to simplify and declutter, setting yourself up for more thoughtful planning and a more productive day.
Ready to organize? Take a good hard look at your workspace—whether it be your home office, studio space, or kitchen table. Start by cleaning off your desk and choosing only the everyday essentials to keep close at hand. Less used items can be sorted by type and stored away in a drawer or closet (bins and labels are your best friend here). Working on a budget? No need for fancy storage solutions - repurpose items found around the house like shoe boxes, painters tape, and a permanent marker for labeling contents. We find that a minimally adorned space promotes clarity of mind and minimizes distractions. Plus, all this extra room means you have a sanctuary for your everyday planning sessions and goal setting (more on that later).
The organization doesn’t have to stop at your workspace, but try not to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to an overhaul of your home. Clutter can accumulate over time, and it will likewise take time to organize it all. Once you have a clear workspace where you can focus, assess what areas of your space could benefit from a new system. Break it down into small, actionable tasks that can be completed in one sitting. For example, instead of "organize hall closet" start with "go through winter clothes". You can't half-check off a task, so breaking it down will help you record progress and celebrate small victories.
Consider Digital MinimalismIt’s no secret that some of the most disorganized (and distracting) areas of our life live on our phones and computers. Whether it’s an ever-growing list of old and unread emails, a completely full iPhone photo album (made up of mostly screenshots and why-did-I-take-that photos), hundreds of files on your desktop computer, or unused apps and excessive notifications, all this digital clutter can slow us down, stress us out, and make finding what we need unnecessarily complicated.
A few tips:
- Declutter your devices regularly—choose a designated time once a week to delete emails, go through new photos from the past week, and organize downloads and files. Even 10 minutes each week can have a huge impact on your mental clarity when it comes time to find that important email.
- Reassess your notifications—digital notifications can be helpful in the right context, but most only serve to distract us from the important work at hand. Consider turning off all notifications on your phone and desktop, and instead, setting up a schedule for checking in on news, email, and other apps at specific times throughout the day.
- Limit your screen time and social media use—recent studies have clearly showed a correlation between social media use and anxiety—not to mention our devices and platforms being a productivity-killer. Starting with one day a week away from your phone or social media platforms can help you differentiate between the essential and the unnecessary, and help reframe what is possible when distractions are eliminated.
Goals > ResolutionsThere is nothing quite like the fresh start and sense of possibility that comes with a new year, as opportunities for a new lifestyle, outlook, or habits become front of mind. However, it is also easy for an unattainable new year’s resolution to quickly result in burnout and disappointment. The solution? Choose simple, personal goals that can be broken down into attainable actionable items. Resolutions may not be failing because you lack the willpower, but rather because the goal set was too vague, not personally inspiring, or lacking in clear next steps.
Try using the project management tool, SMART, for choosing your next goal:
- Specific—What is the goal and what steps need to be taken to achieve it?
- Measurable—How are you going to track your progress? This could be via a tool like a habit tracker, taking photos of progress, journaling, or pulling monthly reports.
- Achievable—Take a step back now that you’ve identified the specifics. Being realistic about your time will set you up for success and the pride that comes with a goal achieved.
- Relevant—Ensure the goal aligns with your values and long-term goals.
- Time-related—Setting a realistic due-date or timeframe can aid in motivation to make sure you stay on track.
Establish A Routine
Establishing a morning routine can bring a multitude of benefits to your work and overall well-being, including reduced stressed, increased productivity, and improved decision-making abilities. We find that setting aside a few minutes at the beginning of each day to review your schedule, assess tasks and priorities, and set goals for the day can set the stage for more confidence, productivity, and creativity.
It doesn’t stop there—find the routines that work for you. Maybe incorporating an evening journal session before bed, 30 minutes to unplug from your computer and brainstorm new ideas, or even a midday walk can reap benefits when done with consistency. Creating space for ourselves that we can turn to time and time again can help us feel less overwhelmed when to-do lists get long and schedules get busy. Try sticking with a short daily routine for 2 weeks and see what it can bring to your life.
We hope these simple guidelines can set you up for your best year yet. Stay tuned for more organizational and productivity tips to come.