I mentioned in my previous post that I love the start of a brand new year for feeling fresh, and because also it gives me a rather insane feeling that I can achieve absolutely anything (although I can vouch that this particular feeling does not last much past February). I’m mostly a pretty organised person, and whilst I can do spontaneity (I know, ker-azy), feeling disorganised and chaotic really makes me feel stressed and also reduces my mental capacity to be a good Mum. It’s probably a control freak thing, but really I just like things to run smoothly and it frees up time for the fun stuff!
In the run up to, and at the start of each new year (and I also do lots of these things at the end of the long summer holidays), I run through a short checklist of mine and carry out a few small tasks, all of which help me feel ready to tackle my plans, and well, life, come January.
Get a new notebook
This is basics I believe, and I also don’t need any excuse for buying new stationery! I was lucky this year as my lovely BFF bought me a couple of fab ones for Christmas. I have a notebook for each job of mine, one for general lists/meal planning and one for jotting down ideas. At the beginning of each year I transfer any useful info from the previous ones, so it’s still there if I need it, and I can add to them as and when.
Clear out your handbag and purse
I’m embarrassed to say that my handbag has been the handbag of doom lately…. there has been SO much crap in there. I gave it a good old
well overdue clear out the other day and discovered numerous kids hair clips, a pack of playing cards, Peppa Pig figures, pack of tissues, stones, shells, loose change, old lighters from a horrible social smoking habit of years gone by….I could go on! Kids are magnets for all manner of tat (except the lighters, natch). Binning all the junk means I no longer scrabble around and get stressed trying to find the important stuff (car key, I’m talking to YOU).
Meal plan for the month
I’ve meal planned weekly and ordered our food shop online for several years now, and honestly, if you don’t already do this it’s a game-changer (as my pal Alison found out this past year!). At the beginning of January though, I meal plan for the whole month ahead, and it means I save SO much time when I want to crack on with other stuff in January. I find it works well for this month, as it’s usually a quiet one for us socially, but if we do decide to do something or a plan crops up before one the planned weeks, I scrap the order for whatever is on the menu that day, no biggie.
Fill out your calendars
I have a family planner that lives on the wall in our kitchen (I’m still yet to find one that fills all of my requirements like The Gruffalo one does- yes, I am THAT cool), and I buy the following year’s one in October so I have plenty of time to fill it in, and transfer birthday, anniversary info over that I might otherwise forget.
Update your address book
Check that everyone you send birthday/Christmas cards to has their up-to-date address in your address book- we’ve had quite a few friends and family move lately so this is something I really need to do.
Write some goals down
I find that if I write down 5 things I want to achieve throughout the year then it makes them seem eminently more ‘doable’, and gives me something to focus on. I then think about those 5 goals and then also write down 3 things that I need to do/could do in order to make them happen. This year I want to: write 5 short stories for children and send them off to publishers/agents, have 10 vlogs on my new YouTube Channel by the end of the year, reach the end of 2017 with my sanity in tact having 3 children (not quite sure how to achieve this one right now!), get the crux of our building work designed, booked in and completed, and come up with 3 great digital marketing campaigns for the telecoms company I work for 2 days a week. I think they can be done!
Change how you view your time
I read a book last year that seriously changed how I view my time as parent who manages her own workload around the children (bar being in the office during regular office hours one day a week). It was called “I know how she does it: How successful women make the most of their time”, by Laura Vanderkam, and it really was a revelation for me. Laura views a person’s whole potential time as being 168 hours (1 week) rather than just the daily 24 hours, and she shows various ‘mosaics’ that several career women fill in and state how they use their time. In most cases of these successful women, they worked long hours but not always at obvious times, and still managed to have plenty of ‘me’ time and family time. I always used to want to stick two fingers up at the Facebook memes that screamed “You have X amount of time in a week, don’t tell me you can’t find 3 half hour slots to exercise!” but they were right- it’s totally possible to do more than you think if you stop viewing your days as simply 9-5, whatever job you’re doing.
So these are the things that I do to get ahead in the New Year- what do you to make yourself feel more organised?