Get yourself organised for 2014!

Now that we’ve made it to 2014, chances are you will want to start strong by becoming more productive and achieving more this year. Like all good intentions, we start off well, but as time progresses, we tend to lose the run of things before reverting back to the normal routine.

To prevent this from happening, it helps if you have a plan in place and have things organised first for when you’re returning to work, college or your normal day-to-day life.

While most of it will be determined by how focused you are, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure things go smoothly.

Some ground rules

While it’s tempting to just write out a list and expect yourself to complete everything on it, it’s a bad idea to do this unless you have some kind of plan. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

– Start off small and build it up slowly. Developing a habit takes time so it’s better to start off with one or two short-term objectives and complete them first. The more productive you become, the more you can gradually add onto the list.

– Whatever your aim is, never write down vague or general aims as usually they require multiple actions to be done and can put you off. Keep them simple and concise since writing down “Run for 25 minutes” is a clearer goal than “Get fit.”

– Tying in to the last point, while it’s fine to have goals that will take a serious amount of time and commitment to complete (getting fit, learning a new skill, etc.), it’s better if you break them down into days instead of weeks or months, especially when you’re starting off. The reason for this is that it’s very easy to be discouraged if a task appears to be too big or drags on for too long.

– Whatever format you use to place your to-do list, use one that you will check regularly. Are you always on Gmail? Use Google Calendar. Are you always checking your smartphone or tablet? Download one of the apps listed below. Find apps too complicated? Use a pen and notepad.

– This will depend on the type of person you are, but if you’re the kind of person who finds it difficult to complete a to-do list, start off with the easiest task first and work from there. This will give you momentum which will help you deal with the more difficult or time-consuming tasks.

– If you fail to compete a task (eg: you miss a gym session, forgot to practice a new skill, etc.), forget about it and continue on as normal. Unless it’s absolutely important to do, adding it to your list will only bog you down and make it harder to complete other tasks.

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