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9 Hacks That will Make Your Life Simpler and More Productive All Year Round

9 Hacks That will Make Your Life Simpler and More Productive All Year Round

Many people make resolutions to be more productive and to live simply, but these hopes often fizzle out over time, as it may become unclear as to what needs to happen in order to live in that way. Fortunately, huge life changes are not the only option—a handful of seemingly small life hacks can aid in keeping the momentum through the whole year.

Set Your Alarm for Earlier

Setting your alarm for 20 to 30 minutes earlier can make a huge impact on your day. So much can be done in this sliver of time. Make breakfast at home, take the time to style your hair, do the things that you normally do not have time to do or can’t enjoy because of rushing. If your morning routine is already pretty simple, use this time to read.

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Take Over Your E-Mail

Email can be one of those things that can suck the productivity right out of you. The average person has about 3,000 emails in their inbox, which is overwhelming to say the least. To reclaim your inbox, take the time to unsubscribe from lists that do not benefit you, aim to archive, label, and mute as necessary, and batch task your email.

Clean Your Bag Weekly

Throw out all of the extra mess like gum wrappers and old receipts. After the initial clean out, it will take less time weekly, and you will be able to easily find whatever it is that you normally spend 5 minutes digging for. Make this a habit to have healthy and smarter life.

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Make a Giveaway Box

This is the container that holds all of the things needed to give for donation. It prevents items from piling up in a closet while awaiting donation, while simply being a piece for storage. Make your donation run when the box gets filled up and then start all over.

Make Your Bed Every Morning

Yes, every morning. This is beneficial because you will look like you have your priorities straight if someone shows up unannounced. When you do this every morning, it helps to build on other small but productive tasks that should be done daily. It will transform from a single mundane task to just one part of a productive morning routine. Plus, if you are setting your alarm earlier you will have the time to do it.

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Shop and Meal Prep on Weekends

Take one day to buy and prepare food for the week. It will save time and money while reducing stress throughout the week. All meals can be made ahead, so that on any given day you can grab what you need and it’s ready to heat and eat.

Get a Key Holder and Never Misplace Your Keys Again

Hang up your little key holder in the entryway and never lose those keys again. Make it a routine to drop your belongings (keys, wallet, and cell phone) in there every day when you get home.

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Put Those Coins in a Jar

Get a piggy bank or coin jar to keep your coins. Make it a habit to collect them from your pocket, dresser, the sofa, and all over your car. This will help declutter your space while saving for miscellaneous items.

Get a Planner and Use It

Some sort of planner or calendar is essential for being successful and productive. It will store all of your daily commitments and activities. You will spend less time wondering about what your week looks like and more time working on tasks to make that week successful, as you will know what needs to be done to prepare.It is impossible to remember all the events and tasks, that is where the planner comes to the rescue.

Featured photo credit: nightwriterpoet via nightwriterpoet.com

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Brad Shugar

Business Development Consultant

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

1. Purge Your Office

De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

2. Gather and Redistribute

Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

3. Establish Work “Zones”

Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

4. Close Proximity

Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

5. Get a Good Labeler

Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

6. Revise Your Filing System

As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

  • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
  • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
  • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
  • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
  • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
  • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
  • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

7. Clear off Your Desk

Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

8. Organize your Desktop

Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

9. Organize Your Drawers

Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

10. Separate Inboxes

If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

11. Clear Your Piles

Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

12. Sort Mails

Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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13. Assign Discard Dates

You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

14. Filter Your Emails

Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

15. Straighten Your Desk

At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

Bottom Line

Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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