Cleaning out your closet. Defragging your hard drive. Updating your resume.
What do all of these have in common? They’re nagging little jobs on most of our “to-do” lists that we keep putting off because they’re tedious and boring. They keep getting pushed to the back of the queue, gathering dust and being neglected until we’re forced to take care of them for one reason or another, at which point we end up stressed, panicky, and resentful.
Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to finally get around to doing these tasks, and having them all over and done with for the New Year and allow yourself to start the next year with a clean slate. Below are a few suggestions about some of the tasks you might like to tackle, if you have time to do so:
1. Clean out your email
Most of us have a plethora of unread emails lounging around in our in-boxes, as well as old drafts, spam, and various other sundries tucked into different folders. Instead of just vegging out in front of the TV after supper, consider putting on some music and sifting through your folders to clear them out. Doing this for 20 minutes/night for just a few evenings will tidy things up nicely.
2. Review and update your address book
Do you really need to hold onto the email addresses belonging to people you worked with in 2003? Take a few minutes to sort through your address book and cull those that you haven’t communicated with, along with old addresses that your friends/family don’t use anymore.
3. Clean your computer (inside and out) and tidy up your workstation
While you’re tidying up all those files, consider using this opportunity as a chance to clean up your desk (and your computer itself). If you have a CPU tower, take it apart so you can vacuum out all the dust and pet hair that might have accumulated in there. Toss away any take-out containers or empty energy drink cans around your desk, give everything a solid once-over with some spray cleaner, and be sure to clean your keyboard too—those things get nasty.
4. File and organize papers, bills, statements, and receipts
Keeping these in order can come in handy, especially since tax season is just around the corner. Try to organize them so your receipts and statements are together, with outstanding bills and invoices in another section.
5. Update your personal budget, resume and bio
As you go through your papers, take note of your spending habits over the last year. Have you gone overboard with spending? Been too frugal? Compare your habits to your bank account, and then consider re-adjusting your personal budget to even things out a bit.
On that same note, if you find that you’ve struggled to make ends meet or that you’re not being paid what you’re worth, it might be time to update your resume and look for a new job. If instead you’re perfectly happy with where you are, but you’ve had some major life changes (moved to a new city/country, earned a degree, got married, etc.) then you might want to update your bio on various networking sites.