I have always loved the last week of the year; 2016 was no exception. By then, the excitement (and work) of Christmas is over and the business world moves just a little bit slower.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions (too cliché!), but I do believe in hitting the pause button at the turn of the calendar and establishing some new routines and strategies, all with the goal of improving the quality of my life and work.
I like to start with the low hanging fruit when getting organized. This year, that was my email inbox. Maybe you also noticed a massive increase of emails as the holidays approached.
Stores that used to email one time a week (which was often enough, thank you), suddenly started emailing daily. Businesses that I hadn’t heard from all year let me know about holiday specials. And don’t even get me started on the mountain of emails from people and companies that I have never heard of!
My solution? I opted out of at least 100 email lists in the last 30 days. It feels amazing. (I’m also quite sure that in my passion for unsubscribing I may have opted out of your list – sorry!)
Next came the paper files. I don’t have many papers anymore, but in just a few minutes, I reviewed my files and was able to get rid of a nice big stack. Bazaam.
Last but not least, I focused in on my finances and, in particular, my recurring payments. For me, these are mostly in the form of tools that I use to run my business.
For example – and I am embarrassed to admit this – I discovered that I was paying for Audio Acrobat ($19.95/month) for an entire YEAR without using it. I kept telling myself that I was going to start a podcast of my newsletters, so I kept the subscription. Needless to say, it’s gone now.
I found several other online tools that I either no longer use or that I was able to replace with less expensive alternatives. By the end, I uncovered about $2,000 in annual savings, simply by reviewing and removing these.
These three areas – email, paperwork and finances – are easy to avoid. But I can tell you from firsthand experience, if you take just a little bit of time to focus in and clean these up, you’ll save time, money and headaches down the road.
Wishing you a fresh and well-organized 2017!