Something about January and a fresh new year ahead always gets me thinking: What will this year bring? What will I conquer, what dreams will I fulfill? It’s always exciting to welcome in a new year and watch it unfold.
This year is the tenth anniversary of national “Get Organized” (GO) month, which is--you guessed it!--January. Different chapters of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) are hosting several events to inspire you--and to help you get your life, your office, or your home organized.
Something NAPO talks about that might appeal to you if you like to write your goals down is the concept of a SMART goal. Many of us fail regularly at meeting goals, so my advice is not to set any unless they’re SMART. (If just the mention of the word “goal” makes you start to twitch uncontrollably, the Nike slogan “Just do it!” probably works better for you). A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive--elements that actually make it realistic. So instead of setting a vague goal like “In January I’m going to organize my kitchen,” a SMART goal breaks it down like this: “By Super Bowl Sunday, I’m going to have cleaned out my pantry, purged dishes and utensils in my cupboards and drawers, and given away, recycled, or thrown out things I never or rarely use.” With a SMART goal, you know what’s expected, when it must be completed, and what it involves. Suddenly, it becomes a target you can hit. (Alternatively, you could “just do it!”)
Another excellent project for January now that the business year has come to a close is organizing your office. What files can be collapsed together or retired? What can be digitized? Did you use the staple remover in your top drawer once in 2013? What SMART goal can you set to get your office organized--and that will result in making your work day twice as efficient? (Or what frustration do you have to run into in your file drawer to get you to drop what you’re doing and “just do it!”)
For my part in GO month, I’m going to share tips on organizing different spaces. We’ll kick off this Thursday with the kitchen, my favorite zone, and then move on to other rooms. If there’s an area you’re particularly interested in, leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to add it to the list. I challenge you to follow along with your own organizing project, set a SMART goal, or “just do it!” And don’t wait for a big chunk of time to take it on--chip away at it in any unexpected half-hours that present themselves. Who knows? You may not even notice how organized you’re becoming.