We’re gearing up for New Year’s Eve, and by gearing up, I mean putting my favorite Chinese restaurant that delivers on speed dial and updating my Netflix queue. Starting off the year with only a green tea ice cream hangover is always a good thing. But then there’s New Year’s Day. That’s the day we have all sorts of lofty ideas about how we’re going to improve ourselves and our lives in the coming year. These things usually fall apart by Martin Luther King Day. So we’re starting simple with some painless ways to make things run a little more smoothly in 2016.
1) Simplify the great closet clean out. The thorough closet clean out is a great thing but can be overwhelming. Here’s what: instead, place a bin or laundry basket in your closet or laundry room. Whenever something is too big/small or just not liked, toss it in. When the bin is full, donate it. If the item is unsalvageable, turn it into cleaning rags.
2) Get that email box cleaned up. The second you receive something you have no interest in, go to the trouble to unsubscribe to it. Report Spam. Mark as junk. If you have gmail, keep promotions relegated to the Promotions folder.
3) Get that old-school mailbox cleaned up. Keep the paper clutter from ever entering the house. Whenever you receive a cumbersome financial report, a paper bill or other correspondence that needs shredding, go to the trouble of signing up for the paperless route right then and there. Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and other junk mail at OptOutPreScreen.com, catalogchoice.org and DMAchoice.org. While you wait for this all to take effect, open the mail next to the recycling bin.
4) Never lose another password. I swear, this will save you countless hours of having to answer security questions about your first pet’s name and waiting for emails that contain temporary passwords. Sign up for LastPass (lastpass.com) right now. It is life-changing. The only password you’ll ever have to remember again is the on you use to log into LastPass.
5) Streamline your social media presence. I don’t know about you, but I find it boring and annoying when my friends post the same stuff to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It’s like dude, is it that important to you that we don’t miss the umpteenth photo of your dog? Do you really think that cheesy inspirational quote is so profound that we need to read it in three times in three different places? The answer is no (even though “Hang in There” in a terribly dated font paired with a cat does rule.) Social media hogs up way too much of our productive and real face-to-face social time. Try to pick one platform for personal use and stick with it. (OK, you can have two if you must, but no double-dip posts allowed.)
Do you have any plans to make 2016 less cluttered and more productive? Please share them with us.