1. Back up my computer hard drive.
To do this you must look beyond the external hard drive. These devices are a great place to start but they can get corrupted, damaged by water or fire, or stolen. To have complete peace of mind when it comes to your data, use an online backup service. Services such as Carbonite, Mozy or CrashPlan+ transmit your data over the Internet and securely stores it on a server in a professional data center. When choosing a provider consider cost, ease of use, support, and security.
2. Keep my office uncluttered.
If you keep on top of this you’ll save time and your sanity. At the end of each work day, take at least 10 minutes to clear your desk. This means putting away file folders, replacing pens and other random items in their containers, and removing coffee cups and other paraphernalia. Being greeted each day by a clear and uncluttered workspace decreases your stress level and increases your focus.
3. Update your software
Remember those pop-up boxes that appear on your computer screen now and again? You know, the ones you might quickly close without reading? Well, some of those boxes are alerting you to update your software. A great resolution for 2013 is to take the few seconds to make the update on the spot. It’s important to upgrade because it:
- Introduces new features
- Addresses or corrects bugs from prior versions
- Prevents the chance of being stuck with outdated or obsolete versions
If you stay on top of this, your updates will only take you a few minutes to complete.
4. Take time to plan your week
Take back your Monday mornings. Imagine how it would feel to start your week knowing what’s ahead. This puts you in control of your projects and your time. Sure, things will come up along the way, but knowing what’s on your priority list will help you get your things done.
5. Clean out your email inbox
Almost everyone I speak to is having a battle with their inbox. This is a constant cause of stress and wasted time for so many entrepreneurs. The start of the new year is a time of new beginnings. Create a file folder called 2012 and put all your thousands of emails in there. Now look at your inbox. How do you feel? I’ll bet the words “freedom” and “space” come to mind. From this day forward you have three decisions to make for each piece of email that comes your way:
At the end of the day, your inbox should be empty. Of course this is an abbreviated version of what needs to happen. If you’re ready to get serious about getting your inbox to zero contact me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> and we’ll get it done together.
6. Use a dashboard to manage your social media
Are spending too much time and energy managing your social media channels? Consider putting a stop to that by using a social media dashboard like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These dashboards enable you to view multiple social networks (like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) on the screen at the same time without opening new tabs or pages. You can also schedule your tweets, retweets, posts and updates, which will free up your time and keep you from being distracted.
7. Update your website
When was the last time you looked at your website’s content? It’s time to refresh your words and images to make sure they’re still in keeping with your brand, voice, and key messages. Nothing turns off your visitors (i.e. potential customers) more than stale or outdated content.
8. Go digital with your To Do List.
If you’re still a person who loves their paper To Do list, consider going digital. There are so many great free apps out there that make it so easy. Going digital will also help you share your information with others (think virtual assistant or team members) and enable your tasks to be accessible from anywhere on any device.
9. Reduce your paper
Now is the time to start down the road to becoming paperless. Having less paper in your workspace not only helps the environment it will help keep your office uncluttered.
10. Start shredding private information
This one is easy to implement. The rule of thumb is shred any piece of paper or document that has any private information on it. This could be your name, contact information or financial data. (I also shred any client information and all proposals). Many shredders can also shred credit cards and DVD/CDs too.