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A fresh approach for a new decade
Fresh Ideas for a Fresh Decade
The New Year fireworks and parties are a distant memory now, but hopefully your commitment to improvement in this new decade is still strong. It's time to pack up the past and get focused on the 2010. By making a few changes and incorporating a few fresh ideas, you can start the new decade with a fresh approach to organisation. But where do you start? Before you get overwhelmed, check out these ideas to kick off your way to a more organised decade - at work and at home.

Make Your Goals Count

What better way to start off the decade than with a list of goals you'd like to accomplish? You can separate the goals into short, medium and long term, giving you some to complete during 2010, and some for the remainder of the decade. Tips to establishing effective goals include:
  • Write them down! Putting your goals on paper, and sharing them with colleagues or your family makes you more accountable. If your goal is to give up soft drink, imagine how much more successful you'll be if your workmates and your partner knows this!
  • Include details that give your goals some substance. If your goal is to buy a house, establish some details (like it must have 3 bedrooms, be on a quiet street, and require no landscaping). It will focus your attention on the right type of house, and give you something more meaningful to work towards.
  • Give your goals an element of measurement, like a time frame in which they need to be completed. If your goal was the purchase of a new house, set the time frame for the purchase. Is it in 2010? Is it in 2013? Without setting the time frame, you risk continually putting off the purchase until it is 2019 and you're still waiting to accomplish this goal! Other measures might be financial (like the amount of money you will save each month) or numerical (like the number of visitors you will have to a new web site).
Start Small, Think Big

If you're feeling a bit intimidated with all you need to do before the end of 2019, relax. Just do a little bit at a time. If you've set goals that span the next several years, they are bound to look daunting! Try breaking some of them into smaller pieces so you can feel some accomplishment as the months pass. As long as you do something on your list regularly, you're still making progress. Maybe your goal is to double your company turnover by 2015. Think about breaking that down into small goals you can check off every quarter.

Conquer the Clutter

Did you finish 2009 with clutter around you? Did you accumulate so much paper and "stuff" last decade that you're bursting out of your house or office? It's hard to get going when you don't have enough breathing room. Take the time to start clearing out the clutter, separating items for recycling, keeping, donating and rubbish. Don't let the clutter build up again. This decade, make it a habit to regularly clear away clutter. Regular cleaning and clearing makes the job much easier and quicker.

Simple Storage

Keep your storage solutions simple. Frequently used items should be easy to find, and equally easy to return to their home. The last thing you want is to have to forage through your filing every week to take out, and then return, an important document. We'd also recommend labelling your storage boxes so you'll know what's inside. You can use Avery® Heavy Duty Labels (they'll stick, and stay!) and design them with Avery Design & Print Online (you can add pictures or logos to each label for quick identification). If you think you're going to need to hire storage space, commit to archiving items for storage.

Give Everything a Home

Do you spend a lot of time hunting down missing items because they've been misplaced, or borrowed and not returned? Next time, assign a designated home for each of your items, and label them with the location where it should be returned. Avery Identification Labels are perfect for the job because they come in lots of sizes and colours. A pair of scissors that often go wayward can be labelled "JANE'S DESK ORGANISER", or the common hole puncher can be labelled "MAIN PRINTER ROOM". When everything has its place, everyone will know where each item belongs, where to find it and where to return it when they're done.

Find Your File Style

There are many different ways to file paperwork. Filing can be alphabetical, chronological, numerical, colour-coded (like Avery Lateral Filing solutions) or a combination of different methods. The key is to create a system that's easy for you (and whoever's sharing your files) to use, and to keep it consistent for all similar files.

Motivate Yourself With Rewards

A little incentive never hurt anyone. Set up key milestones within large projects, and when you reach them, treat yourself. Make sure the reward fits the goal. For achieving a long term goal (like acquiring a major new customer), ensure the reward is substantial, like a weekend away. After you've completed a large mailing project at work, enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. When you've finished sorting through a box at home, watch your favourite TV show. Just remember to take a break and enjoy a little well-deserved fun.

It's fun to start afresh! It's fun at the beginning of a new year, so imagine how much fun it could be at the beginning of a new decade! You've got the chance to change things, being more organised, and achieving more of your goals. When you see the progress you've made from all your hard work, you're on the right track - so keep going! Don't let things pile up, and resist the urge to procrastinate. Don't give up on your goals. Now's the perfect opportunity to get that fresh start you've always wanted. It's a habit that's sure to reward you until the next decade starts.
Related Content:
5S Steps To An Organised Home
- These steps (all starting with "S") can help you get your home organised now and keep it that way in the future.

1. Sort - clean out the junk. Sort through everything you have in a particular area. Allocate each item into one of three categories - Keep, Unsure, and Throw out. For those items marked "Unsure", set them aside. Set a date to review them. If they have not been needed in the meantime, then throw them out too.

2. Shine - clean everything and everywhere in your nominated area.

3. Set - find a place for all those "Keep" items, and put them in their appropriate place. It really helps to keep those items you use most often within easiest reach, and those less often used items can then be tucked away in the hard to reach cupboards. You should also consider which items you wish to have on display. If you have lots of memories and mementos then you should either care about them enough to have them visible to you everyday, or otherwise consider throwing them out.

4. Standardise - manage your new organised area. You should identify any colour coding system you have used, label cupboards or shelves with their contents, or find some way to communicate to the rest of your household how the area is organised, and how you want it to remain organised! You could also set a timetable for reviewing the area (monthly, quarterly or even annually).

5. Sustain - make sure you keep your improved area organised. By keeping your newly organised area ship shape over time it will become ingrained in you, and will become second nature. You'll never have to think about it again. The new organised you will impress your friends and family, but more importantly, you!

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