By Matt Allen
Vice President, Portfolio Lending (NMLS #415037)

How to Start the Year Right with National Get Organized Month

Jan 07, 2019

  • Helpful Tips
  • Events

After multiple days off during the holidays, most of us amble back into our offices only to find the half-eaten collection of Christmas cookies and piles of paperwork right where we left them. Starting the year on a positive note can be difficult when you can’t even find your pen. It’s no surprise then that January is National Get Organized Month.

In 2005 the National Association of Productivity & Organizing designated January ‘Get Organized Month’ to increase awareness of their organization and emphasize the benefits of keeping an orderly and clean workspace. Here are a few tips we’ve assembled to help you get more organized in 2019:

Clear the clutter. Studies have shown that we spend 10 minutes each day looking for lost items.  That’s about 2.5 days a year. And how you keep your desk organized can save a lot of time. Most-used items, like pens and paper clips, can go on the desk, while less-used items, like the tape dispenser and stapler, should go in a drawer.  The less clutter, the better.  That means go easy on the post-it note reminders and remove the knick-knacks. We all think it’s great you like Star Wars, but the Death Star pencil holder isn’t doing you any favors.

Keep some white space. Make sure you keep a paper-sized cleared area on your desk on your dominant side so that you can review or sign documents.

Reduce the pile. That pile of papers isn’t getting smaller, so you might as well go through it. Get some manila folders and organize each associated piece together. Recycle or shred the ones you no longer need. And if documents still need attention, place them in your inbox.

Clean up your email inbox.  We’re all guilty at some point of letting our email get away from us. According to research done by the McKinsey Global Institute, more than one-quarter of a worker’s day, on average, is spent answering and reading emails. Learn to delete spam emails as you receive them and create folders for important ones. Dedicate certain times to reading and sorting emails rather than interrupting your workflow multiple times a day.

Pay more bills online. Bills and statements make up much of the mail we receive these days, and they can create clutter and disarray. If they aren't taken care of in a timely manner, they can also become sources of late fees and penalties. Paying bills online has never been easier, with many banks offering free bill-paying services as part of their checking accounts.

We hope these tips can help get your National Get Organized Month off to a productive start so that you can spend time on more important things.