Are you feeling overwhelmed with the New Year tasks and to-do’s? Are you getting further behind on your work with client deadlines looming over your head?
Did you have a moment of pure stress-mode and start crying because you need more sleep?
Oh wait! That’s just me…but seriously, I can totally relate!
At the beginning of every new year I have big hopes and a massive to-do list of things I want to accomplish. But then reality sets in (as does the flu) and my dreams of productivity fly out the window.
Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is to re-evaluate the situation and get organized. Stop spending so much time focusing on the problem and work on finding a solution.
Here’s how to go from being stressed to feeling accomplished in 5 simple steps!
1. Break it down
No matter what size the task is it will be less overwhelming if you break it down into smaller goals and tasks. For example, if “File Income Taxes” are on your to-do list, it can easily be put into much smaller and less dreadful to-dos.
Start by gathering up all your W2’s, 1099’s, bank account info and other income statements for the year. Then on another day, create a spreadsheet of all your expenses and any big purchases you made (like a car, a house or business equipment).
In a few days you’ll have everything prepped for what you need to file your taxes and can take it to a CPA or file them online yourself. By spending 10-20 minutes everyday, you can quickly break your to-do list down into easily manageable chunks.
2. See what you can streamline
At first glance your task list might look like a never-ending time suck, but if you take a closer look you should be able to identify things that can be done at the same time, or even multitask while doing something else.
Can you pay your utility bill while sitting in line to pick up your prescriptions? Can you find a yummy crockpot recipe to cook while you and your family are at school and work the whole day? Find what takes up the most time for you and see if you can combine it with something else.
Within your business, you should be able to streamline your work and even delegate out certain tasks. It may be a smart investment to pay someone $20 an hour to handle something that could consume your entire day.
Free up your day by streamlining and delegating work!
3. Eliminate unnecessary errands
Traffic is one of the most time-consuming things that can eat into your schedule. Between commuting and running around doing errands, you could spend an entire day getting things done.
In order to save time, eliminate unnecessary errands by doing things like participating in a carpool or having your groceries delivered. And instead of driving across down to the bank to make your deposits, try using an app like Ingo Money to load your checks instantly onto a Prepaid card.
No more waiting in line at the bank or wasting time driving to the ATM. All you have to do is take a picture of your check with your smartphone to send to Ingo Money.
You can choose to pay a small 1% or 4% fee depending on the check type (with a $5 minimum fee) to load the funds to your card in minutes. Or if you prefer to load the funds onto your card for free, you’ll have to wait 10 days to access the money.
4. Reward your progress
Tackling your to-do list can easily turn into a chore if you don’t infuse a little fun into it. As you check items off your list, reward yourself with a little something special. Take a break and dance to some fun music, or go for a walk outside.
Let yourself indulge in a yummy snack (hello cookies!) or sit down with a hot cup of coffee and a book to relax before you hit your second wind. I like to watch a 30 minute episode of something on Netflix or a funny sitcom.
If you set up increments of work + reward slots within your day, you’ll be a lot more motivated to get your to-do list done early!
5. Get paid to save time
In an effort to educate everyone about how easy it is to use financial apps like the Ingo Money mobile app, Ingo has created the Ingo Money in Minutes instant win game on Facebook. Every day from 1/15 – 2/11, you’ll have the chance to win one of four $20 e-gift cards just by answering how you’re saving time by using the Ingo Money app.
Additionally, every time you play the game or someone plays through your share link from the game, you’ll receive a sweepstakes entry for a chance to win the grand prize of $500 towards the smartphone of your choice.
6. Limit your expectations
Instead of trying to do everything on your list, simplify your expectations and only choose 1-3 things that need to get everyday. Before you start work, or begin your errands, pick a few tasks that are a high priority.
If you can get them done by the end of the day then I’d call that a win! Don’t worry about everything else on the list, just prioritize these things and get to it. (And don’t forget to do a little dance when you’re finished!)
Don’t let the New Year inspiration pass you by. Use these tips to get back on top of your work and you’ll find the motivation to make this the best year ever!