Archive for December, 2017

Make Sure You Do These Things Before 2018

to-do-list-for-2018

With the approaching new year, it is important to take a step back and make sure we are prepared personally for what lies ahead in by making a 2018 to-do-list.

Are you on the right path to achieve personal as well as professional success this coming year? Here are a few things that you should do before 2018 or by the end of January.

Here are 6 things you need to do before 2018.

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1. Look Back and Reflect on 2017

Reflecting on the year that is about to expire helps establish where we are, where we were, and where we are headed.

If you are married or in a close personal relationship, this is something that the two of you should be involved with.

What were your bills this time a year ago?

What was the state of your savings or investments?

Don’t get depressed if this is not good news. Instead, use it to empower you in improving these aspects of your life. Look for the positives. If you paid off a credit card or bought a new house, make a note.

Did you take a nice vacation?

Did you complete an educational course?

Were there other ways you were able to improve yourself?

Perhaps you met a new person or made new friends. Use your successes to build momentum and seek to overcome issues like procrastination that may have held you back.

2. Schedule Doctor Appointments and Checkups

The end of the year is a good time to check in on your health by scheduling doctor appointments.

It also ensures you are using any health benefits your medical insurance plan has available before they expire.

Keep in mind, these include dental, vision, and your overall health.

Entering the new year knowing the status of your physical health can provide you peace of mind.

If health changes are suggested by your doctor it is the perfect time to make those changes.

3. Clean Up and Declutter

Most of us simply have too much stuff.

It may be books, clothing, kitchen gadgets, apps on our phones, or boxes in our basements. Acquiring stuff tends to burden us rather than enrich us. That is why cleaning up, decluttering, and downsizing has so much value in preparing you for the New Year.

Will you add more apps in 2018?

Of course, you will, but you should shed the ones you rarely use before the year is out.

Will you buy new clothes in the coming year?

Certainly. But get rid of the clothes you haven’t worn in over a year first.

If you are an avid reader, aren’t you better served gifting a book you love to someone who will learn from it or enjoy it rather than having it collect dust on a shelf?

Decluttering has a mental and therapeutic benefit to it.

Less “stuff” creates less weight on your mind and spirit. “Stuff” takes space, maintenance, and can quickly outweigh perceived benefits.

Owning a boat, for example, may sound like an absolutely logical goal initially but when you consider the purchase costs, storage, dock space, maintenance, fuel costs, insurance, and transportation expense and divide it by the number of weeks or days you may actually enjoy it, there may be better alternatives.

Decluttering often starts by simply asking, “Do I really need this?”

4. Check Your Finances

Looking at your finances and investments is more complex than looking at the balance of your checking account.

You need to establish where you are RIGHT NOW, at the end of the year.

What are your total debts? If you were forced to pay the balance on your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, department store cards, and other personal debt, how much would it be?

Now, add up your savings and investments, the value of your home and cars, your personal belongings, collectibles, and what you have in your wallet and checking account, what would that amount to?

This, at the very least, that will give you a rudimentary evaluation of your net worth.

The bottom line is, if you were to go away today, never to be heard from again, and your family would have to sell your assets to pay your bills, what would be left over? Knowing this basic number, even if not precise, can help you improve upon it before heading into 2018.

Don’t Forget to Evaluate Your Taxes as Well

No end of the year financial check-up would be complete without an evaluation of your tax situation.

How can you best position yourself in the new year to minimize your taxes, whether they are income, real estate, capital gains, inheritance or others?

There is no doubt a tax professional can pay dividends in your planning for the new year.

Are there things that you add to your to-do-list for the end of the year? Let me know what they are in the comments. If you want to get more done in 2018 than ever, click the button below to download my free ABCDE Checklist Productivity Tool.

5 Time Wasters at Work That Are Killing Your Productivity

time wasters at work

Do you ever feel like you can never get anything done at work? Are there time wasters at work that are killing your productivity that you might not realize?

Your days seem to whiz by in a flurry of activity. But how much are you really getting done? According to recent research, the answer is, not that much. With productivity down, American businesses are looking for the reasons why. What they have found is astounding.

Today’s worker is wasting more time than ever before – and that is cutting deeply into employers’ profits.

When surveyed, the average worker admitted to wasting about three hours of their workday on non-work-related tasks. That’s three times as much time as employers had suspected, costing businesses about $759 billion in wasted salaries every year. But, it gets worse.

According to a report issued by Salary.com this year, about 4% of workers admit to wasting as much as half of their workday doing things that have nothing to do with their jobs. So what are people doing during work hours?

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How We Spend Our Time

According to statistics, 64% of workers use the internet for personal use during the workday and 50% make personal phone calls or send texts during office hours. As many as 60% of workers admit to making online purchases when they are supposed to working, and many more play video games.

But, the personal use of time aren’t the only workday wasters impacting businesses. Here are some in-office time wasters that employees report:

  • Gossip (42%)
  • Social interaction with C-Workers (32%)
  • Snacks and Breaks (27%)
  • Meetings (23%)
  • In-Office Noise Distractions (24%)

How Much Our Time Wasters Cost

None of us have to waste much time to have a real impact on a company’s profits. It makes sense that wasting hours each day is going to cost your employer big bucks. But, what about those small time wasters we rarely think about?

One report estimates that if every employee in the United States wastes a mere 36 seconds per day, the cost is an astronomical $120,484,000 every year! Now, multiply those few seconds by the minutes and hours most of us waste in a single day and you can see how much productivity is being lost in America’s workforce.

How to Break the Distraction Habit

No matter how conscientious you are, we all need to look at the tasks that strip us of the time necessary to get real work done. Here are a few of the most common culprits, along with some simple solutions:

1. Office Gossip

It’s hard not to fall into this trap, but statistics show that gossiping eats away as much as an hour a day in some offices. The easiest solution is to walk away when the gossip starts.

2. Socialization

Limit friendly banter to breaks and lunchtime.

3. Distractions by Noisy Co-Workers

If a noisy co-worker keeps you from being productive, wear noise-cancelling earphones, or ask to have your cubicle moved to another part of the office.

4. The Internet

Unless you need it to get the job done stay off the internet altogether while at work.

5. Email

Sifting through dozens of emails every day can be a real time waster. Instead of reading and responding to every message when it comes in, set aside a time each day to handle non-emergent correspondence. Here’s another tip: only read the most important messages. Skip over the rest.

6. Meetings

If meetings are eating away at your productivity, do your best to eliminate unnecessary ones. If you really aren’t required to be present, skip it. And when you are required to be in the room, do your best not to sidetrack the discussion. Keeping everyone on task can save hours of table time every week.

Snacks and Breaks

Everyone needs a break from time to time, but do your best to limit them to only a few minutes once or twice each day.

It may seem impossible to get through your to-do list in a mere eight-hour workday, but if you are diligent to eliminate these common time eaters, you may discover that your day goes much smoother, and you get a lot more accomplished!

Eliminate these time wasters and see how your productivity improves! Learn how to structure your day at work so you don’t waste any time with my Prioritization Tool.

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