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The January To-do List for Busy Execs

No matter how much or how little time you have, there are plenty of ways to get that done-and-done feeling on a personal and professional level. The simplest way to reach that feeling is by crossing off the tasks you’ve been avoiding—you know which ones we’re talking about! After that, there are a few to-dos that will prepare your schedule for the coming year.

Your January to-do list should include the items below. The time you invest now will improve your scheduling, well-being, and professional life throughout the year. Set aside some time throughout the month to cross them all off your list.

Get set, mark your calendars, go!

Investment: 5 Minutes

  • Unsubscribe from ten e-mail lists that have no value. Try to do this for five minutes every morning until you are happy with your email inbox again.
  • Jot down a fix-it list for the home. Plan it out and start budgeting. Getting it out of your head and onto paper can free up much-needed brain space.
  • Jot down a review of vendor contract lists for work. Make your vendors work for your business and see what renegotiation can do for your organization.
  • Book a date with that friend you never see enough. In fact, book one a month! Make the second Thursday of every month your “friend lunch date” day!
  • Book a lunch/coffee with the boss/coworker/colleague that you want to get to know better. Schedule it and make it happen. Networking is the key to success!
  • Order new socks, towels, and sheets. Nothing like a fresh start!
  • Set up mail-order delivery for regular prescriptions. Automate everything so you can live better.
  • Write that thank-you/congratulations note you’ve been meaning to get to. It matters. In fact, make Tuesday mornings the day you look through LinkedIn to see who needs congratulating for their new position. Keep it to only five minutes!
  • Book hair/color appointments for the whole year. Don’t wait. Do it now!

Investment: Under an Hour

  • Make doctor and dentist appointments for the family for the whole year. Making these appointments now means that you get the pick of days/times and can work it into your schedule more easily.
  • Get with payroll or HR and make a note of everyone’s anniversary date at your organization. Set up reminders to send congrats or say something in person. Yes—be THAT person this year.
  • Clean out the freezer. Don’t think. Just do. You know why.
  • Grab a couple of slices of pizza from the conference room, set a timer, and delete e-mails that you don’t need anymore. One hour—go!
  • Dump out your makeup bag or gym bag; edit, clean, restock.
  • Clean off your computer desktop. Make files for your important documents or update old ones to make things easy to find. Do this with both your personal and professional files. Delete, delete, delete all unnecessary files!
  • Order one-size-fits-most birthday gifts (gift cards, wine, bath bombs, great books, lotions, and potions) and store them for grab-and-go.
  • Sit down with a list of the company holidays for 2018, your personal commitments for 2018, and your vacation desires for 2018. Now reconcile, plan, budget and get that time off!
  • Turn ALL your coat-hangers around in your closet. In June, anything not turned right side around from use is useless and just taking up precious space. Time to purge!
  • Organize filing cabinet, drawers, etc. Scan and update everything possible. Shredding is the name of the game and you will thank yourself!
  • Buy a year’s worth of birthday cards and forever stamps! Keep them close to the addresses and/or calendar if possible. Set reminders. You will feel so good when you get a card out on time for once!
  • Identify three new meals that you’re excited to put into your regular cooking rotation. Consider expanding your slow cooker recipes and sharing the results with other friends who could use some time-saving inspiration. Or take it one step further and bring in a slow cooker full of yum to the breakroom one day!
  • Pick one of those boxes of “stuff” in the closet/basement/attic or under your desk/in the corner of your office; sort it, dump it or just set it on fire.
  • Clean out the car. Better yet, let professionals clean out the car while you eat fast food and scroll through Facebook. Now, that’s an hour!

What are you waiting for? Get started, and you will already be on your way to a more productive 2018. You can find more of my resources for employers and HR managers on our blog at KRESS Employment Screening.

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