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Tips for Keeping Your New Years Resolutions: The Business Edition

WIth the start of the new year, there seem to be an endless number of articles and blog posts related ot new years resolutions. Many state that new years resolutions can make your business a success in a myriad of different ways and just as many seem to warn you not to waste your time. Regardless of whether or not you believe in making new years resolutions, the new year is the perfect time to get your business on track and start the year off on the right foot.

Resolutions are generally goal oriented and focus your attention on the end result. In 2014, consider taking the opposite approach. Rather than creating a list of where you want to be at the end of the year, take inventory of how you are starting the year. You can start by tying up loose ends from 2013, such as bills that still need to be paid, or taking care of something you put off all of last year. This can be a simple task, such as filing the stack of papers on your desk, a complex task, such as finally taking the time to learn about Obamacare, or anything in between, such as registering every device you bought for the office over the course of last year.

Here are some other ideas to get you started so you can find your own ingenious way to start fresh in 2014.

1. Start with an aspect of your business that will benefit the most from starting the year organized. For instance, if your business is currently seeking investors or funding, start by getting all your financials in order and updating your financial statements for 2013.

2. Look around your workspace and take inventory of what is and isn't within arms reach from where you do most of your work. Take inventory of what you can add (or remove) to make your day a little bit more efficient. This can be as simple as moving the printer closer to your desk so you won't have to get up each time to check whether a document printed correctly.

3. Reduce your clutter. Throw out any papers you don't need (do you really need to keep a receipt for a latte from 8 months ago?) and scan any important documents onto your computer. Keeping an electronic copy of important documents will save you time in the long run and provides a backup just in case you misplace the hard copy. If you're pressed on time, don't bother renaming each individual scanned file. Create a folder for all the important documents for the year and just scan away. You can always sort through the electronic copies if and when you need to find a particular file.

4. If you've been using a single folder for all your electronic business documents over the last year and you don't have have time to go through an entire years worth of files, consider starting fresh with a new file folder for this year. This many not seem very helpful in January when you only have a handful of files, but as this can save time and effort as the files accumulate over the next few months. For one thing, if it's October and you need to find a file from January, limiting the search to the new folder will reduce the number of files that your computer needs to look through to locate the file you want and your computer will locate your file faster. The folder can also help you separate the files for this year from previous years and you have an opportunity to start fresh and stay organized as you add each new file to the folder.

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