9 Things You Can Do This Weekend To Feel Productive
Start the New Year off right
We’re not even two weeks into 2017, but chances are some of you are already struggling to maintain your New Year’s resolutions.
January has been cold and miserable, most of us are broke and it feels hard to summon up the energy or willpower we need.
But it doesn’t have to be a total loss. Here are a few things you can do, which shouldn’t take more than one sitting, that will make you feel like a productive human being.
1. Clear out your emails
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to do this. A lot of projects will have finished at the end of last year, many of the offers sitting in promotional emails will be out of date, and there’s something cathartic about sorting through the previous year’s correspondence and starting fresh.
There are some quick things you should do immediately:
- Check through your promotional emails, find the ones you constantly ignore and delete, and unsubscribe
- Get rid of social media notifications. You don’t need old emails from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
- Delete newsletters. They’re probably well out of date by now
- Delete promotional emails. Unless it came in the last few days, the offers are more than likely finished
- Does this have information that I need to keep for the future?
- Does this have sentimental value?
- Is this an email I’d feel uncomfortable deleting for some reason?
After you’ve done a quick purge of those, you should be left with emails from real people and you can then go through each email individually.
Ask yourself: if you answer yes to those three questions, label the email under the appropriate heading (e.g. work, personal, bills) and get it out of your inbox. If not, delete it.
Depending on how bad your inbox is, this will probably take a bit of time. But it will clear a lot of space on your phone if you keep your emails locally and it will make it easier to find your important emails.
2. Sort out your wardrobe
More clothes should mean more choice, right? But often it can feel the opposite. The clothes you don’t like as much obscure your favourites and the overall wardrobe can feel diminished as a result.
It’s time to pull everything out of your wardrobe and get rid of the following items:
- Anything you haven’t worn in over a year (unless it’s something bought for a specific occasion, such as a formal dress, that you haven’t had the opportunity to wear)
- Anything that no longer fits you
- Anything that fits you badly/doesn’t look flattering on you
- Anything that has rips in it, become worn, or jumpers that have become bobbly
You can take all the clothes from this list and give them to charity (apart from the latter category).
If you want to go even further, you could try building a capsule wardrobe, where you build up a wardrobe made of 30 basic items, including shoes, which you mix and match.
This aims to streamline your clothes and make you feel more satisfied with what you have.
3. Build a medicine box
This is for people who like to feel prepared. We’re currently in the middle of flu season and it’s nice to have medicine when you need it, instead of waiting to be sick and not having it.
A basic medicine box should have:
- Paracetamol: painkiller which also brings down your temperature
- Ibuprofen: painkiller which also reduces swelling
- Diarolyte or generic: rehydrates you. Good for when you have been throwing up, had diarrhoea, or have a massive hangover
- Decongestants: for when you have a cold or flu
- Strepsils or generic: for sore throats
- Motilium or generic: if you often suffer from nausea
- Immodium or generic: if you often suffer from diarrhoea
- Anti-histamines: if you often suffer from allergies
- Sudocream or Savlon: for use on cuts, scratches, blisters, sunburn and insect bites
4. Help yourself to eat more healthily
Perhaps you won’t have the energy or the time to cook every day, but you want to eat healthier.
To set yourself up better for the year, now’s the time to do some research.
- Look through any cook books you have and at cooking sites online to find a few things you would like to cook
- Find which restaurants and shops nearby which sell good food to give yourself options
- Buy spices, oils and long-lasting goods which won’t go out of date but will widen your options when you’re cooking
- If you don’t have them already, get some good Tupperware so that you can cook a huge meal at the beginning of the week and freeze the rest for later
- Look at the advice currently being given, based on peer-reviewed scientific studies, for how to eat healthy and make good food choices
5. Create a budget
Look at what you spent last year and how much money you made in order to figure out how to use your money sensibly this year.
- Figure out your income (salary and other sources of money)
- Figure out your expenses, such as rent, living costs, debt payments, and calculate how much each will cost you per month and over the course of the year
- With the money left over, decide how much you will dedicate to saving, socialising, and for treating yourself with
Once you have classified certain money as falling into a certain box, for example, labelling money specifically as rent money, it makes it easier for you not to think of it as a free-for-all.
6. Make a bucket list
What things would you like to do this year? This could be things you want to achieve, places you want to go, things you want to do, whatever you’d like.
The aim of a bucket list is to keep you focussed and to encourage you to do things you would forget to do during everyday life.
If you’re into exploring, check out our bucket list of places to visit in Ireland.
7. Remove clutter
If you have a lot of time, why not do a proper spring clean?
Go through forgotten drawers, sort through your piles of paper, get rid of out of date food in the cupboard.
Basically, if there’s an area which you tend to ignore most of the year round when you’re cleaning, now is the time to sort it.
8. Speed up your computer
There are a few of ways you can get rid of unnecessary crap from your computer, like:
- Going through your photos and getting rid of the duplicates and blurry photos
- Going through your music and getting rid of duplicates and stuff you have never listened to and never will
- Going through your downloads folder and getting rid of temporary files you downloaded and won’t use again
- Emptying your recycle bin
- On Windows, going to control panel, selecting ‘uninstall a program’ and getting rid of unnecessary applications
- On Windows, selecting ‘disk clean-up’
- Defragmenting your drive (this gets rid of the spaces left by deleted files to make your computer faster)
Don’t forget to back-up all your important documents. You should have a local copy (on your computer), a copy saved to a memory stick or external hard-drive, and a copy saved to a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
9. Get back in touch
Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to keep in contact with our friends. Like most things, friendships need work.
Make arrangements to meet up with people you haven’t seen a while. Send people a text or Facebook message and catch up. Or, if they live away, why not send them a letter or a postcard?
This will strengthen your relationships and give you something to look forward to.