As part of a series of blog takeovers, Marquessa Matthews has got a list of things we can be doing before the new years strikes!
30 Things You Can Still Do Before 2018 (Part 1)
Can someone please tell me where 2017 went?
In 2018, I need to stop treating my writing as a hobby (I know, I know that I’ve said that plenty of times before). In order to find more time in the New Year between my 9 to 5, eldercare responsibilities and my own day-to-day to manage, I have made a list of 30 things I’m doing before 2018 hits that should streamline my life in the New Year.
I hope this list provides you with some value. And THANK YOU SIMON for the opportunity to “take over” your blog!
- Reduce the number of blogs followed: How many blogs do you follow and how many do you actually read? Up to recently, I had 1508 blogs in my “Blogs I Follow” on WordPress, which was surely a sign of madness on my part and an impossible number to manage, even in rotation. This is the formula I used to trim my 1508 blogs down to 804: if a blog has had no activity within 6 months OR if 100% of its content is related to fashion, make-up, parenthood, gaming or business = Unsubscribe/Unfollow (though I kept a few exceptions with the hope that certain bloggers return one day). With fewer blogs in my feed, I’ve already started rediscovering some of my old favorites.
- Create a short list of bloggers: I regularly correspond with a number of bloggers outside of WP and I finally took time to create a “short list”. With all of them in one easily accessible “special” list, I can easily get to their blogs and social media accounts at the click of a button.
- Sign up for Audible.com: My preference will always be the feel of a “physical” book but the only time I enjoy real books is on vacation while away from home. Since it’s a battle I can’t win, I signed up for Audible again and have been happily “reading” as I putter around the house (this mention is not an endorsement for Audible).
- Get rid of unused apps: If you barely use them, why are leaving them to clog up space on your cell?
- Don’t unsubscribe, just trash it: Someone somewhere said something about sending junk emails and newsletters to “Trash” instead of wasting time “unsubscribing”. Now that I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks, my inbox is definitely less spammy.
- Back up all electronic files: My laptop is on its last legs so I’m backing up on an external device and a USB key every week to avoid the “oh my God I lost everything on my laptop” heart attack. Whether it be on an external drive, a USB key or in the cloud, just do it sooner than later.
- Donate to charities online: Don’t waste time writing cheques and finding stamps to mail your end of year donations. Do it online and receive your tax receipts within minutes by email.
- Sign up for electronic billing: I still had a few bills in paper format by mail and this wasn’t an issue until an emergency came up a few weeks ago and I had zero energy to deal with them at the end of some very long days. It was the final push I needed to finally convert everything to electronic billing.
- Charge all recurring bill payments to one credit card: If I ever forget my credit card in the thingamabob at the grocery store again (don’t ask ’cause I won’t tell you), I’ll only need to deal with ONE credit card company as opposed to two or three. Let’s just say…yikes.
- Automate credit card payments: My preference was to keep control of my credit card by paying off my manually, as a way to force myself t sit down and reconcile my receipts. Now, I’m having my bill paid automatically which will be convenient when I’m away or busy. Of course, I will still reconcile my purchases after the fact.
- Dedicate a credit card with a low limit for online purchases: Being a victim of online fraud years ago taught me to sign up for a credit card with a very low limit. Low limit = limited worries. Every year, the credit card company increases my limit without asking me and every year I call them to request that they lower it back to where it was.
- Start a savings fund for a “rainy” project: I opened a new bank account and set up a monthly automatic transfer to it that is equivalent to what I often waste per month when I don’t bring my lunch to work (which I plan on not doing in 2018). I’m not sure what I will use that “savings” for, but it could be a weekend trip, an emergency fund or tickets to a day at a spa.
- Double up on important items: Over the past few months, I fell out of my habit of “doubling up” on certain essentials to avoid unplanned errands to the store. I made a list of my important “back-ups” and then went to the store for back-ups of coffee, toilet paper, soap, MAC foundation, hand sanitizer (yes, I’ve got germ issues)…Now, when I find myself using a “back up”, I’ll add the item to my errands list. Decide what is important to you and double up.
- Stockpile for emergencies: The 1998 ice storm freaked Montrealers out, including little old me. For years after that, everyone I knew had emergency supplies at hand. But memories fade and I stopped doing it. Well, after seeing all the horrible natural disasters in 2017 and what my adopted island of Puerto Rico is still suffering through, I’ve started replenishing my “emergency” essentials: water, batteries, flashlights, matches, candles, canned goods with a manual can opener… Think about what you would do if you were snowed in for a week and couldn’t order take-out delivery to your door?
- Keep a running list of errands on your cell (see #13): Don’t you hate it when you lose your paper errands/to-do lists? I sat down, created a new “Errands” category in my Evernote and have been consistently adding my errands list. I always have my cell which means that I always have my list.
For the next 16 to 30 items, you can click here .
Marquessa Matthews about.me/simplymarquessa