New Year Starter’s Guide: Tasks and Tricks for a Happier New Year

The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh start – but where to begin?  With so many people talking about resolutions to make 2020 a happier, healthier year, it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed with all the things you want to accomplish.  Check list

Take on Chores One Step At a Time

Rather than taking on multiple projects at once, spreading your attention and energy over too wide a scope of chores, many efficiency experts now recommend single-tasking as a way to generate better results in less time.

Single-tasking works like this: take a large or daunting project and break it down into smaller, bite-sized operations.  Organize each of these single operations into a logically-ordered list and set to work accomplishing each goal individually.

While working on a task, another challenge might gain your attention, but rather than stopping to work on this new project, simply add the project to your to-do list and resume what you were already doing.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Let’s look at how this works in practice:

  1. Ethel decides it’s time to clean her kitchen from the topmost cupboard to the space beneath her stove.
  2. Before she lifts a finger, Ethel gets a pen and paper and begins to list the tasks cleaning the kitchen will entail, and breaks them down into simple, single entries. Rather than writing “clean cupboards,” Ethel writes “remove items from cabinet #1, clean/dust shelves, remove expired/old items, replace contents of cabinet, clean cabinet door and handle.”
  3. Ethel continues to fill her to-do list with tasks broken into their smallest component pieces.
  4. With her list complete, Ethel begins to knock out tasks. If a new task comes up while working, Ethel does not drop everything to address the new problem, but instead adds it to her to-do list in a reasonable place.  For example, if some screws on a cabinet door are loose, she shouldn’t drop everything to find her tool bag, but rather add that task to her list after the cabinets are organized and cleaned.

Making lists and organizing the order of operations can feel time-consuming at first, but many new single-taskers find that by writing down seemingly massive projects in simple, one-step tasks, they feel much more capable of seeing a big project through to completion.

New Projects for the New Year

Ready to put your new single-tasking skills to use?  Here’s some important home, health and organizational projects that can make 2020 your best year yet:

Review Health Information

  • Check your medicine cabinet and first aid kit for expired prescription and over-the-counter medication. Use SelectCare’s guide to expired medication to learn how to dispose of these items safely.
  • Having an accurate list of medication you currently take is critical to your future medical care, so be sure your list is complete and in an easy-to-find location. 
  • Call your primary care physician’s office and dentist to schedule your next visits – be sure to add these dates to your calendar! Also consider doing the same for any pets in your home.
  • You never know when you will need an emergency contact number, so take the time now to ensure your list of emergency contacts and medical contact numbers are up to date!

Home and Safety Check List

  • It’s easy to lose track of what’s in your pantry – cleaning out your refrigerator, dry food storage and kitchen cabinets of old, expired and mostly-consumed items is a great way to get a fresh start.
  • Test your smoke and CO2 detectors and replace old batteries with fresh sets.
  • Fall prevention is a year-round affair, so consider checking your home for clutter, unsecured area rugs and obstructed paths that might increase your risk of falling. Also consider the condition of your shoes as well as the condition of your cane or other assistive devices.  If you use a wheelchair, consider bringing it in for service.

Time to Get Organized for 2020

  • Look ahead for any family milestones that might require travel, or home improvement and upkeep projects that might require a major investment. Planning ahead for these expenses now can give you peace of mind for later.
  • We’re not yet in tax season, but taking time to do a small self-audit can save a lot of money. Review your credit card and bank statements for recurring or subscription payments. See something that doesn’t add up or a subscription you no longer use? Cancel it!

With all these tips in mind, we hope you are starting 2020 off on the right foot, ready to make the most of the New Year!

If you or a loved one are worried about staying ahead of day-to-day challenges, or simply feel like there aren’t enough hours in the week now might be the right time to consider in-home care.  Call SelectCare today to learn how we help New Yorkers live happier, healthier lives in their long-time homes or request a free in-home care guide to learn more.