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How to Finish the Year Like a Pro

If there’s one thing to do before Christmas, it’s this.

Okay, stay with us here. This may come across as a little preachy, but we promise that in 2019 you’ll be grateful.

To get ready for the new work year, you should start de-cluttering now. That’s right, tidy up, remove the excess and trim the fat, so that when you land at your desk in January you can be focused and distraction free. You’ll feel a whole lot more relaxed on your holidays, too.

Here are five areas to get started on.

Office desk

If you have an office job, remove anything at arm’s length on your desk that you don’t regularly use. If you have a lot of excess paperwork around – scan it, save it, or shred it. Then sort through your desk drawer and bin any “just in case” items and place your regularly used items in the top daw.

Once tidied up, give the whole desk a solid clean, including any hardware.


Tie up as many loose ends as possible. Reply to anyone you owe an email or phone call, give clients an update on their affairs, and work your bum off to finish any miscellaneous tasks.

If you can’t, list all your work-in-progress items in order of priority before you leave so that when you get back in January you know what to focus on.


Give it a good digi-clean. Remove all those random desktop icons (screen clutter has proven to activate stress hormones), de-frag your hardware (to make it work quicker) and allocate everything in you download file to applicable folders.

Also, and most importantly, sort through all your emails in your inbox. If you have hundreds of them, spend 15 minutes at the end of each day sorting through them. That way it’s realistically achievable.


If you’re organised at home, you’ll be more focused at work. Spend some time over Christmas giving your home some love, sorting out your personal finances (bills, budgets and banking) and clearing out the wardrobe.

If you’re worried about whether to chuck anything away, follow this simple rule: If it wasn’t given to you by your in-laws, and hasn’t been used it in the last 12 months, bin it.


If you’re feeling the benefit of de-cluttering and you want to take it one step further, consider becoming more minimalistic. That doesn’t mean going to the extreme, but if you have fewer things, you’re likely to be more focused and have greater mental clarity. As a renowned psychologist once said: “the most effective treatment I give is to tell people to clean their room.”

Now, get to it.

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