This New Year’s Eve, Burn the Midnight Oil

Come New Year’s Eve, we all get excited about ringing out the old. But sometimes that excitement goes overboard and leaves our heads ringing instead. Here’s a different take.

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It’s a time of celebration, but it’s also about remarking on the year past and preparing for the year ahead. So here’s a controversial idea: Skip the party.

This New Year’s Eve, go ahead and give yourself a countdown clock, but use it to accomplish as much as you can before the year runs out. You’ll probably be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a day. And best of all, you’ll start the new year off with a load off and instead of a hangover.

Here are some ieas on how new technology can help you get ahead of the game as the new year approaches.

Time counts

Facebook, Instagram, news sites, SnapChat, political blogs… with all of these sites competing for our eyeballs, it’s amazing we get anything done. So if you find yourself constantly asking, "Where does all the time go?," a time-tracking app might be the answer. Sign up for apps such as RescueTime and Stayfocusd to calculate time spent on email, block distracting websites, organize daily tasks, and even set notifications for when you max out on celebrity gossip.

Digital to-do lists

Life today is a whirlwind of daily obligations and fleeting tasks. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of apps promising to convert that wall of Post-It notes into digital to-dos. Wunderlist, Asana, Any.do, Todoist – they all allow you to create to-do lists, set reminders, plan a new exercise regime, or create a grocery list. Better yet, synchronize your daily activities across multiple devices, from your smartphone to a portable 2-in-1 like the HP Pavilion x360.

Money matters

It’s never too late to catch up on your finances, especially if you’re using an online budgeting program like Mint, GoodBudget, or PocketGuard. Capabilities range from creating budgets and taking a snapshot of your current financial health to exploring your credit history and receiving expert advice. Users may choose between free or paid versions depending on desired functionality. But the best part about these programs is their accessibility. Imagine, for example, discovering an unpaid bill or an extra bit of money you can contribute to your retirement savings. With the click of a button, you can get a leg up on your budget before the stroke of midnight.

Productivity package

With Microsoft Office 365 Home installed on a powerful, versatile device like a Lenovo Yoga 900, you have the tools you need to complete tasks thoroughly, quickly, and efficiently. Use Excel to create a comprehensive business plan for 2017 before the ball drops, or open up OneNote to list your New Year’s resolutions while you still have time.

Why spend an evening signing “Auld Lang Syne” when you could be getting your entire life in order. After all, fancy cocktails and chitchat are fleeting; accomplishments last a lifetime. So grab your tech tools and let the countdown begin!