There's a mantra professional organisers love to quote: ''If it isn't written down, it doesn't exist.''
The problem for professional procrastinators is that their to-do list becomes a written testimony to all the unfinished tasks.
So if one of your New Year's resolutions was to eliminate the stress of always feeling on the back foot, start with the basics of good organisation.
Keep a list of things to doDon't even try to keep it in your head; write it down or key it into your preferred gizmo, then consult it every day, ticking completed tasks and adding new ones.
The chief executive of professional organisers Get Organised, Carol Posener, recommends starting each year with a master plan of projects to complete, such as planning a holiday or finding a new job.
''Get the ball rolling early and chunk the project down to small, manageable tasks,'' says Posener, who says some assiduous clients even monitor the progress of key projects.
Have a place for everything
Clutter soon accumulates when regular household or office items have no fixed address, so make sure everything has a home - and that you religiously put things back in their place.
It doesn't just reduce clutter, you'll eliminate the madness of endlessly searching for misplaced items.
Make sure everyday items are easy to access. Give some thought to better organising your wardrobe so mornings don't start in a sartorial flap.
Out with the old
Just like staying fit or keeping slim, having an orderly life requires eternal vigilance. It's one thing to set up a framework for good organisation but you have to allocate time to maintaining it.
Posener suggests an annual clean-out of your files, archiving older paperwork to make room for next year's onslaught.
And if you haven't worn something for a year, bin it!Reward yourselfIf there's a tedious task you've been putting off, attach a reward to completing it.
Follow up a Saturday morning devoted to the boring task with an indulgent treat.
They say it takes 21 days to develop or change a habit - so get cracking now.
Next week: spend more time with family and friends.