As 2022 draws to a close, you may be turning your mind to some resolutions for the year ahead. 2023 provides us with a completely blank canvas to work with and many of us like to take this opportunity to change our lives for the better. There are, of course, countless areas we can focus on when it comes to self improvement for the new year. One that you might like to take into consideration, however, is productivity. Many of us wasted a lot of time through 2022 – time that could have been put to better use. Being productive is rewarding and pays off. Here are a few ways you can boost your productivity levels – both personal and professional – in the 12 months that lie ahead!
The first step on your journey towards productivity is to stop procrastinating. Procrastinating is when you put off tasks that you don’t want to do and would rather avoid. Often, it can result in putting off tasks until the last minute (resulting in a lot of pressure and unnecessary high stress scenarios) or until past their deadline (which can come with even more consequences). Procrastination is something that we’re all guilty of, but some of us do indulge in it more than others. Instead, take a moment to acknowledge when you are procrastinating and to put yourself back to the task. Sometimes, asking yourself why you are procrastinating can help you to overcome the hurdles that are putting you off. Do you know what you need to do? Do you need support? Sometimes, acknowledging why you’re avoiding something can help you to get to the root cause of the problem and actually get the task done.
Set Clear Goals with Milestones
You’ll be much more productive if you set yourself clear goals. Knowing what you need to do and what you need to do to achieve this goal can really help to frame the situation and tackle it head on. When setting goals, professional or personal, try to make them SMART. This stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound”. Centring goals around these objectives will help to ensure that youknow what you need to do, as well as ensuring that the project or task is actually possible and that you hold yourself accountable throughout the process.
Create a Schedule
Scheduling is absolutely essential in productivity. We all have a limited amount of time in each day and it’s important that you organise your time if you want to get everything done. Most people find that keeping a calendar with key events in helps, but if you really want to break things down and complete a lot of tasks or projects, you could find that time blocking helps. This is when you block out set periods of time in your schedule and allocate these periods to specific tasks.
Use Productivity Apps
Where there’s demand, someone will provide a solution. Needless to say, a lot of people are seeking ways to boost their productivity, which means clever developers have created a number of apps to boost productivity. These apps are specially designed to not only to encourage proidductivity, but to also encourage consistency in your productivity. They hold you accountable for sticking to your goals and milestones. They can send you reminders to complete certain actions. At the end of the day, nowadays, most of us have our phones on us throughout the course of the day. What better way to receive reminders to stick to your goals and plans than those popping up on your personal device? There are apps specially designed to encourage personal goals, such as eating your five a day, taking supplements, doing exercise, reading and more. There are apps that have a more professional and career centred focus, ensuring that you have clear to-do lists, deadline alerts and more. Find the right one to meet your individual goals.
Take Some Time to Relax
Of course, things can’t be fire on all cylinders at all times. You need to take some time to rest, relax and recuperate. All too many people assimilate “productivity” with overworking and constantly doing something. This shouldn’t be the case. If you never give yourself a break and push yourself too far, you will simply experience burnout, which will leave you less productive than ever. Burnout is serious and you can find yourself experiencing emotional consequences, mental consequences and behavioural consequences. You might become stressed, exhausted or even depressed. You might withdraw from social situations, experience issues with your sleep pattern, overeat, undereat, begin to smoke, drink too much or display other unhealthy behaviours. It should be avoided at all costs. Create time in your schedule to do things you enjoy and to also let your hair down. This could take all sorts of different forms. It could be something as simple as taking a nap, reading a book, watching a favourite TV show, listening to a podcast, taking a walk in nature or anything else that allows you to unwind.
Get Enough Sleep
Speaking of rest, did you know that sleep plays an essential role in your productivity? Getting your recommended eight hours of sleep each night can help you to wake up feeling refreshed, rearing and ready to go. Lack of sleep can result in exhaustion and, as aforementioned, burnout. The issue is that many people don’t recognise that they’re not getting enough sleep. Shortchanging yourself an hour each night can make a huge difference in the long run. Instead, set yourself a clear sleep schedule. This should consist of a regular bedtime and wake up time. You should also do what you can to wind down before bed. Avoid caffeine. Distance yourself from blue light. Settle in to a comfortable sleep.
Productivity can prove life changing when carried out correctly. Each piece of guidance set out above should really help you to maximise your productivity in the year ahead. Give a few options a try and see which best suit you as an individual!